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by Shiori Fukuoka | Apr 01, 2020

Explore special things in Japan during New Year Holiday

The new year occasion in Japan is quietly tranquil, formal, and there are not many noisy parties, fireworks, or countdown events.

If you want to get away from the crowds and celebrate the New Year in the brand new way, Japan will be your destination for you. Those are 6 things you must add to your must-try-list before starting your trip to Cherry Blossom’s land on January 1st.

O-sechi ryori

O-sechi ryori is a new spring rice dish, which represents good luck, prosperity and family health for a whole year. This rice cuisine usually consists of a wide variety of foods, which is exquisitely decorated. Traditional families will spend a day preparing their rice tray for the New Year; busy families or those who do not have much time to prepare will order this cuisine at Japanese restaurants. A lot of restaurants offer preparation services for new year rice with reasonable price and excellent quality. You can enjoy osechi at a traditional restaurant.

Joya no kane

Every year on New Year's Eve, temples across Japan will ring their bells 108 times - this event is called joya no kane. The number 108 represents the number of human desires, according to Buddhist beliefs. Joya no kane is a ritual to look at negative emotions of the past year and towards a better new year.

Toshikoshi soba

Toshikoshi soba, or soba in short, is a traditional noodle dish enjoyed by the Japanese people on New Year's Eve. This noodle dish is simply made of cooked noodles with broth and a few pieces of onion. This cuisine symbolize long life, similar to the traditional Chinese longevity noodles.


Mochi cake has long been an indispensable gift of Japanese when new year is coming. These sweet round cakes are even used for decoration or being gifts for relatives. Many people would like to make homemade mochi, others want to buy it from the famous bakery in the city. Whatever, you will also be invited to enjoy mochi when visiting Japanese homes during the New Year.


During the first three days of the New Year, the Japanese people visit the temples and shrines to pray for happiness, health and blessings for themselves, families and friends in the New Year. This ritual is called Hastumode. Buddhist temples and shrines are crowded with people on this occasion, creating a festive and uproarious atmosphere.


One more thing that is indispensable for a complete trip to Japan in New Year is Hatsuhinode. The Hatsuhinode is the ritual which people watch the sunrise on the first day of the coming year. People will gather at the top of the mountain, observatories, beaches, wait for the sun to rise, and send into that moment wishful aspirations for everyone.

To conclude, this is also a chance for you to enjoy the new year moments in a country which is rich in cultures and rituals. Maybe you are confused that you do not have any detailed plan to have those full experiences. Don’t worry, Asia Senses Travel claims to be a companion to make a great trip for you.