<Learn about Japanese New Year>
The Japanese New Year (Shogatsu,) is an annual festival with its own customs.
Japanese people eat a selection of dishes during the New Year celebration called osechi-ryori, typically shortened to osechi. There are many variations of osechi, and some foods eaten in one region are not eaten in other places (or are considered unfortunate or even banned) on New Year's Day. Another popular dish is ozoni, a soup with mochi rice cake and other ingredients that differ based on various regions of Japan.
Another custom is to create and eat rice cakes (mocha-tsuki,). Boiled sticky rice (mochigome,) is put into a wooden bucket-like container usu and patted with water by one person while another person hits it with a large wooden mallet. Mashing the rice, it forms a sticky white dumpling.
The end of December and the beginning of January are the busiest times for the Japanese post offices. The Japanese have a custom of sending New Year's Day postcards (nengajo,) to their friends and relatives, similar to the Western custom of sending Christmas cards.
Most of nengajo have the Chinese zodiac sign of the New Year as their design, or conventional greetings, or both. The Chinese zodiac has a cycle of 12 years. Each year is represented by an animal. The animals are, in order: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig.
Addressing is generally done by hand, and is an opportunity to demonstrate one's handwriting. The postcards may have spaces for the sender to write a personal message. Blank cards are available, so people can hand-write or draw their own.
Special New Year for you !
Our New Year Plan promises to give you a fantastic New Year in Japan. You can learn Japanese traditions and cultures for New Year with us including some students from MEILINKAN.
Program: December 31th to January 3rd (New Year)
Application deadline: December 20th
To make the plan cheaper, you can join in the tour just for a few days as well (please talk to us)
The 1st Day (December 31th)
・Arriving at Ise <Picking up>
・DONDO BI (Traditional bonfire at Ise Jingu)
・Having Osechi (Traditional Japanese food for New Year)
・Having Toshikoshi Soba (Year-crossing soba)
The 2nd Day (January 1st)
・Hatsuhinode (the first sunrise of the year)
・Mochi-tsuki (pounding rice cake)
・Having the Mochi together
・Karuta (traditional popular card game in Japan)
・Dinner (Hot-pot together)
The 3rd Day (January 2nd)
・Having Ozoni as breakfast (Japanese traditional soup dish for New Year)
・Kakizome with students from MEILINKAN (experience of special calligraphy for New Year)
・Writing Nengajo (New Year's post card) for someone who you want to send
・Having Ise-Udon as lunch (specific Udon in Ise)
・Onsen in Futami (Hot spring)
・Cultural Exchange (eg. teach us some traditional dish from your country and cook together!)
The 4th Day (January 3rd)
※The order of the schedule could change
Price: 48,000 yen (tax excluded)
Now message us to book your trip! → Contact us