We started the new year off in Japanese tradition by visiting a nearby shrine. We chose one that overlooks the Pacific Ocean and is probably gorgeous on a brilliant clear day. In any case, the shrines this time of year have a fun carnival like atmosphere-- souvenir shops, food stalls with corn dogs and fried noodles, lots of people milling around, and children dressed up in kimono.
This particular shrine seemed to have a baby theme, and while we're pleased with a "good" outlook fortune for 2009, we couldn't help but wonder about the visitor category. Just who exactly is HE and why is it going to be a big surprise???
Other excitement at the shrine included being chosen for an interview by a local TV news station. I made the mistake of saying that I spoke a little Japanese, so I probably looked like a deer caught in headlights when they asked me a question and I stared back at them blankly. In the end, they had to translate it all in English and I have no idea if I made it to the 6 o'clock news or not, but now I have a little fantasy that it did. Next year I am showing up prepared with a memorized sound bite in Japanese.