Study Abroad in Japan

With KCP International, you can earn more Japanese credit than you would in an entire year at your university. Plus, you can pick your start date!

Find out more

Learn Japanese Online

Immerse yourself in the heart of Tokyo with a wide variety of courses, flexible schedules and convenient packages you keep your experience easy!

Apply Now

Join Our Newsletter

Read all about Japanese immersion learning and studying abroad. Check out our eZasshi archives for more articles!

Maeve and fellow KCP student, Travis, at the Front Gate of Meiji-Jingu

Maeve’s New Year Experience in Japan

The New Year or Shōgatsu is probably Japan’s most important holiday. Many Japanese businesses close during so people can spend time with their families. The Japanese have a way of celebrating the end of a year and the beginning of a new one. Join KCP Summer 2022 Student Maeve  Hillengas as she shares her New Year experience in Japan!Waiting to get to the shrine, the many people

Maeve in her own words…

“There are two types of New Years, the Occidental and the Lunar New Year. Of these, Japan participates in both, though to varying degrees. In the Meiji Period Japan adopted more of the Gregorian Calendar, thus causing the Lunar New Year to start fading from Japanese life. Though you can still find traces of it as well as some celebrations like the fifteen day celebration in Yokohama for the Chinese Lunar New Year, complete with lion dancing and lanterns.

Maeve Hillengas praying at the shrineThis year, I went to the Meiji-Jingu; Meiji Shrine. Traditionally, many Japanese people will go to the shrines at midnight and make their prayers for the new year. However this will continue into the following day. I went the day of new year with friends. We met at the Harajuku Station and it took just over two hours to get from the station to the Shrine due to the sheer amount of people participating in this tradition.

Many Japanese households will put up kadomatsu, a traditional decoration made of bamboo and pine. There are also many street food stalls! I was happy to have eaten toshikoshi soba with my friends before the new year. It is an old Japanese tradition said to bring long life and prosperity in the year ahead.”

Sign-up for our newsletter

Read all about Japanese immersion learning and studying abroad. Check out our eZasshi archives for more articles!