【2020-2021】 Wonderful connection of people from all over the world !

*This article is translated from the column "Hello from Kanazawa (No.4)" of Vancouver Shinpo.


*Original article of Vancouver Shinpo  (Japanese)




Hello, everyone.

This is Nina from Guest House Pongyi.

2021 has just started !


I have introduced our favorite spots in Kanazawa in the past 3 articles.

However, this time, I would like to show you what we did on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day at Pongyi !



New Year's Eve at Pongyi !


On Dec.31 2020, it was snowing in Kanazawa.




Pongyi spend "traditional Japanese style New Year's Eve and New Year's Day" with some guests every year.

For instance, we watch "Kohaku utagassen" (a special TV program of Dec. 31) getting under kotatsu, and eat "Toshikoshi-soba" (soba noodle that many Japanese people eat in the end of the year) together.


Our annual event,  wreath making for new year.



Pongyi way is "doing everything together and enjoy the process" !

So we made Toshikoshi-sobe together this time as well.



What Pongyi value is sharing the time and communicating each other.

However, it is very difficult to directly meet someone because of the COVID-19.

The social distancing is needed and is really important now.


Even in this difficult situation, we wanted to make a connection with people, that is why we have been seeking the possibilities of online and helding "Online Kanazawa Town Tour" since last summer.



2020-2021 Online Countdown and Hatsumoude !


Considering the current situation of the COVID-19, we planed " Pongyi Online Countdown and Hatsumoude" for the first time since we opened.

It is based on our wish " we would like to welcome the new year with people who cannot come to Japan or Kanazawa !"



The night that Pongyi common room connected to the world !

321 Happy New Year !


Fortunately, about 40 people participated.

There were from Australia, France, Hong Kong, and so on.

One of them woke up at 2 am to join because of the time difference.


After the countdown, we went to a shrine (Yasuehachimangu shrine) which stands near JR Kanazawa station.

The Hatsumoude (first shrine visit of the year) was also online, of course !

It was around 2 am in Japan time.








After listening to the ritual prayer and getting purified by a Shinto priest, we also dedicated ema (votive tablet) that the prayers of the participants are written.


We think everything went really well.

We could deliver the voice of the proest and the sound of bell in real time with ZOOM, and some of the participants told us that they could get the powerful energy through the screen.

Everyone got together in a screen and shared the time...that was amazing !


A participant said, " there are various kinds of forms of family, but this is definitely a new form of them !"


This experience taught us that "There is no distance between the hearts of people !" "Using online is not a negative thing. We realized there is something only online makes possible for sure ! "



Jan 1 2021, New start !


In morning of Jan. 1, we eat Ozoni (soup with rice cake).


Traditional Kanazawa style ozoni is very simple.

Usually, thin soy sauce baced soup, rice cakes and mitsuba, that's all !

Pongyi arrange the recipe a little bit... we add boiled fish paste and fried food.




This is "Fukuume".

The special Kanazawa sweet of new year.




The flower (plum) shape is related to the Maeda family crest.

* Maeda family was the feudal lord who governed Kanazawa in the samurai era.

Sweet red bean paste is in it.


By the way, fukuume is usually sold as a set of red and white colors (red and white are the fortunate colors in Japan).

In addition to this, Kagamimochi (a special rice cake of new year, an offering to Kami) colors are also red and white in Ishikawa prefecture (the area includes Kanazawa),


Our another annual event, Kakizome !

We wrote our new year's resolutions !


We hope our wishes come true !



2021 Let's have another great year !


We had a good start 2021!

We would like to stay positive, value the relationship with people and move forward !

We hope you have another great year !



Our online plans were broadcasted by HAB (Hokuriku Asahi Broadcasting Co., Ltd) on Jan. 6th.


HAB "Super J channel" (You Tube)
Also, Masaki made a video of Online Hatsumoude. (You Tube)


We are happy if you enjoy them, too !