Akemashite Omedetou Gozaimasu!

After a hectic year of eating on the cheap, travelling on the cheap, and using what we saved to splurge on Frappuccinos, it’s time to finally unwind and look forward to what the new year has to offer.

We like to start the year right by taking part in some longstanding Japanese traditions, like eating auspicious foods and bell-ringing at the temple while enjoying some more modern practices, like buying lucky bags and sending messages with cute Studio Ghibli stamps.

Wherever you are and however you choose to celebrate, we hope the first day of January is wonderful for you, and filled with all your favourite things. We’d also like to take this opportunity to say a heartfelt thank you for all your support over this past year — your readership and comments inspire us to keep searching for all of Japan’s secret gems, from hidden staff cafeterias to the little-known catspotting neighbourhoods of Nagasaki.

So as we kick back and take a short break on this public holiday, we’d like to raise a glass of New Year’s sake to you and say あけましておめでとうございます (“Akemashite Omedetou Gozaimasu”), or “Happy New Year”, as we wish you all the best for 2024.

We’re sincerely grateful to have such a wonderful community of readers from around the world and we look forward to sharing more news from Japan with you in the coming year!

Top image: Pakutaso, Gahag (1, 2) edited by SoraNews24
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