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Happy New Year to all of you lovely people! 2016 went by awfully fast, but I’d like to believe it’s to bring even better tidings for the new year.

明けましておめでとうございます!本年もどうぞ宜しくお願いします。あっという間に2017年になってしまいましたが、それは2016年より更に良い出来事が待っているからだと思いたいです。

 

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This New Year’s day, my friend Mika and I visited Kurumazaki Shrine, or “Entertainment Shrine,” in Akasaka, a popular place for those working in the entertainment industry to pray for success in the new year. As a rule, you are not allowed to pay these New Year visits to the shrine if a family member or friend passed away the previous year, which is why I hadn’t done this in about 3-4 years. We made our little prayers, drew our omikuji (paper fortune) for the year, and ate a delicious bowl of ozouni, or hot broth with mochi.

今年の元日は、友達のみかちゃんと赤坂の車折神社へ初詣に行ってきました。芸能神社とも呼ばれているこちらの神社は、芸能界で働いている人、芸能界で成功したい人が主に訪れる所だそうです。ここ数年、家族の事情もあり、初詣をすることができなかったのですが、今年は必ず行こうと決めていました。みかちゃんとお祈りをし、おみくじを引いて、心までほっこりする美味しいお雑煮をいただきました。

 

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Mika is like the little sister I never had, and like me, she moved from southern California to Japan in order to pursue her dream in the Japanese entertainment industry. She recently started a Youtube channel where she teaches English slang to Japanese speakers, and I’m so proud of what she has accomplished so far. Even though I consider her my little sister, she is a huge support to me, and I hope I can truly be the best big sister to her, too. I love you, Mika, and let’s make 2017 our year!

みかちゃんは私の可愛い後輩で、私と同じくカリフォルニアから日本へ渡って、芸能活動を頑張りたいという思いで現在日本をベースに仕事しています。そんな彼女は最近、簡単な英語スラングを分かりやすく教えるYoutubeチャンネルも立ち上げたので、是非見てみて下さい!私もまだまだ未熟者で、彼女にも沢山支えられていますが、私もできるだけ「お姉さん」という立場を意識してちゃんと見守ってやりたいです。みかりん、いつもありがとう❤️ 今年もお互い頑張ろうね!

48 comments

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Your pictures are making me extremely jealous as I want to go to Japan so badly! I hope you had a great New Years love!

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This is such a cool concept! I love the traditions you have. And the two of you are adorable. It’s so great that you have someone there who feels like family that you can lean on. Have a Happy New Year babe!

xx Yasmin
http://banglesandbungalows.com

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Wow, I love these photos! You and Mika look so pretty! This takes me back to all those beautiful shrines in Japan. I went to the Meiji Shrine in Tokyo on Dec 31 of 2009 and it was so rammed with people. We stood as the emperor rang the bell 108 times. Honestly, it was cold standing outside for that long. That’s one of the reasons why I never planned on seeing the ball drop in New York.
I hope this is a very prosperous year for you, and that you experience great happiness and success! I’m excited to see what’s in store for you in 2017!

Xo,
Miki
http://mikialamode.com

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Happy New Year, Samantha! x

http://www.insearchofsheila.com

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Happy New Year to you my love! I hope to see you again soon!

http://www.thequinoxfashion.com/

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Aw! What a great post. Happy New Year. 🙂

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That’s a wonderful Japanese tradition and I’m sure your prayers were not lost as you will have an excellent 2017 sweetie! As for Mika teaching Japanese people American slang, that has got to be the funniest ever to watch. I wish I understood some Japanese so I could watch her videos 🙂

xoxo
Thomas

http://thomasfalkenstedt.com

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aww you two so adorable! It is pretty cool that your friend doing Youtube. I’m so scared to start own channel. Happy New Year!

http://www.queenhorsfall.com/

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Beautiful photos! Happy New Year Samantha! 🙂 xx

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Japan looks amazing! I’ve never been to Asia but can’t wait to go!

Caitlin, Beauty & Colour

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Happy New Year!

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2017 will definitely be a good year to remember, I can feel it! 🙂 What a cool tradition! Japan looks like such a beautiful country. I hope to be able to visit there one day.

xo, Jo
http://www.cutandchic.com

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So inspiring that your friend Mika moved to Japan to pursue her dreams! If we all followed our dreams, everyone would be much happier in their lives. I wish you both a wonderful 2017!

http://www.thebeautybeau.com

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aw looks like an amazing time!
http://www.cecelam.com/2016/12/new-era.html

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What a way to kick off the new year! It sounds like you got to enjoy something really special with a dear friend, and that’s such a great thing to kick off of in 2017. This year is gonna be amazing for you, I just know it! 🙂

Stephanie // SheSawStyle.com

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This does look like the perfect cultural outing for the start of the new year. The shot of you and your friend is so cute! I think when you move, it is so important and tough to find new friends, it’s a great thing that you guys found each other!
xx Jenelle
http://www.inspiringwit.com/

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Lovely photos darling! Happy new year! Hope that 2017 is filled with lots of joy, happiness, and success for you xo, sharon

http://www.stylelullaby.com/beauty/transitioning-skin-care-routine-winter-skinfix/

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Hello dear!!
Such a cool post, love the photography.
Have a great year!!!
xx
Eva
http://www.themermaidfashion.com

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Happy new year!
I love your pictures you took, new year looks awesome in Japan 😀

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happy new year, samantha

http://briandikasoemardi.blogspot.co.id/

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Happy New Year Sam! Wishing you the best in 2017! You and your friend have accomplished so much. Very proud of the both of you. When you have dreams, you must go out there and fulfill them. Thanks for sharing this place! It is gorgeous!
http://www.averysweetblog.com/

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You ladies look so pretty! and I love the idea of visiting an entertainment shrine. Did you buy anything while you were there?
I’m such a big fan of red and all the color here too.What kind of entertainer is Mika btw? I actually like that you can’t go visit if someone has passed recently. I think it helps with respectfulness. Happy New Year! <3
xx Belle

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Looks like you had a great time welcoming 2017. Friends like sisters are the best thing ever, you both look so adorbs!!
xx, Kusum | http://www.sveeteskapes.com

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Happy new year to you too! Looks like you had so much fun 🙂

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Happy New Year! Beautiful photos!

http://roadesque.com
http://ourruins.com

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Your photos are beautiful – I really enjoy looking into other peoples cultures and far away places. Happy New Year! Can’t wait to see what 2017 has in store!
XO
http://www.lehoarder.com/

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Hehe that’s so cool that your sister is also living in Japan to pursue her goals. You guys are so inspiring! It must be hard to live in Japan at times (cause of the culture difference). I’ll definitely check out her channel. 🙂

http://www.atsunamatsui.com

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Happy New Years Samantha! this is such a beautiful post!! thank you for sharing this special place Kurumazaki Shrine and these amazing photos!!! and also about your friendship with Mika!!!

Xx, Gina

http://www.artsyrunway.com

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It’s so wonderful that you were able to finally visit the shrine! It must’ve been such an amazing experience. You and Mika are such beauties! It’s awesome that she’s pursuing her dream and has such amazing support from you! Cheers to a new year! Hope you have an amazing one.

XO Jenn
https://jennsemble.com/

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Love the relationship you have with Mika, so special to have a friend that you feel could be family. Sounds like you all had a great time together ringing in 2017. Wishing you only good things in the year to come ! Happy New Year !
xx, gracie
snappedbygracie.com

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Happy New Year to you babe! It such a great moment to read some year opener post for 2017 and I really love yours. I hope you had such a great holiday!

Elisha | http://loveelisha.net

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Mika really looks like your little sister!! I want to visit Japan so bad after seeing all these pictures. I hope you had a wonderful holiday and I wish you a happy new year Sam!!

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This place looks amazing!
You are so beautiful!!!
Happy New Year girl, I wish you all the best!

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Happy new year babe!!! Such a wonderful place and pictures.

xo
Marcy

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Happy New Year darling! I have loved getting to know you in 2016. Can’t see what will be your new projects in 2017.

Bisous, Josie
http://petiteandbold.com

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nice post, like it 🙂
Kisses 🙂

http://itsmetijana.blogspot.rs/

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What a beautiful tradition! Hope your little wishes may come true <3
XO Charissa – http://www.ladygoldapple.com

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Love these photos! I hope to visit soon and I would love to meet you! You and Mika are so beautiful and your amazing friendship! Hope you have a great year!

Linh
http://www.xcapewithlinh.com

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you are so interesting ! If you ever come to California we should grab a coffee! Love these pics happy 2017!
francesca
Frank Vinyl : A California Fashion Blog

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Happy New Year Samantha! I wish you a good 2017 and may modeling career will go more further. Im such a big fan!

x
Thenewgirl

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Hey Love, Happy 2017:)
So Sweet Photo about you and Her:) and i love thr tradition:)
You are so Gorgeous in your Photos I wish 2017 will be Amazing Year for You:)
Kissss

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My spouse and I absolutely love your blog and find most of your post’s to be precisely what I’m looking for. can you offer guest writers to write content for you personally? I wouldn’t mind creating an article or elaborating on some of the subjects you write concerning here. Cool blog!

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It looks like 2017 is off to a great start!! Love all of these shots.

xo
http://aasoren.com

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This looks like such fun place to go to! I hope you have a successful year!

http://aloveaffairblog.com

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Happy new year, so good you found a new friend like you moving from the States to try something creative in Japan. So courageous and exciting xx
MA

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Wow girl, I you makes me want to visit so bad now. The images are so beautiful and I can’t wait to visit soon. Thanks for sharing.

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Eager to come here when viewing your beautiful photos!

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