January was cold just like February is...but we are seeing the sun a bit more here in Hiroshima. So if I can grab a sunspot like a cat, it warms up quite nicely.
We enjoyed Japanese New Year, the Oshougatsu. It lasts for a few days. Everything pretty much shuts down, which is nice, unless you need to actually get food...
We stood in line to make it the temple. You make a wish or a prayer to start off the new year. There are lots of festivals and food and all sorts of fun things. This year is the year of the sheep. We ended up grabbing some sheep-related items as a momento.
A lot of people put these types of signage up during Shougatsu. I think some make their own but mostly you can just buy them at any convenience store or grocery store. They're pretty and we put ours up a bit longer than the actual holiday.
We visited one of the more famous shrines that weekend too. We bought a few trinkets that celebrate the year of the sheep from this place...gems and rocks and some charms.
We had a great hike up to the Peace Pagoda. It was a very mild day; sweating ensued while hiking up there!
We also got terribly sick in January. The influenza went rampant through Hiroshima and Gabe's school. They had to close the school down for 3 days in order to contain it the best they could. Gabe got it and then I got it. Then I got bronchitis. It was not fun. I never get enough sleep which means my immune system is shot most of the time. Boo. But we're healthy now....
We visited the cat cafe again and they had a new kitten! So we got to play around with her for a bit.
And as with any language, you put it in Google translate and you never know what craziness will ensue on the other end. I've taken a few pics now and then of some interesting English translation signs. This one was particularly funny!
We were sick half the month but we still managed to get out and do a few things. Archie started on nights again for January and February, but his schedule ends at the end of the month and during this night shift he works Sun-Thurs nights so we can at least have some family time on Saturday that is uninterrupted. But the rough work hours have been pretty rough.
Archie took a few days off so we could head up to Tokyo for Gabe's birthday. I'll post pics of that little adventure soon.
I'll end on a beautiful sunset.