A New Year’s Story…

Written by Lorna Shapiro

Turns out that in Japan, New Year’s, not Christmas is the family time.  And an important part of that is to see the first sunrise and say prayers for friends and family, and for a good year.  The first sunrise is called Goraeko (pronounced go-ra-eh-ko).  Vic and I were having New Year’s eve dinner with our two live-in Japanese ladies and they inquired about where they might go to view the first sunrise.  One thing led to another and before I knew it I had suggested that I’d get up and drive the two of them and Chisato (with whom I travelled in Japan) to the Cypress Mountain lookout to see the first sunrise.  When we arrived at the lookout at 7:45 AM Jan 1, the parking lot was already almost full and 98% of the people standing out in the cold morning to welcome the first sunrise were either Japanese or Korean (where this is also a tradition).  The other 2 % of us were Caucasian’s accompanying our Japanese or Korean family or friends… So, while you were perhaps enjoying a sleep-in, I was on top of the mountain welcoming the Goraeko and the new year!  Hope to see some of you there next year 🙂