I have to thank my friend for turning me on to these. You can't really go anywhere in the larger cities without someone pressing a small pack of tissues into your hand, so I never purchased them. One day my friend took out a package of tissues for her daughter. I think I said something about never having seen printed tissues before. She showed me that they were scented too. How cool!!! I was then told that it is popular for school girls here in Japan to trade packs of the scented and printed packs of tissues.
My friend gave all of the packs on this page to me. The scents above are, 'American Cherry', 'Sweet Strawberry', and 'Petit Pineapple'.
The packs above are strawberry, orange, and pineapple.
I guess this last pack is geared more toward adults. The two packs are slightly larger and are lavender and a sweet smell.
It's a New Year and in the stores here in Japan, you'll see these lucky bags (Fukubukuro) everywhere! The value of the items in the bags are supposed to be quite good, though I have never personally bought one.
These bags were at a Jusco near my house. Some of the places selling bags had them roped off with signs warning that they were not available for purchase until the first. On most of the bags I saw, there were sizes posted on the outside of the bags in clothing departments.
A live news broadcast on the first here showed a madhouse scene at some department store. It looked like the day after Thanksgiving in the US. It looked cold.
I saw the first sunrise of the new year (Hatsuhinode) here in Japan... on TV. When the sun hit Fuji and made that star pattern, they yelled, "Diamond!!!" They flashed it on the screen in Katakana too. Very fun, and much warmer from my living room.
My house is clean, clean, clean! Now we just have to rid it of evil spirits. I'm told I can do this with a Shimekazari. Oosouji is the huge once a year deeeep cleaning of your house, car, etc... I guess it has to be done before the new year begins.
The back room of the farmer's market I so love was filled with an array of these Shimekazari ranging in price from 200-yen for a tiny one in the photo below all the way up to a 5,000-yen more ornate one.
Most of the customers were buying the size above. They are all around 550-yen.
There were also many people purchasing Kadomatsu. These small, pre-made versions were all around 1,800-yen.
This was the scene outside where they were selling the various parts of the Kadomatsu as well as a couple of huge Kadomatsu at the entrance.
This looks like New England to me... at least the New England I saw at the start of the Newhart Show. That church-like building is actually a group home in Kinkai. The traffic was at a dead stop on the main road south to Nagasaki, so we took a drive in country.
This was a little beach area with a pretty big parking lot. The fall foliage was beautiful.
I wouldn't want to pay the electric bill at Huis ten Bosch this month! Seven million lights are on through the end of February.
People were posing with that lighted heart in the midst of this LED carousel.
We didn't even attempt to go up the clock tower that day. It was the Emperor's birthday, so the park was crowded.
The photo above and the one below were taken at the Huis ten Bosch Palace. There is a separate charge to get in. I personally thought that the Light Art Garden in the main part of the park was a better light show, but the Palace light show includes a concert. The lights at the palace are timed with songs by ABBA and Billy Joel amongst others.
Before you buy into Canon's latest "low light" claim for their Powershot camera, take a look at these photos taken in the low light setting. They looked fine in the view finder, but they look horrible once I downloaded them.
The light display this year was different enough to bring us in again, so if you went last year, you may want to return.