Very short update here, I am rather busy. I will be going to Europe in February to clean up things and consolidate assets and put a few other plans into action.
So, the last week I have been busy with packing, buying presents (mostly whacky Japanese food), letting friends know when I want to crash on their couch, getting my clothes washed (and hopefully dried) on time, and making plans in general.
Tomorrow is the start of the Japanese festival called setsubun. It is a kind of festival to oust the demons of the winter – and the ones lurking inside you, while they’re at it. I have not been able to find out whether this is now a Shinto or Buddhist tradition, both shrines and temples seem to be very busy with preparations for it. But then again, often there is no real distinction made between those two religions in Japan anyway. One of the bigger setsubun festivities, including a huge bonfire in the evening, will take place at Yoshida shrine near my place. With a bit of luck, I have time to go and see it.