[Top 5] Japanese events in new year day / What Japanese do in new year day

This page consists of …

  • Top 5 events in new year day in Japan
  • 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


Happy new year !


Happy new year for you too !


I want to enjoy new year day in Japan !


No problem, I would like to introduce popular events in New year days in Japan !

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.

Hatsu Hinode

’Hatsu Hinode’ is very important event for Japanese in the morning of new year day. ‘Hatsu’ means ‘First’, ‘Hinode’ means ‘Sunrise’. It’s said that it will be good year if we can see ‘Hatsu Hinode’.

In the morning of January 1st, ‘Hatsu Hinode’ is broadcasted in almost all TV program. Sunrise move from east to west. From western side of Mt. Fuji, we can see the sun rising from Mt. Fuji. It’s so beautiful.


Sunrise of new year day is very special for Japanese !

Osechi Ryori

’Osechi Ryori’ is the traditional foods in Japan, which is eating in new year days. We call it as ‘Osechi’. ‘Osechi Ryori’ is generally packed into square boxes. There are both homemade and buying in department stores.

Although the menu of ‘Osechi Ryori’ is slightly different in each area, there are mainly ‘Kuromame’ as black soy beans, ‘Kazunoko’ as herring roe, ‘Kamaboko’ as fish paste, ‘Kuwai’ as arrowhead, ‘Date-Maki’ as rolled omelet, etc.


It’s very happy event to eat OSECHI Ryori with family !

Otoshi Dama

’Otoshi dama’ is Japanese custom which elder person give money to children. Money is packed in small paper bag, called ‘Pochi-Bukuro’ when people hand it to children.

Children are really looking forward to new year day, to get ‘Otoshi Dama’. They get it from parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, and all adult relatives.


It was really happy event to get Otoshi dama in childhood !

Hatsu Moude

’Hatsu Moude’ is also very popular custom in new year day. People visit shrine and/or temple to pray health and good luck, peace in family, etc, to make coming year be happy.

We can see many people wearing Kimono as Japanese traditional wear, who is going to ‘Hatsu Moude’ on the street to the shrines and temples in new year day.


Japanese pray to have happy peaceful year !

Nenga Jo

’Nenga-Jo’ is a postcards to make greeting of new year. If people post ‘Nenga-Jo’ before Christmas Day, it will be distributed in new year day. Postman are working in new year day, to distribute ‘ Nenga-Jo’ to each addressees.

Japan post as largest seller of ‘Nenga-Jo’ sell their own new year cards, in which number of lottery is printed. If people win the lottery, they can get electrical goods, traveling, etc.


Japanese Postman work new year day to deliver Nenga-Jo !


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

Top 5 events in New Year day in Japan

  • Hatsu Hinode
  • Osechi Ryori
  • Otoshi Dama
  • Hatsu Moude
  • Nenga-jo


New Year day is with very happy atmosphere in Japan


How was the content today ?

Japanese do various things in January 1st, to celebrate new year. Actually, I did all things in this article, in new year day of 2020 and had done since I was the child.

I hope you can find the things around Japanese new year though this article. If you have a chance to come to Japan in January 1st, you might have a chance to see them.

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