With careful attention spent on the first times you do many regular activities, I thought I would post a couple more of my firsts for 2013.

I had originally intended to wake up and watch the Hatsuhi or Hatsuhi-no-de (first sunrise) but I fell asleep. Oh well, the San’in region is better know for its setting sun than rising sun, right? (Nevertheless, my fellow CIR got some very nice pictures of the Hatsuhi from near here!

Then I saw my Hatsuyume (first dream), in which I went to Izumo Taisha and ate some array of pickled vegetables. It’s so fitting with the Japanese New Year theme that it’s almost boring! But what can I say, these things were on the brain. (I’ll get to the vegetables in the next post.)

Before I went to sleep, though, I wrote my Kakizome (first calligraphy), as well as my less standardized first rakugaki (doodle).

"Ishi"

“Ishi”

Hmm. My calligraphy could use a little work. A lot of work.

I went with “willpower” as my first writing of the new year to help reinforce one of my resolutions. It’s probably one of the most commonly chosen and commonly broken of resolutions, but I need to cut some sugar out of my diet. Sure, it has a bit to do with being a little healthier, but perhaps it has more to do with my addiction to dessert cafes–of which Matsue has plenty! It’s so easy to go run some errands and wind up sitting around at a cafe and reading a book and trying out different kinds of teas and desserts and running out of whatever cash I brought with me.

This one had a nice looking lunch menu, too! I'll have to try that sometime...
Had a tasty panini at this one first
Honestly, I came looking for lunch at this one! But they didn't serve any, so I had to eat a dessert sampler instead.

And these are only a small sample of the western style ones! Matsue still has a thriving green tea and wagashi (traditional Japanese confectionery) culture, after all. I suppose I don’t need to deny myself at those establishments, right? Right!? There goes my ishi now…

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