The lovely photo on the right is what I might have seen this year if I hadn't spent New Years in the dojo. This may sound a little 'extreme' even for me. My friends definitely thought I was crazy. But, it was a once in a life-time opportunity and I think New Year is over-rated anyway.
Back in the days of the Yoyogi-dojo, a hard midnight training session was the traditional way to 'goshi' (bring in/cross into) the new year. While Toshi-goshi keiko (年越し) hasn’t been held since, Sensei decided that we’d revive the tradition for 2008.
There was a certain 'energy' about the place at training. While it was only meant to be a short session (11-12.30pm) I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised that we were still training at 2am. In the end, Sensei gave us such a work out we hadn’t given much thought to the New Year and it wasn’t until about 12.30 that we realised we’d trained right through the countdown.
Afterwards Sensei brought out a bunch of mandarins (customary new years food) and we all sat around and chatted for another hour or so before finally making our exit. Can't say it beats partying until the wee hours, but it was definitely a New Years I won't forget ;)