How to say Happy New Year in Japanese

The New Year is called  お正月 / oshôgatsu.

In Japanese there are two ways of saying Happy New Year:

  • Until December 31: 良いお年を / yoi otoshi o
  • From January 1: (新年) 明けましておめでとう (ございます) / (shinnen) akemashite omedetô (gozaimasu)

These mean literally “Happy New Year” and “Congratulations for the New Year which is beginning”.

In reply to the second sentence, which is used the most, the response is: 今年もよろしくお願いします / kotoshi mo yoroshiku onegaishimasu

With friends and people that you know well, you can sometimes use the shorter 明けおめ / akeome et ことよろ / kotoyoro.

For “See you next  year” say また来年 / mata rainen.

For all the traditions associated with the Japanese New Year, see our article “New Year traditions in Japan.”

On behalf of Kanpai, we wish you all an excellent New Year!

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