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  • Jasmine Norwood-Dioulo

New Decade, New Adventure: Welcoming 2020 in Tokyo!

Our first New Year’s Eve in Tokyo was epic!

I shared everything live in my Instagram stories: , but for a quick recap -- We hired a sitter (yes, Lordt!) and took a cab to Empire Steakhouse where we had good food and great convo! — Hey new friends!

Then we partied the night away at a club called Nishiazabu A-Life...Lots of bubbly, dancing, and way too much (much needed) FUN.

In Tokyo, welcoming a new year is a BIG DEAL. And not just in a champagne toasting, ball dropping, countdown partying, booty shaking kind of way — but also, in a sacred, intentional sense.

In fact, when the kids and I landed in Tokyo, a week before Christmas -- we had so many bags we had to split up so hubs packed his #dadvan with our luggage and the kids and I hopped in a cab -- but anyway, our driver explained that bringing on the new year is more important and more widely celebrated in Japan than Christmas. In fact, he said during the first week of the new year, most businesses are closed, and people return to their hometowns to spend time with their families for Nenmatsu Nenshi — which literally means, “year end, year beginning.”

I’ve only been here three weeks and I’m already falling in love with how rich in tradition the Japanese culture is! One thing the Japanese do as they reflect on the previous year and pray for prosperity in the new year, is journey to a Buddhist temple or a Shinto shrine to spend time on holy ground for what’s called, Hatsumode, meaning “first prayer of the year.”

I still cannot wrap my mind around the fact that we were able to participate in this ritual as we kicked off a new decade.

We visited the stunning Senso-ji Temple. How is it that the oldest Buddhist temple in Tokyo is only a 30 minute drive from our house?! How?!!

The temple itself is breathtaking. The intricate architecture paired with the gentle, yet bustling crowd, and the sweet aroma of incense and street food, it was magical!

My heart is overflowing with gratitude.

I’m just so thankful for these beautiful worldly experiences with the love of my life and our little angel girl. And so very thankful for all of you reading, watching, learning, and journeying right along with us!

To read more about the specific foods, ceremonies, and activities the Japanese practice as they reflect on the previous year and pray for prosperity in the new year, you can check out this article:

Love Always.


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