03 January, 2010

Happy New Year/ Xronia Polla!

Happy New Year! Χρονιά πολλά!

It has been a few weeks since my last post. I have been to Japan and did not have nothing to post this blog which is supposed to concern Greece.

This is a Christmas tree. Not just an ordinary tree, but a Japanese Christmas tree! :) To be precise, I took the photo in Tokyo Midtown in Roppongi. Japan is hardly a Christian country (although there is a non-negligible number of Christians), but people celebrate it anyway.

Christmas was introduced to Japan as a non-religious festival: an occasion to give gifts to children and to drink and eat. A Japanese famous folk dance song goes: to dance is silly and to watch people dancing is silly, too. If it is the same silliness, why don't we just dance?

Of course I went to Akihabara, also known as Electric Street in English speaking world (although it is really a town, not just a street).

I was rather shocked to see the changes in Akihabara. There are so many closed shutters and many non-electric related shops. Japan is suffering a 10-year-long economic and social crisis and it shows in Akihabara in a most striking manner. Besides it has been suffering in sales for a long time, on 4 June 2008 an unemployed man massacred 7 and wounded 10 in an indiscriminate attack. Since then, the youth who used to gather abandoned this town.

By the way, I bought a new digital camera. I hope I can take better pictures with it.

Then I left there on 1 January, after a parting new year meal with my family. These are Japanese festive sweets (based on bean paste).

I have not yet recovered from jet lag and that is why I am writing this post at 4 o'clock in the morning. Nevertheless, we are leaving for a small tour in Peloponnese tomorrow. And then I will have many things to post.

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