With winter in Tokyo comes the arrival of the sweet potato vendors. All day long these guys wheel around a cart that has a wood fire burning inside. They are cooking and selling the sweet potatoes that they grew on their farms just outside the city. The megaphone at the top of the cart lets them call out as they traverse through the streets. One vendor is often parked outside the gates to my work in the morning. Though the potato itself is rather dry and bland, kept inside the bag, it makes a fabulous lap warmer for ridiculously cold offices, and the sweet earthy aroma is out of this world.
Also during the winter, the Tokyo Dome area becomes illuminated.
The tradition for Christmas here in Tokyo is a little odd. Apparently it is a big date night during which couples eat fried chicken (?!) Since I was in California for the 25th, rather than venture to KFC all by his lonesome, Ryan decided to wander around the dome and check out all the cool lights instead.
Oh and one other thing that happens during winter is a visit from the christmas chopperman. Just kidding. We have no idea why this grown man is dressed up, but we love that he is wearing the pink version of the silly hat the grad students gave me, along with what I guess is a pink reindeer costume (but do reindeers have tails like that? I am so confused).