7 Recommended Ways to Enjoy Japanese New Year!

7 Recommended Ways to Enjoy Japanese New Year!

Are you going to stay in our country Japan in December or January? If so, you should enjoy Japanese New Year! New Year’s holiday “Oshougatsu” is a time for us to meet our friends and relatives and to enjoy seasonal foods. During the holiday we have traditional events and customs you may be interested in. I will tell you how and where you can enjoy Japanese New Year.



 

7 Recommended Ways to Enjoy Japanese New Year!

 

1. Toshikoshi Soba

7 Recommended Ways to Enjoy Japanese New Year!toshikoshi soba

We eat toshikoshi soba (buckwheat noodles) on New Year’s Eve around midnight to wish for a long life or long-lasting tie with families. You can try it at the hotel you stay or a nearby soba restaurant.

 

2. Purification bells

7 Recommended Ways to Enjoy Japanese New Year!Purification bells

Temple bells are rung on New Year’s Eve around midnight to get rid of evil desires. Some temples allow ordinary people to ring their bells called “Joya no Kane”. You may be lucky enough to do so at a nearby temple.

 

3. TV Shows

7 Recommended Ways to Enjoy Japanese New Year!tv show

Many of us feel New Year is coming when watching Kouhaku Uta Gassen on New Year’s Eve. This TV show gives you a time to enjoy songs and performances by popular music artists in Japan. If you prefer more refined evening, you’d better listen to classical music. Especially, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony is performed in various places during the New Year’s season. Some of the concerts are aired on TV.

 

4. New Year’s Foods

7 Recommended Ways to Enjoy Japanese New Year!osechi

Osechi-ryori is a must for Japanese New Year. It is lucky foods to bring happiness and it is traditionally made at home before New Year’s Day. These days Japanese people came to buy Osechi at a supermarket or a department store instead of cooking it at home. Osechi often comes in elaborate bento boxes. Some hotels serve Osechi menu, so you’d better ask the hotel staff about Osechi service when you make a hotel reservation. Also you can enjoy Amazake (fermented rice drink) and Oshiruko (sweet bean soup with rice cake) at a nearby shrine or a café.

 

5. First Sunrise

7 Recommended Ways to Enjoy Japanese New Year!first sunrise

Going to see the first sunrise of the year is popular among us. People go to mountaintops, observation towers or beaches to pray for health and family wellbeing. Mt. Fuji and Mt. Takao are among popular places to go. Usually people have to walk a long way in a cold night to see beautiful sunrise. You may need enough strength to enjoy the marvelous view.

 

6. Games

7 Recommended Ways to Enjoy Japanese New Year!hanetsuki

Hanetsuki (Japanese badminton), Takoage (kite flying) and Komamawashi (top spinning) are some of traditional games played during the New Year’s holiday. Although fewer children are seen playing these games nowadays, some cities hold events to enjoy some of them. Check their official web sites. You may find such an event held nearby.

 

7. Something beautiful to see

7 Recommended Ways to Enjoy Japanese New Year!kadomatsu

Some of us go out wearing beautiful kimono during New Year’s holidays. Many shops put New Year’s decorations called Kadomatsu at the entrance. Something traditional and beautiful can be found by just walking around the place you stay at.

 

Conclusion

There are various local events and traditions to celebrate New Year in our country. If you want to enjoy New Year with us, Come and join us here! I’m sure you can find a lot of fun! However, Be careful not to be overweight by eating Japanese foods too much because Japanese foods are really delicious! Anyway, have a fun on your trip!

 

7 Recommended Ways to Enjoy Japanese New Year!

1. Toshikoshi Soba
2. Purification bells
3. TV Shows
4. New Year’s Foods
5. First Sunrise
6. Games
7. Something beautiful to see