The New Year is called oshôgatsu (お正月).
There are two ways of saying "Happy New Year":
- Until December 31: yoi otoshi o (良いお年を)
- From January 1:
- shinnen omedetô (gozaimasu) (新年おめでとう (ございます) ); or,
- akemashite omedetô (gozaimasu) (明けましておめでとう (ございます) ).
They literally mean "Happy New Year" and "Congratulations for the New Year which is beginning".
In a formal situation, it is appropriate to say yoï otoshi o omukae kudassaï (良いお年をお迎えください).
To shinnen omedetô gozaimasu, which is the most widely used phrase, the response is: kotoshi mo yoroshiku onegaishimasu (今年もよろしくお願いします) to convey the wish of a continuing good relationship for another year. It is often translated as: "Please treat me well this year, too" or "I look forward to your continued good will in the coming year."
With friends and people that you know well, you can sometimes use the shorter akeome (明けおめ) for "Happy New Year" and kotoyoro (ことよろ) for "please treat me well this year, too."
For "See you next year," you can use: mata rainen (また来年).
If you want to read more about the Japanese New Year and its traditions, see our article below "New Year traditions in Japan."
On behalf of Kanpai, we wish you all a Happy New Year!