First of all HAPPY NEW Year to everyone.
We were kindly invited to our neighbours flat for drinks/food and then we planned to visit our nearest shrine at midnight. We really wanted to see how the Japanese spent their New Years Eve so this part was important for us.
We arrived next door with Sushi (made by moi), Champagne and dessert and met some new people who were all French but all very nice (despite being French) :-) only joking Anne!!
There were 6 families so about 24 of us in all, everyone took something with them so dinner was lovely, lots of champagne was consumed and then we all left about 11:30 to make our way to the shrine. The kids are all about the same age so that is great, they all got along really well and had a lot of fun.
There were lots (and I mean LOTS) of people at the shrine but they were all very quiet and all in line waiting to go to the front of the shrine to prey. We didn't join the line but we did wait around and soak up the atmosphere. At midnight we all said Happy New Year and they had taken a bottle of champagne so we all had a glass of that (and were told off and asked to only drink outside the shrine) fair enough!! Got home about 2am and collapsed into bed. This morning we were invited back for lunch, everyone was abit quieter today, a few sore heads but lovely to spend time with them all again.