[Top 5] Japanese events in December / What Japanese do in December

This page consists of …

  • Top 5 major events in December
  • Brief guidance about 5 events
  • A piece of advise by webmaster

This page is to help the people :

  • Who want to know Japanese culture
  • Who want to know items Japanese like
  • Who want to enjoy staying in Japan


December is finally coming!


Yes, it is.


I want to know what’s happened in Japan.


No problem, I would like to introduce what we see in Japan in December !

With reading of this page, you will get above listed knowledges as well as Japanese have. I will be very glad if you could read this article to the end.

Thank you !


SHINTA+ / Japanese blog writer, born and raised in Japan, visited more than 20 countries, introducing Japanese culture to the world, with both domestic & international experiences.


’Oseibo’ is very traditional custom in Japan. In December, people give gift with appreciation in a year, to person to be indebted, like parents, business partners, etc. Drinks, Foods, Gift Certificates, are popular as a gift for ‘Oseibo’.

Bits of knowledge about ‘Oseibo’

  • Gift in December with appreciation in a year
  • To parents, business partners, etc
  • Drinks, Foods, Gift Certificate, etc
  • Special site is placed in department stores, internet shopping places, etc.

Oseibo is greeting in end of the year !


’Toji’ is in English, winter solstice. Daytime is short, it’s less than 10 hours in this season in most of parts in Japan. There are some customs in Japan, which Japanese do in winter solstice, eating pumpkin, taking citron floating bath, etc.

Bits of knowledge about ‘Tojii’

  • Winter Solstice
  • Major custom in Japan
    • Eating Pumpkin
    • Taking Yuzu-yu (Citron floating bath)
  • Daytime is less than 10 hours

Yusu-yu is really nice to get hot and it smell nice !

Kotoshi no Kanji (Kanji of the year)

Quotation sauce https://mainichi.jp/articles/20161212/k00/00e/040/167000c:

In middle of December, ‘Kotoshi no Kanji’ is selected by the Japan Kanji Aptitude Testing Foundation. One letter of Kanji is selected every year. As each of Kanji has own meaning, it is selected with consideration what happen in the year.

For example, in 2016, ‘金’ is selected. The letter has meaning of ‘Gold’. As Japan got lot of gold medals in Olympic Game of Rio De Janeiro, this letter became ‘Kotoshi no Kanji’.


Hope positive Kanji will be selected every year !


Christmas is not a national holiday, however, it’s very popular in Japan. A lot of Christmas decorations in the city, while it’s less religious compare with Christian countries. People enjoy the day with family, friends, and partners.

Bits of knowledge about ‘Christmas’

  • Christmas is not national holiday in Japan
  • Lot of decisions on the street
  • Enjoy with family, friends, partners
  • Santa Clause give gifts to children

There’s Christmas in Japan, but different from western countries.


’Omisoka’ is the last day of the year, 31st. December. Most of offices in government, private companies are closed, to prepare for new year day.

Bits of knowledge about ‘Ohmisoka’

  • Most of people are off, 12/31
  • Various custom in this day
    • Eating Soba noodles
    • Strike a bell, ‘Joya no Kane’, 108 times
    • TV program, ‘Kohaku Uta Gassen’
    • Big Lottery, ‘Nenmatsu Jumbo’

It’s good to be with family in Omisoka !


In the end, I would like to summarize the points of this article as follows

5 major events in December in Japan

  • Oseibo (Gift in winter)
  • Toji (Winter solstice)
  • Kotoshi no Kanji
  • Christmas
  • Omisoka (New Year eve)


December is very busy month in Japan


That’s all today.
How was the content today ?

I hope you could find something new about Japanese life in December . If you have a opportunity to come to Japan in this month, please carefully observe Japanese people. I believe you can find the facts in line with the article.

In the end, thank you very much for your reading and see you again !