Last day of the year.

What do we do? Well, we have to clean up. It’s the tradition here in Japan to clean the house from top to toe, so that’s what we’ve spent all afternoon doing.

Tonight? Well, there’s Kouhaku, also known as the Red and White Singing Contest. Imagine all the major and quite a few minor singers from your country all on the same show. They’re divided into two teams; red for girls, white for guys – don’t know the colour symbolism there. Then each ‘artist’ has one song to impress the judges, namely the audience, who vote with coloured balls. It’s the 56th one this year and it’s a little weird… actually it’s quite the train wreck of a show. I enjoy it for all the wrong reasons.

You also don’t have much choice. Two stations here have fights on – K-1 and Pride, both of which I’d rather NOT watch. There’s Beat Takashi, doing what he describes as “the same crap we do every year”. There’s pop concerts and documentaries from the stations who decide they can’t compete with the others.

Why watch TV on New Year’s Eve? Well, there aint much else to do in Japan! It’s too friggin’ cold for partying outdoors in the true Aussie style (like my New Year’s last year) and if you want to go to a club, you have to duke it out in Osaka which is too far away and I can’t be bothered with the bullshit of clubbing anymore. Much better to stay at home, drink a beer, eat some soba (traditional end of year food) and sushi and watch the singers do their thing.

At least we’ll have the midnight storming of the shrines to look forward, but I haven’t decided yet if I’ll go tonight or tomorrow… stay tuned I guess!