new year

All About Japan’s First Sunrise of the Year and 5 Good Places to View It

Did you know that there are a variety of activities in Japan that you can participate in to mark the momentous occasion of the new year coming in? Other than letting your hair down during countdown parties or reflecting on the past year and making New Year’s resolutions, why not welcome the year the Japanese…

Feeling Lucky? Check These 5 New Year “Lucky Bags” in Japan This 2017

If you have been to Japan during the oshogatsu (お正月) i.e. Japanese New Year before, you probably have seen many people queuing outside department stores and shops to buy fukubukuros (福袋) i.e. fortune bags. If you have not witnessed this phenomenon personally, you might have seen footage of the frenzy caused by eager shoppers who…

Join the Fun at the Fall and Winter Events of Yomiuriland This 2016

Yomiuriland (よみうりランド) is one of the popular Japanese amusement parks in Tokyo. Located on the hillsides of Inagi City (稲城市), Yomiuriland has been welcoming and entertaining visitors since 1964. Last 2015, the total number of visitors reachjed over 1.7 million. They also launched “GUJJOBA! (グッジョバ!!)” or the Good Job Park in March 2016 where you…

Japan’s Traditional and Delicious 7-Herb Porridge Will Ward Off Evil Spirits

New Year holidays in Japan are typically celebrated for 3 days. However, on the 7th of January, this would be the day when people eat porridge or rice soup cooked with herbs known as nanakusa-gayu to bring health and longevity. The custom is called Nanakusa no sekku or the Festival of Seven Herbs. The porridge…

Wagashi Calendar: Hanabiramochi in January

The beginning of a new year brings lots of promise and hope to all as we start afresh with a clean slate. In the old Japanese calendar called kyuureki, January used to be called Mutsuki (睦月). Other than this term, January was also known by other names such as Mototsutsuki which means “first month of…

Did You Miss New Year in Japan? A Guide to Spending Your Next New Year in Nara

2016 is already here, and yet it’s never too late to take a look at the Japanese way of spending the night between years, and the first day of the new year. And what better place to explore the oshougatsu (お正月) practices, than the old capital, Nara. If you’re looking to spend the New Year…

Kagami Biraki: A Traditional Ceremony to Open Sake Barrels

Have you heard of a Japanese traditional ceremony known as kagami biraki? Kagami means “mirror” while biraki means “to open” so kagami biraki means “opening the mirror”. How does one open a mirror exactly? Actually, the Japanese people do not open mirrors during this ceremony. There are two versions of kagami biraki – one where…

All About Ozoni: Japan’s Traditional New Year Soup

When the current year draws to a close, the Japanese are busy with preparing for the upcoming oshogatsu (お正月) by cleaning up their houses, purchasing or preparing food to be cooked and eaten during the New Year holidays, travelling to their hometowns to reunite with their families or taking a much-deserved break overseas with their…

Dondo Yaki Bonfire Event to Bring Success and Good Health into the New Year!

During the New Year in Japan, you’ll notice that a large number of people purchased ornaments for their homes. However, now that the New Year celebrations are over, you may be wondering what the Japanese will be doing with all the beautiful ornaments that were used? Decorations syougatsutokusyuu.seesaa.net/ Kadomatsu, Shimekazari and Kagami mochi are the…

The Year of the Monkey Has Arrived! What Does It Mean for You?

2016 is already here, and for most people that means forgetting the past year’s problems and stress in order to start anew with fresh objectives. As it happens, in Japan this is a very special season full of Buddhist traditions and beliefs that merge with the progression of the Chinese calendar. This 2016, according to…
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