new year

3 Tasty and Traditional Japanese New Year Dishes

The new year period, known as Oshogatsu, is a very significant occasion in Japan. Families gather, temples and shrines are visited, special new year’s cards (called nengajō) are exchanged and much preparation takes place, including a thorough cleaning of the house. A number of special dishes are exclusively eaten during the new year period as…

Celebrate the New Year at Universal Studios Japan’s Count Down Party!

As the year draws closer to its new beginning, I’m sure many of you are making plans and preparations for how to celebrate the upcoming New Year with either your family or friends. Some would opt to make domestic or international trips for the holidays or make plans to visit various attractions all over the…

Which of these 2 Beloved New Year TV Shows Do You Want to Watch?

Typically, Japanese people spend the new year eating soba (buckwheat noodles) for good luck and fortune in the coming year, while cleaning the bejeezus out of their homes and workplaces. However, there is a secret you may not know about. The wonderful magic that is Japanese New Year’s TV. There are two main choices, and…

Otoshidama: The Japanese Take On Holiday Giving!

Christmas and New Year’s mean many things in many different countries. While many western children are excited for Santa, leaving cookies and milk out for their portly patriarch, praying for the latest and greatest toy and gadget, Japanese children are waiting in the wings, biding their time for the greatest event of the year –…

Need Your Business to Prosper? Check Out the Toka Ebisu Festival!

Osaka, located in the Kansai region of Japan, is popularly known as a merchant town. Its businessmen show great skills in negotiations. In order to receive more good luck, businessmen try to receive charms for business prosperity by attending a festival called “Toka Ebisu.” It is primarily held at Imamiya Ebisu Shrine- a shrine dedicated…

Fukuwarai: Can You Make a Funny Face?

One of the traditional games played at ‘shinnenkai’ (New Year’s parties) in Japan is fukuwarai, which roughly means ‘lucky laugh’. Although usually played by children, adults do play it too sometimes. The game is pretty similar to ‘Pin the Tail on the Donkey’ which is a children’s game played in America. The History of the…

Techo: Get Organized in 2016 with a Japanese Planner

Now that 2016 is around the corner, you might have noticed a plethora of little books on display in every corner. Usually around this time of year, people start thinking about the year ahead. Planners in Japan are unique, extremely useful and very popular. In some cases, they are referred to as a “Life book”.…

Don’t Miss Out on Seeing Japan’s Royal Family in the Imperial Palace

The Japanese Imperial family is a symbol of the grace of the nation. All of them, for the most part, remain reserved and graceful in all situations. It is indeed enticing that the Imperial Family opens the gates to the palace on the days of the Emperor’s birthday (December 23rd) and the New Year greeting…

Mochi: Japan’s Dangerously Delicious New Year’s Treat

Unless you actually live here, you may not have encountered the staple Japanese New Year’s dish – Mochi! Subsequently, you may also not know that this food is not only delicious but occasionally deadly (but not as much as Fugu)! Let’s explore this wonderfully dangerous dish. What is it? jp.fotolia.com/ Mochi is pounded rice cakes…

Hotaru no Hikari: Japan’s Take on the Famous ’Auld Lange Syne’ Tune

Natives from Scotland, the US, and other English-speaking countries might be confused to hear the tune to “Auld Lange Syne” played over loudspeakers in stores in Japan minutes before closing. This phenomenon is all across Japan, in department stores, grocery stores, and even pachinko parlors. Why is this? If you ask a Japanese friend about…