Japanese Public Holidays and Annual Occasions • Simply One Cookbook


Your information to Japanese public holidays and annual occasions—from Japanese New 12 months to summer season festivals to Winter Solstice!

Japan is a rustic wealthy in traditions and celebrations, with a calendar stuffed with public holidays and annual occasions that vividly mirror its historical past, customs, and the altering seasons. These events provide a novel perception into Japanese tradition, permitting each locals and guests to immerse themselves within the magnificence and variety of the nation.

On this article, our aim is to make clear a number of the most vital Japanese public holidays and annual occasions that outline the rhythm of life within the nation. If you happen to occur to be in Japan throughout these holidays, you’ll have the prospect to expertise the festivities firsthand. Nevertheless, even in case you’re not in Japan, we encourage you to deliver the spirit of those celebrations into your personal house or local people!

Whether or not it’s internet hosting a grand feast on New 12 months’s Day, throwing a picnic beneath the blooming cherry blossoms in spring, or collaborating in a lantern ritual throughout Obon, these occasions are great alternatives for us to attach with the wealthy heritage of Japan. We hope you’ll get to make use of this as your reference all year long.


New 12 months’s Day (Shogatsu, 正月)

Osechi ryori in 3 tier boxes.
  • New 12 months’s Day, often known as Shogatsu, is likely one of the most necessary holidays in Japan.
  • Households come collectively to have a good time with conventional rituals, together with visiting shrines or temples for hatsumode (the primary shrine go to of the yr).
  • Most outlets, eating places, and vacationer points of interest are closed throughout the 1st three days of the brand new yr.
  • Osechi Ryori, a particular New 12 months’s meal with symbolic dishes, is ready to deliver good luck and prosperity.

🎍🍱 Extra good reads:

Coming of Age Day (Seijin no Hello, 成人の日)

  • Celebrated on the second Monday of January, Coming of Age Day honors those that have turned 20, marking the age of authorized maturity in Japan.
  • Younger adults costume in conventional garments and attend ceremonies to have a good time this milestone. Girls put on furisode kimono (振り袖) and males put on a western-style swimsuit or haori hakama (羽織袴). 


Japanese Bean Throwing Pageant (Setsubun, 節分)

Setsubun: The Japanese Bean Throwing Festival | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com
  • Setsubun, celebrated on February third, marks the start of spring.
  • Individuals take part within the ritual of mamemaki (bean throwing) to drive away evil spirits and eat ehomaki sushi rolls to ask luck.

👺 Study how one can have a good time Setsubun at house!

Valentine’s Day

Rich and smooth Nama Chocolate in a box.

In Japan, Valentine’s Day is widely known fairly uniquely. It’s customary for girls to precise their emotions by presenting presents, usually goodies, to males. Nevertheless, there’s a separate day (see March) when males reciprocate with presents for the ladies who gave them goodies. So, it will likely be a good change.


Doll’s Pageant or Japanese Women’ Day (Hinamatsuri, 雛祭り)

Hina Ningyo (Hinamatsuri)
  • Hinamatsuri, which takes place yearly on March third, is an annual competition celebrated to want for the well being and happiness of younger women.
  • Japanese households with younger daughters mark this big day by adorning their houses with hina dolls and indulging in festive meals like Chirashi Sushi, Clam Soup, and Ichigo Daifuku.
  • The competition additionally serves as a harbinger of spring, with spring-themed colours prominently featured in decorations at houses, retailer home windows, and school rooms.

🎎 Study extra about the origin and how one can have a good time Hinamatsuri.

White Day

  • White Day in Japan is widely known on March 14th, precisely one month after Valentine’s Day. White Day is the day for males to reciprocate.
  • Males would give white-themed presents, reminiscent of white chocolate, marshmallows, or different sweets, to precise their emotions of appreciation and affection.
  • The custom emphasizes the significance of reciprocation and mutual appreciation in relationships.

Cherry Blossom Viewing (Hanami, 花見)

A white oval plate containing two Hanami Dango, served with matcha green tea.
  • Springtime brings the long-lasting cherry blossoms (sakura) to life, and hanami events are held in parks throughout the nation.
  • Households and mates collect to benefit from the fleeting great thing about cherry blossoms, symbolizing the transient nature of life.

🍡 Rejoice cherry blossom season with these widespread meals at house!

🌸 Take a look at the cherry blossom forecast in Japanese and English.

Late April to Could

Golden Week (ゴールデンウィーク)

  • Golden Week marks the start of an prolonged trip interval in Japan, that includes a sequence of public holidays from late April to early Could.
  • The vacations included in Golden Week are Structure Memorial Day, Greenery Day, Showa Day, and Youngsters’s Day. Many Japanese people take break day work for journey and leisure throughout this time. If you happen to occur to be in Japan throughout Golden Week, anticipate crowds in widespread vacationer areas.

Youngsters’s Day (Kodomo no hello, こどもの日)

A bizenware plate containing Kashiwa Mochi.
  • Youngsters’s Day is a nationwide vacation that takes place towards the top of Golden Week each Could fifth.
  • Japanese households come collectively to honor youngsters for his or her strengths and to hope for his or her well being and happiness.
  • Some of the noteworthy customs of Youngsters’s Day is the ornament of colourful carp fish-shaped flags that adorn the balconies of residential homes, making a brilliantly festive sight to behold.

🎏 Study how one can have a good time Youngsters’s Day with your loved ones.

June to August

Summer time Festivals (Matsuri, 祭り)

Yokohama Sparkling Twilight fireworks festival - Japan's Fireworks Hanabi | www.justonecookbook.com
  • Matsuri are vibrant and energetic occasions that seize the essence of Japanese summer season. Numerous conventional and trendy festivals happen throughout the nation from June to August.
  • Some of the iconic options is the ‘hanabi’ or fireworks shows that illuminate the evening sky in a stunning array of colours.
  • Additionally, don’t miss making an attempt out all the long-lasting avenue meals whilst you’re there!

🎆 🍧 Extra enjoyable reads:

Obon Pageant (Obon – お盆)

Bon Odori
  • Obon, usually noticed in July and August, is a time to honor ancestors’ spirits by rituals and festivals.
  • Bon odori dances, lantern shows, and visits to ancestral graves are frequent throughout this era.
  • Outdoors of Japan, Obon is essentially the most celebrated Japanese competition in lots of nations with a good measurement of Japanese inhabitants.


Respect for the Aged Day (Keiro no Hello, 敬老の日)

  • Held on the third Monday of September, Respect for the Aged Day honors aged residents.
  • Households typically categorical gratitude by spending time with grandparents and presenting presents.

Japanese Mid-Autumn Pageant (Tsukimi, 中秋の名月)

Tsukimi Dango on a black plate.
  • Tsukimi, the Japanese Mid-Autumn Pageant, is a time when folks come collectively to understand the great thing about the total moon.
  • Usually celebrated in September or October, Tsukimi is marked by numerous customs, together with gatherings with household and mates to get pleasure from moon viewing.
  • It’s a good time to check out Tsukimi dishes or Tsukimi Ryōri (月見料理) that characteristic seasonal meals and different particular dishes that ignite pictures of the total moon.

🎑 Study extra concerning the celebration of Tsukimi and how one can observe this custom in your yard.


Ceremony of Passage Pageant (Shichi-Go-San, 七五三)

  • Shichi-Go-San, held yearly on November 15, marks the ceremony of passage for youngsters turning three, 5, and 7 years outdated.
  • Households go to shrines to hope for the youngsters’s well-being and future development.


Toji (Winter Solstice, 冬至)

  • Toji, the Japanese winter solstice, normally falls round December twenty second. At the present time marks the shortest day and the longest evening of the yr, symbolizing the return of longer daylight as winter progresses.
  • We advocate trying out native shrines and temples for Toji Matsuri or Tojisai (冬至祭), the Winter Solstice Pageant.
  • If you happen to’re in Japan round this time, deal with your self to an onsen and dine at eating places that serve seasonal meals.

♨️ Study extra concerning the Celebration of Toji.

Christmas (Kurisumasu, クリスマス)

Overlooking a road lined with illuminated trees
  • Whereas not a public vacation, Christmas is widely known in Japan with festive illuminations, decorations, and the change of presents.
  • It has turn out to be a romantic vacation for {couples}, with Christmas Eve thought of a particular date evening.

🎄Learn: Prime Tokyo Illumination Spots

New 12 months’s Eve (Omisoka, 大晦日)

A Japanese bowl containing Toshikoshi Soba Noodle Soup with fish cake and wakame seaweed.
  • New 12 months’s Eve, or “Ōmisoka,” is a cherished event marked by a mix of conventional customs and modern festivities.
  • From sushi to Shabu Shabu to Sukiyaki, every household has a unique custom for New 12 months’s Eve dinner. Within the night, the nation eagerly anticipates the annual “Kōhaku Uta Gassen,” a preferred music present that has been broadcast on New 12 months’s Eve for many years.
  • Most individuals keep up till midnight to hearken to the 108 chimes of temple bells, often known as joya no kane (除夜の鐘).
  • It’s a should to eat Toshikoshi Soba because the lengthy noodles symbolize longevity.

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