January. The first snow. The fresh start

By Tiara Clarissa

January. A lot of new things have happened and it’s also a good start to 2022. Without further do, let’s see my January experiences.

My January started with a new year celebration. For the first time I didn’t celebrate the new year in Indonesia. On New Year’s Eve, my host family and I ate “toshikosi” soba and watched music programs while waiting for the new year. Then, at 00:00, we said “akemashite omedetou” which means happy new year, and went to sleep. At 05:00 am, my hostmom and I were up and waiting for the sun to rise to pray. In Japan, there is a tradition to see the sun rise for the first time or it is called “hatsuhinode”. Praying when the sun first rises is believed to bring good luck.

After seeing the sunrise, my hostmom and I prepared “osechi” to eat for breakfast. After breakfast, my hostdad handed out “otoshidama” (in Indonesia it is known as “red pocket” or “Religious festivity allowance”). Otoshidama is something that Japanese children really look forward to because they get extra pocket money. At 11:00, we went to the shrine to pray, draw omikuji, and buy omamori. On January 1st-3rd, we spent time to visit the family home and celebrate the new year together.

Long story short, January 6th, 2022 at 10:00 am, me and my hostmom and hostsis went to have breakfast at the cafe. On the way, I saw the first snowfall although not too heavy. To be honest, I didn’t really have high expectations for snow because I got a placement in a place that almost never gets snow. I was so excited in the car because I finally got to feel the real snow. As time went on, the snow was also getting heavier and covered the streets. All day I spent playing in the snow.

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January 7th, 2022, I went to sea paradise with the photography club and biology club. Even though I didn’t join the club, the teachers allowed me to go to sea paradise together. In there, I saw many types of sea animals that I had never seen. I also saw seals doing calligraphy which was really cool. Then see a show of dolphins, dugongs, otters, and more. It was so exciting, the time seemed to go fast.

Although school has started from January 11th, but after 2 weeks of offline school, we have to take online classes until February 11th due to covid-19. The end of January was the saddest day in my life apart from March because apart from online school, the ski schedule was also postponed to March 14th. Meanwhile, I’ve gone to Narita to prepare to go home on March 13th. It was disappointing, but things quickly passed because of the happiness that my friends and host family gave me. What kind of happiness? Wait for my next story. 

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