Hello all! I hope you all had a fun and safe holiday season. It was too short for me and I wish that it lasted longer! This new year's holiday marks the sixth time that I've welcomed the new year here in Japan. I must say that celebrating the new year in Japan is very different from celebrating in Hawaii. This year I decided to do things differently and went to Nagasaki for a countdown party.
The place that I went to is called Huis Ten Bosch in Sasebo, Nagasaki. http://english.huistenbosch.co.jp/
The park is very beautiful with many flowers and canals that give it a very European feel. I guess they call it a small Europe. I was told that it's been modeled after a village in Holland. (Strange side note: All of the staff were wearing makeshift capes of different colors. I couldn't figure out why and I couldn't bring myself to ask them why.) We got there around 6pm so it was already dark and the park was lit up with thousands of lights. It was a beautiful sight to be seen. I have seen other places like Nabana no Sato in Mie but I must say that this place was spectacular.
When it was time for the countdown at midnight, most of the people counted down to zero but there wasn't as much excitement as I am used to in Hawaii. When we countdown to zero in Hawaii everyone goes crazy and it's a wild party. The fireworks show was incredible and there were two shows that night. Fireworks shows here in Japan are great compared to Hawaii. In Hawaii the firework's shows aren't as long and don't feature as many different types of fireworks as in Japan.
I must say that it was a very different experience this year and I'm glad that I made the trip to Kyushu. It was the first time that I've been to western Japan and it was an interesting experience (people stand on the left side of the escalator in Fukuoka).
I hope you all had a good holiday season!