How was your new year day? We call new year day, 2nd and 3rd are Osyogatsu in Japan. Usually people spend time with their families in the house and eat Osechiryori. Our case, we went to my parents house to bring Osechi-ryouri and new year greeting on 1st day, Also we went to the mall on the 2nd. But it was so crowded. I wanted to see Baby GAP. But I saw that the line was really long (maybe over 30 people) for cashier, so I gave up...
These pictures are Mt.Fuji and Tokyo downtown during sunset, taken from our veranda. In the winter season around Tokyo is very dry and always a beautiful day. I like winter sunsets.
Happy New Year!
We wish everyone a happy, healthy and prosperous new year!
The end of the year we went to Uncles house in Saitama,
did some major spring cleaning. It was difficult because
Apple-chan always following us around and saying 'hold me, hold me'.
We had to take turns entertaining while cleaning.
Also we had lots of holiday Japanese foods 'setchiryori'.
I went to bed early because I was clearning all day and finally passed out. Aki and Apple-chan were trying to watch SMAP and some other performers on TV, so I asked them to turn the volume down on the TV. Aki said I didn't understand that maybe everyone in the building watching these same things with loud volume all over the building.
But, Apple-chan is just 1 year 8 months. She didn't sleep but stayed up and did Party time which is her normal thing around midnight anyways. It usually takes her 4-5 times to finally go to sleep.
Apple-chan was really cute. When one of the performers did a song and dance regarding a popular childrens show/song here, she followed along to the music dancing and clapping. We put the video for that below! Please watch it!
The following foods were made for Osechi-ryouri which are traditional Japanese new years foods.
・Kurikinton/Mashed sweet potatoes with chestnut
・Kuromame/Sweet black soy beans
・Renkon no suduke/Pickled lotus root
・Namasu/Pickled carrot and radish
・Tataki gobou/Pickled burdock root
・Yawatamaki/Meat with carrot, green beans and lotus root
・Konbumaki/Tangle roll with chicken
・Tadukuri/Small dried sardines with walnut
・Nimono/boiled vetables with chicken
・Kamaboko/Fish paste (we bought egg-less)
・Datemaki(from our aunt) /sweet rolled egg and fish omlets (present from aunt)
Maybe we won't keep these traditional foods every years. The people in this house love MEAT and MASHED TATERS and SWEET STUFF, so maybe we will investibigate sum new fangled foods next year.
It seem everywhere you go in Japan you can find these UFO catcher (U-HO CA-CHA). They are deceptively easy looking to play, but you can waste alot of money fetching out a small item worth MAYBE a dollar. That being said, it's easy to see why these are so prevailant and popular.
Each time we goto the store, Apple-chan always wants to stop and play these games. Her favorite is getting a super ball. She LOVES "ball ball". Normally we try a few times, if we win great, if not, we go down the way and pay the dollar in one of the more traditional gum-ball style machines and get one that way.
Apple-chan really loves this tho, and I have to admit it's quite a bit of fun to play!
Lately it's been getting cold around our place. Apple-chan loves to go outside tho. These pictures were taken while walking around outside of our house. Here she is wearing her furry coat and mouse hat. Such a cutie!
We took lots of pictures during Christmas of Apple-chan. We were hoping to use some of them for Christmas cards or New Years card (Nen-ga-jo). I am very happy with the camera that we have. It's a Cannon Digital. Lens we used was a 1:8. It's not macro, but gives great quality for portraits.
Please enjoy these Christmas pictures of Apple-chan, and Merry Christmas to everyone!
American style is to open Christmas presents on the 25th of December in the morning. Our house was no exception, even tho it's not normal in Japan I hear ;) We woke up early and watched Apple-chan open her presents. She got some rather large gifts, one of which was this HUGE kitchen set. It had been sitting in our bedroom in a cardboard box for two months, and as small as our place it, it was always in the way and hard to walk around. Really glad that we could finally put that out for her to play with!
Apple-chan got to bed early with mom on the night of the 24th, so Cori setup all the presents for Yu-chan. We had to sneak this huge cardboard box out of the bedroom shortly after she laid in bed with mom.
Daddy started brainwashing Apple-chan few weeks beforehand. Explaining that Santa was going to leave her lots of presents and she had to leave him cookies and hot coco. Needless to say, on the morning of the 25th, she woke up smiling and just KNEW that Santa had come to see her and she immediately ran into the living room to find her presents. She was really happy!
First, she opened her states grandparents presents. The clothes (below) and she loved them! She even clapped when she saw them! Afterwards she got her Japanese grandparents presents (Kitchen), then we gave her Silvanian Family Dollhouse. At the very end we left the last present, which was a thing mom had won in the UFO catcher. She was very lucky that day and won this electronic Dog that barks, walks and even does backflips, for only 200 yen (about $2) Normally one could expect to spent a lot more for something like this. Anyways, we kind of joked about it but she loves that present.
It seems states and Japan is a little different for Christmas. Maybe states kids get more gifts during Christmas time. Japanese kids get lots of money (otoshi-dama) from all their relatives during New Year tho. It's not uncommon for kids to get anywhere from $100 to $1,000 depending on how many relatives, etc.
Anyways, we still got a Yu-chan a couple of big presents. Like the kitchen set. It was nice to just watch her play with it like she knew what to do, even tho we didn't really teach her how to play with it.