This year I decided to spend New Years Eve with some friends at Zojoji temple in central Tokyo, bringing in 2012 with another ten thousand people or so. Despite the crowds the event looked spectacular, with thousands of balloons being released as the clock struck midnight and Tokyo Tower announced the New Year in glorious Technicolor. The baying masses also meant that I was oblivious to the sub-zero temperatures, and that rather than worrying about exposure I spent most of my time trying to avoid being crushed alive whilst cursing my sartorial choices of four layers plus sheepskin, as it meant that I was slowly broiling to death, something which was distinctly not part of my New Years resolutions.
After the crush at the temple, a couple of us went for a drink in a tiny bar somewhere in Shimo Kitazawa. Upon walking into said bar, the room fell silent as the locals unanimously turned to face the new arrivals. However, within seconds of this most auspicious of entrances we were being bought drinks by men in trilbies, and invited to further parties with fashion models (unfortunately mainly male). This culminated with an event in an even smaller room/ bar, where two girls sat in their best kimonos, whilst all around them collapsed into drunken debauchery. The highlight of which was a drunken Japanese man who had passed out and been drawn on to look like a panda/butterfly hybrid, something that definitely was part of my New Years resolutions. All in all an excellent start to 2012.