New Year's Walking

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At midnight, we visited Fudoson temple with Chris and Elli. We rang the big bell - nobody was counting the tolls, I wonder if we got to 108 - had some amazake, listened to the monks chanting Sanskrit and Japanese blessings, then stepped into the temple to greet the gods there. That was pretty special, it's unusual to be invited into the sanctum itself. The monk greeted me with "Happy New Year" in English, which brought a smile to both of us.

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This afternoon, after a slow morning and a breakfast that might as well be called lunch, we were ready to move a bit and we walked up from home to Futatsuyama, where we'd been told there was a beautiful view. There is and my snaps do not do it justice. 
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You can see clear across our valley, west to Miura and Yokohama, northwest towards Tokyo, and south to Oshima. We even glimpsed Mt. Fuji in the haze of clouds.

Our house is always invisible. It is odd, actually. You barely even see it as you approach it on the road and it seems to hide behind hills and trees in all photos and vistas. You can't see it here, but we know it is on the other side of that hill in the foreground.

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