Shogatsu: The Japanese New Year Celebration

Are you familiar with Shogatsu? This Japanese New Year celebration takes place during the first three days of January. Shogatsu is a time for families to come together and share memories and meals. Some people travel from far away to get back to their hometowns and reconnect with loved ones. For others, gathering around a table at a Japanese restaurant is a great way to experience this type of gathering. There are many traditions celebrated during this holiday that centers on the ideas of reflections, relationships, and nourishment.

Reflections

Families begin the New Year by watching the sunrise and going to temples to pray for the upcoming year. They place importance on letting go of the past year’s worries. During the first day of Shogatsu, no one is supposed to do any work, so going out to eat at a traditional Japanese restaurant is a great option.

Relationships

The New Year continues with wonderful traditions such as nengajo. Nengajo are similar to holiday greeting cards. They are carefully handmade to express gratefulness and hope for loved ones and they always include images of special places as well as the year’s zodiac. The zodiac for 2016 is the year of the monkey.

Nourishment

Although there are many traditions surrounding Shogatsu, Japanese food takes center stage during this holiday. Some families in Japan might take weeks to prepare boxes of traditional meals. Be sure to go to an authentic Japanese restaurant to experience the different dishes. Also, try tasting the sweetened rice wine known as otoso.

To experience a happy New Year and Japanese food in San Jose, visit House of Genji. Call us today at (408) 453-8120 to make a reservation. We pride ourselves in creating a memorable Japanese dining experience. Gather around one of our iron Tappan tables as our chefs prepare delicious food right in front of you! You will certainly bring in the year of the monkey with a delicious meal and a joyful time.