Happy New Year, Sandwiches!

 photo DSCF6130_zps8917afa0.jpg


H A P P Y   N E W   Y E A R ! ! !

Did you have a wonderful start to 2015? I hope you had a gorgeous and relaxing break and feel super inspired for this year. It's going to be a goodie!

I still have some more pictures I want to show you from Antwerp and Copenhagen, but first, here are some new year pics. As I write this I can hear my neighbour playing the shamisen!

 photo DSCF6366_zps54217f56.jpg

A new year kagami mochi from Mr Y.

 photo DSCF5990_zps3578e28b.jpg

New Year's Eve began with cava and Mr B decorating Hello Sandwich HQ.  So, so much laughter.

 photo DSCF6142_zps1a58a216.jpg

The fun continues with this little decoration on my apartment door.

 photo DSCF6013_zps99b8674c.jpg

Luke came on over, armed with his famous chicken to cook us for dinner. But as some light pre-dinner entertainment we went up to the park and let off some fireworks that we had leftover from Summer. How awesome is it that it's legal to let off fireworks in this country?! LOVE! Not quite the spectacular explosion that our friends and family in Sydney might have been seeing, but I did manage to capture this little snippet of Luke's efforts.

More cava, NHK and some special sparkling red from the Hunter Valley (a gift from Mama Sando's next door neighbour) to toast the new year and then it was time to head to the local shrine for Hatsumode (first visit to the shrine for the year).

 photo DSCF6062_zps2203ba00.jpg
 photo DSCF6077_zpsb96cd0a8.jpg

I got the order wrong this year and accidentally ate Toshikoshi soba after midnight! Oops!

 photo nenga_zps15204e7e.jpg

I can not tell you how exciting it is to wake up on the 1st of January and rush down to your letter box to collect your Nengajo (New Year greeting cards). As you probably know, or have heard me mention here before, Nengajo are held at the post office until the 1st of January so that they can be delivered right on this special day. Love you Japan!

THEN it started snowing!!! NEW YEAR'S SNOW!!! It's quite rare to snow of the 1st of January in Tokyo. I actually ran around my apartment squealing with excitement.

 photo DSCF6188_zpsb3e05531.jpg

Osechi ryori at Mami-chan's family house!

 photo DSCF6199_zpse2fcf4c7.jpg

Oshibori cuteness!

 photo 10897065_10152456041776707_3324417285988862611_n_zps6cc24c8d.jpg

We took a wintery walk to the local shrine near Mami's family house.

 photo DSCF6230_zpsa9a67adb.jpg
 photo DSCF6223_zps269a569e.jpg

The winter light! Divine!

 photo DSCF6228_zpsaaea6be6.jpg

We had to walk through this hoop in a figure eight for good luck.

 photo 1476429_10152456041771707_703288817695491194_n_zpsb979e52b.jpg

Scattered patches of crunchy snow.

 photo DSCF6246warm_zps59adebef.jpg

A beautiful dusk.

 photo DSCF6236_zpsfc2c57af.jpg

Perhaps this is my first 'Hello Sandwich-poi' photograph of the year?

 photo DSCF6254_zps7263db8d.jpg

Back to Mami-chan's house for ozoni (Japanese soup with mochi rice cakes).

 photo DSCF6260_zps92330884.jpg

Followed by some sake.

 photo Ohayougozaimasu_zps08620cc4.jpg

And there it was. The new year has began and it's back to everyday life in my little Shimokitazawa apartment.

These last few days I've been doing lots of relaxing and getting prepared for the new year. Writing letters, cooking Jamie's Jools' pasta, writing down some goals for 2015 (both personal and professional ones) - oh dear, the list is longggggg, movie nights with Luke (last night we watched Michel Gondry's 'The Science of Sleep' - A-MAZING!), editing photos, and osouji. In a few days it will be time for Nanakusagayu!

I hope you're having a nice start to the year little Sandwiches!

Love Sandwich