Thank you for 2022, Toshikoshi and Toshikoshi Oharai and Happy New Yearthe year of the rabbit.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your readership and support in 2022. Thanks to you, “In Saitama” had its best year yet, in its 16 year history (it started in 2006 on Blogger and has been on WordPress since 2008). This is just a quick post to say thank you, show some photos of a “Toshikoshi Oharai” and wish you all a very sincere…

Happy New Year

HAPPY NEW YEAR! I hope that 2023 is a year full of love, light, health and happiness. Wishing you all the very best for the New Year. 2023 is the year of the rabbit, so you can see giant rabbit ema, like the one below from Kawagoe Hachimangu, at many shrines around Japan.

Year of the Rabbit ema at Kawagoe Hachimangu

Hereafter some photos of New Years Eve 2022.

Toshikoshi Oharai

Toshikoshi 年越し means crossing into the new year. You may have heard of Toshikoshi soba, which is the noodles that are eaten right at New Year. My family had them just after midnight last night! Toshikoshi Oharai (toshikoshi harai / toshikoshi no oharai, harai is also called harae in some parts of Japan) 年越し大祓 is a ritual purification held on New Year’s Eve.

I participated in an invigorating toshikoshi harai at Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine. As always, I didn’t take photos of the ceremony itself. One, because they don’t like you to. Two, and the main reason for me personally, I guess I am quite superstitious! But here is a photo from before the ceremony started…

Toshikoshi oharai at Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine

There is a great festive atmosphere at Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine at this time of the year. And they have a few festival stalls during the period of Hatsumode.

Hatsumode Kawagoe Hikawa SHrine with the red torii and festival stalls and fish omikuji and toshikoshi oharai

The featured photo at the top of the post was taken at Fujimi Turret, where the currently have mini Shishimai lions hanging. Check out the events round up to see where you can see a live Shishimai performance in Saitama Prefecture this New Year. Below, the sun going down on 2022.

Last sun of 2022 over balloon art, torii and flowers at Fujimi Turret

And I made it to the Oppe River to watch the last sunset of 2022 with Mt Fuji in my view.

Sunsetting over Mt Fuji

Once again, thank you very much for 2022. A very Happy New Year to you and yours, may 2023 be your best year yet!

In Saitama on Facebook

Some Year of the Rabbit Attractions in Saitama Prefecture

And in Japan

Shizuoka – Peter Rabbit Lodgings in Gotemba


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