From Tokyo with Love: January & February 2023 January and February are quiet, reflective months for us. We usually try to have a slow start to the year, with meandering walks around the neighbourhood. At the start of January it’s nice to see all the shimekazari hanging outside people’s doors. It’s said that shimekazari prohibit evil spirits from entering your house, similar to a shimenawa at a shrine, and provides the blessing of perfect health and the safety of your family.Lunch on January 1st featuring some traditional New Year foods called Osechi Ryori We were out reviewing a nice hotel near Tokyo Tower at the start of the year. While in the area we had a few nice night walks…And had some amazing Indian food. In the 10+ years I have lived in Tokyo, the Indian food has been pretty poor. This was the best I have had: Masala Kitchen Tokyo in Daimon.The view from our hotel balcony was something else! That review can be found on the main page.As I mentioned at the start of this post, before New Year’s Eve, Japanese households decorate their homes with various New Year’s specific items, such as kadomatsu, shimekazari and kagamimochi. While Christmas ornaments are kept to be used year after year, and the trees are simply discarded, the Japanese have their own customs when it comes to handling New Year’s decorations. In Japan it is regarded as terribly disrespectful to throw these sort of New Year’s decorations in the garbage. Instead, they are burned at the local shrines. The whole practice symbolises the breaking up with the past, as well as the welcoming of whatever may lie ahead.Cold weather always calls for some piping-hot Chinese foodSets like this are always good value – about 800yen (5quid in UK / 6USD)Speaking of Chinese food, we came across this derelict Chinese restaurant, overgrown with vines.Some of the fake plastic food was still inside – goodness knows how long this place has been in disrepair!Thankfully I was able to eat some proper ramen the next day – amazing curry ramen with nice thick noodles. Curry ramen is actually pretty rare, with udon usually being used instead.The suburbs at dawn…And at dusk.Neon lights twinkling on the frosty ground…And salarymen hiding inside local izakayas for warmth.Local trains mean local adventures…To restaurants with potted plants…And corner shops that look like they could be straight out of an anime.Streets and buildings of all shapes…And sizes.I’m a sucker for spicy food – my fridge has about five or six hot sauces on the go at any given time. Therefore I couldn’t resist these spicy snacks from the konbini. The ones on the left, I highly recommend!From potato chips, to donuts…And some good jerk chicken.We reviewed another hotel, this time in Shinjuku. That blog will be published soon.While we were there, we took the opportunity to visit the Metropolitan Government Building. Both of us hadn’t been there in about 4-5 years. Atmospheric vibes from the top. It still amazes me how Tokyo looks sprawling from above…Yet cute-as-a-button from below.These quiet streets have become my happy place.Calm and peaceful…And spring has just arrived. I hope you are all happy and healthy and have a great 2023. Justin / IKIMASHO Like IKIMASHO on Facebook for more daily life in Tokyo Please share if you enjoyed this post!TweetLike this:Like Loading...
Thanks, most enjoyable read.
Thanks for the wonderful stroll down memory lane. I treasure my 2 years living in Shiki and the many friends who helped me so much to appreciate their culture.
Amazing thank you ❤