Jan.1, 2021 Happy New Year! May this be a happy and fruitful year.

New year started amid pandemic in Japan. New Year festivities were subdued because Tokyo reported over 1,300 daily coronavirus cases for the first time since the outbreak. Nearly 229,000 cases of COVID-19 nationwide, including 3,349 death.

New Year holidays is the biggest holiday in Japan and many people visit shrines by train. Railways in Tokyo metropolitan area stopped running trains all night on New Year’s Even to stem the spread of infection.

According to our family tradition, we visited Hie Shrine in Akasaka with careful attention to infection. It was a beautiful day on Jan 1 in Tokyo. The shrine is usually very crowded, but this time was different. Worshippers wore masks keeping a meter apart from one another to wait in line for worhip.

We bought Omikuji fortune slips for other family members. An Omikuji tells your fortune for the year, and there are six levels of luck ranging from Daikichi (great luck) to Daikyo (very bad luck). Mine was "Shokichi" (small blessing), and I decided to cherish my small luck for 2021.