Dreaming of Mount Fuji on January 1

What will you dream about tonight?


A very cultured friend told me recently that Japanese celebrate 初夢 (hatsuyume) in addition to 初詣 (hatsumoude). At the very start of the new year, many Japanese visit local or famous shrines and temples to welcome the new year, a practice known as hatsumoude. Hatsuyume refers to the first dream of the new year, and many people wake up on January 2 trying to remember their dreams, which will reflect their fortune for the coming year.

The three luckiest dreams are Mount Fuji, hawk, and eggplant. This tradition dates to early Edo times. Have you ever dreamed of any of these? Will you be paying attention to your dream on the night of January 1, the first full night of the new year?

Wildlife in Kamakura

Wildlife in Kamakura, Dragonfly, Hasadera

A day trip to Kamakura to visit a Hitachi environmental strategist turned up many delightful wildlife within Tokyo’s commuter shed. Hasedera Temple has an amazing garden on a steep hillside with views of the ocean. Several types of dragonflies were there, including this amazing red one.

Red dragonfly, Hasedera Temple, Kamakura

Sunning themselves on lotus leaves were turtles.

Turtles, Hasedera Temple, Kamakura

Outside the temple, I was startled to see a swallow’s nest above a convenience store entrance. The young birds seemed unperturbed by people or commerce.

Swallows, convenience store, Kamakura

Equally ubiquitous were hawks, circling, squawking and apparently endangering beach picnics.

Hawk sign, Kamakura

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