Ringing in the New Year Japanese-style

new year in japan

After the craziness of Christmas we look forward to the slow pace of New Year’s here in Japan. It’s a lovely peaceful celebration for us – just our family of four and lots of food.

As usual I left everything to the last minute. By the time I made it to the store to get some flowers they had sold out of everything. Time to improvise! My garden is in a sorry state after a very hot and dry summer but I managed to find a few pretty camellia, some winter berries and a few sprigs of pine. My vases, the table runner and the wreath were all grabbed late on New Year’s Eve from the dollar shop. I think it turned out just fine. My family of boys really don’t expect perfection.

We’ll eat this food for breakfast then depending on the weather we’ll take a stroll down to our local shrine to pray for good health and prosperity. After that we’ll take the kids to the beach and hope for a breeze to fly their kites – a very old traditional New Year’s day past-time in Japan. It will be a very relaxing day.

Akemashite Omedetou Gozaimasu! (Japanese: Happy New Year everyone).


  1. .tif says:

    My time living in Japan was so much fun, and I have some of the best memories from my two new years’ spent there. One of the most fun seasons in Japan, in my opinion. I loved spending time with my home stay family, my church family, and friends eating お節料理 and playing games.


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