Christmas has passed, but now everyone’s getting ready for New Year celebrations. New Years in Japan is one of the most culturally significant dates on the calendar, far more than Christmas. People queue outside the post office doors to send their nengajo (New Years Cards), while others line up to withdraw cash for otoshidama (gift money for children). Families decorate their houses with kadomatsu and order osechi (traditional New Year’s food) for extortionate prices. So its fucking nuts everywhere.
Anyway, like last Christmas Eve I ended up watching the year’s Star Wars film: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. I really enjoyed it, probably more so than The Force Awakens. The original trilogy holds a big place in my childhood, so seeing the likes of Darth Vader, X-Wings and Grand Moff Tarkin relit those nostalgic memories. I even started looking a Star Wars Lego the other day, and then reversed out the shop after looking at the prices. But what was surprising was that my girlfriend thought that the film was genuinely fun, and she’s not one for action blockbusters. She still taunts me for liking Captain America, apparently he looks like a cross better a Power Ranger and a turtle.
On Christmas Day we headed into Hiroshima, and so did ninety percent of the population. I’d yet to buy my girlfriend a proper Christmas present, and after weeks of trying to get suggestions I ended up getting her some nice gloves. This year we absconded from making Christmas Dinner, mainly because we couldn’t be bothered. Instead we decided to have an Italian lunch and then “celebrate” with KFC in the evening. Colonel Saunders has seemingly cornered the market in Japan, with fried chicken being seen as the quintessential food of Christmas, along with Christmas Cake. I have no idea where its festive popularity originated, but in a country this weird and quirky it’s not so bizarre. Japanese people pre-order their fried chicken from the Colonel before Christmas, something that we disregarded. So when we stood at the counter to order, we were meet with “It’ll be about a two-hour wait for chicken”. We ended going next door to Mos Burger and ordering fried chicken from there. So we can check that off the yearly “bucket” list (hahaha).