New Year is one of the most important annual events in Japan. The word combines the characters for “correct” and “month,” reflecting the centrality of this 3-day occasion. During New Year, many people make their first visits of the year to shrines and temples, to offer thanks and pray for an auspicious future. New Year is also a time to connect with family and friends, and millions of Japanese travel to spend time with their relatives. Special dishes known as osechi-ryori are prepared for the occasion, where each type of food signifies a wish for the coming year.
A number of traditional decorations are associated with New Year, such as pine branches, bamboo, and rice cakes. As one of the most vibrant and beloved holidays in Japan, New Year offers the visitor numerous opportunities to experience the living traditions of the country.
Updated: 25 December, 2017