new year's is one of the most important holidays in japan, with many associated customs, including sending new year's cards, or nankajo. the one above is my design that i've been working on, while enjoying a few cozy days at home.
2010 is the year of the tiger, and this amazing tiger stamp is the work of sachi on etsy.
another new year's tradition is the 1st shine visit of the new year. this is the imamiya shrine in kyoto, which has a unique display of a gigantic version of arrows on either side of the door. these arrows, or hamaya, are a traditional amulet bought at temples at new years to ward off bad luck.
they also had a huge ema, which is usually a much smaller wooded plaque where you can write your prayer and hang it at the shrine. in this case, it has a new years tiger too.
i love the idea of starting off a new year with a clean slate, and taking the time to reflect on goals and plans for the upcoming year. i have high hopes for 2010, and many of my resolutions are simply things i want to try or experience. one of these goals is to visit more temples, shrines or historical architecture here in kyoto, like this shrine.