An apology, running and new year.

First, I KNOW I said my next post would be about my snowboarding trip. It isn’t.

Instead, it is three things about new year in Japan.

1) Running.

Every year (first week In January) is the Hakone Ekiden (relay marathon) race involving the top 20 university running teams in the Kanto region.

 Between ten runners, 2 days and over 200 kilometres, they run from Ōtemachi to Hakone and back again.

The highly prestigious and nationally televised event is watched by millions, and I have now watched it two years in a row. The ‘King of the hill’ (literally) is a guy called Ryuji Kashiwabara, and has been on the winning team 3 out of the 4 races he has been running in, along with setting records all over the place.

A guy went the wrong way- metres from the finish line last year.

the whole affair reminded of this blog entry I found. Although I don’t completely agree, running this much at this time of year must surely be questioned…!

 2) A local artist.

On New Year’s Day, I went for a wander around the outskirts of east Tokyo, as I did last year. On my travels I met a local artist. He does photography and surfs. A really nice guy and his work is awesome- here is his website.

www.mikihiko.com

3) Food. Again.

Japan is an incredible place for food, and I have said to people that Japan is the hardest place I’ve been for vegetarians, second only to New Zealand (in my opinion). But, the Japanese seem to be a bit more polite about it! It is, at times, also not for the faint of heart or shallow of wallet.

During new year, a lot of mochi is eaten.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mochi

And we had an amazing osechi.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osechi

RIGHT! now I have my photos, the next update WILL be my snowboarding trip!

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