明けましておめでとう!( = Akemashite omedetou) Happy New Year!


= Akemashite omedetou!

= “Happy New Year!”


 = Otoshidama wa?

= “Where is your New Year gift money for me?”


Happy New Year, everyone! :P

A new year has just started! I hope you can learn something new in this lesson!

Are we ready??

(Oh, in case you are reading this lesson before the new year starts, go to よいお年を( = yoi otoshiwo) lesson.

You don’t say 明けましておめでとう ( = akemashite omdetou)  “Happy New Year ” until a new year starts. )

OK, let’s start from these phrases today!


= Akemashite omedetou gozaimasu.



 = Shinnen omedetou gozaimasu.

= Happy New Year!

* 明ける ( = akeru) to start/ to change

年が明ける ( = toshi ga akeru) to start a new year  

⏩ 夜が明ける ( = Yo ga akeru) dawn

*おめでとう( = omedetou) Congratulations/Happy ~ + ございます。 polite ending


= Otanjoubi omdetou (gozaimasu.)

Happy Birthday!


= Gokekkon omedetou (gozaimasu.)

Congratulations on your wedding!


= Goukaku omedetou (gozaimasu.)

Congratulations on passing a test!


= Kotoshi mo yoroshiku onegai shimasu.

= Thank you for all your support for this year in advance.

* 今年   ( = kotoshi) or   本年  ( = honnen) this year

*も  ( = mo) also, (this year), too


 = yoroshiku onegai shimasu.

or 宜しくお願い致します。

=  yoroshiku onegai itashimasu.

Note: 致します( = itashimasu.) is more formal.

When you have a favor to ask someone or expect someone to take care of you or do something for you, or you want them to be nice to you, you can use this phrase asking favors.

Note : As I have mentioned before, young people tend to abbreviate words or phrases for fun.

Can you guess how they abbreviate


= あけましておめでとうございます。ことしもよろしくおねがいします。

= Akemashite omedetou gozaimasu. Kotoshi mo yoroshiku onegai shimasu.


= Akeome! Koto yoro! 

→People have been using this for many years now so you may not hear this eventually.

Cultural note :  年賀状 ( = nengajou)

 Japanese people exchange 年賀状 ( = nengajou) , New Year’s greeting cards, for New Year’s Day.  It is similar to how Christmas cards are exchanged in Western countries. However many young people have stopped sending the New Year’s cards and they just send a short message or stamp on LINE ( messenger app) instead.

年賀状 ( = nengajou) should be delivered after the new year has started not in December.

There are particular mailboxes or mail slots for 年賀状 ( = nengajou) and people mail them before December 31st.

The post office will hold them and start to deliver them on Jan.1st. You can buy the blank 年賀状  ( = nengajou) at 郵便局   ( = yuubinkyoku) a post office.

Each card has lottery numbers and if you win, you get a prize. 当選番号  ( = tousen bangou ) The winning lottery numbers are announced on the paper or the internet in the middle of January.

Winners get 懸賞  ( = kenshou) prizes such as 郵便切手  ( = kitte) postal stamps, rewards that you can use when you go shopping  etc.

That is why they are called お年玉年賀状(葉書)  ( = otoshidam nenagjou (hagaki) ) New Year’s postcard with New Year’s gift ( = lottery numbers)

There are also special stamps with lottery numbers, お年玉付き郵便切手  ( = otoshidama tsuki yuubin kitte.)

⭐️What is お年玉 ( = otoshidama)?

It is customary to give young children some money in a little envelope called ポチ袋  ( = pochi bukuro) on New Year’s Day. It is called お年玉  (  = otoshidama). Some children get a lot of money during the New Year’s holidays. According to a survey, elementary school students get $200~$300 per year on average. (Not a bad haul, right?)

⭐️ What do you write in 年賀状 (  = nengajou)?

Besides, the above-mentioned,


 = Akemashite omedetou gozaimasu



 = Kotoshi mo yoroshiku onegai shimasu. 

and personal messages, many people write or use postcards printed the following words:

⭐️謹賀新年 ( = kinga shinen) or 賀正 ( = gashou), Happy New Year or Celebration of a new year.

迎春  ( = geishun) Welcoming spring

These expressions are just used in print and rarely in conversation.

Another interesting characteristic of these postcards is the animals.

Every year Japanese draw or print the picture of the present year’s 干支 ( = eto) Chinese Zodiac symbol animal for the year.

(Note : The year 2024 is  辰年= たつどし= tatsu doshi = a year of dragon) 🐉

*十二支   ( = juunishi) The twelve zodiac signs in Chinese Astrology.It operates on a 12-year cycle.

• 子  ( = ne)  ねずみ/  ( = nezumi) rat, mouse

( = ushi) ox

(  = tora) tiger

( = u) うさぎ/兎 ( = usagi) rabbit

辰  ( = tatsu) ( = tatsu/ryuu) dragon

巳 ( = mi) (  = hebi) snake

   (  =  uma) horse

羊 ( =  hitsuji) sheep

(  = saru) monkey 

  ( = tori) rooster

( = inu) dog

亥  ( = i) 猪  ( = i/inoshishi) wild boar

Ex. 寅年  ( = toradoshi) A year of tiger

🔸 See the difference in the kanji we use for Eto?

Note :

「あなたの干支は?( = Anatano eto wa?) “What is your Chinese animal sign?” could be a trick question because you might accidentally end up revealing your age! (So watch out!)

 Cultural note :

If one of your family members has passed away during the year and you are still in mourning , you should not send 年賀状 ( = nengajou) . Instead, you have to send 喪中葉書 ( = mochuu hagaki) to inform people you are in mourning.

And if you receive a 喪中葉書  ( = mochuu hagaki), you should not send 年賀状  ( = nengajou) to that person.

You should also NOT wish 


= Akemashite omedetou gozaimasu.

“Happy New Year!”

to anyone who has lost a family member.


<Other New Year’s related words>

•1月1日( = Ichigatsu tsuitachi) New Year’s Day, January 1st

• 元日  ( = ganjitsu) January 1st

• 元旦  ( = gantan) The morning of January 1st.

• 正月  ( = shougatsu) New year’s holidays

• 正月三が日  ( = shougatsu sanganichi) The first three days of the New Year

• 年始  ( = nenshi) beginning of the year

:rrrr: 年始の挨拶  ( = nenshi no aisatsu wo suru) New Year’s greeting, the first visit of the year

初詣  ( = hatsumoude) The first visit to the shrine

It is traditional to go to a shrine or a temple in New Year’s in Japan. Since it is the first visit of the year, it is called 初詣  ( = hatsumoude).

Note : 初   ( = hatsu/sho) means the first time. (See the Hajimemashite lesson!)

:rrrr: 初夢  ( = hatsuyume) the first dream of the year:

It is considered to be good luck if you dream about 富士山 (=fujisan) Mt.Fuji, 鷹  ( = taka) a hawk, and  なすび  ( = nasubi) an eggplant)

⏩ 初日の出  ( = hatsu hinode) the first sunrise of the year.

There must be lots of ( = hatsu) experiences in January. Can you think of any?

Go check my other New Year Related Lessons.


⏩ 新年の抱負  ( = shinnen no houfu) New Year’s Resolutions

福袋 ( = fukubukuro) Lucky Bags


frenchbulldog マギー先生より  ( = Maggie sensei yori)  From Maggie


 = Kotoshi mo kono burogu de minasan no nihogo ga motto jouzu ni naru you ni watashi mo ganbarimasu kara nee~!

I will do my best to help you improve your Japanese!






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    1. As you said you use te-form to connect sentences
      = I got busier after a new year started.

      This is a set phrase for greeting, but you use the polite form, まして to connect sentences for formal speech.


    1. @jo

      It is very limited but you can convert some verbs into adjectives using しい
      change the last sound ~ u → ~ ashii

      騒ぐ = さわぐ = sawagu = to make a noise
      → adj: 騒がしい = さわがしい = sawagashii = noisy

      喜ぶ = よろこぶ = yorokobu = to be/become happy, pleased (English translation is adjective but it is a verb)
      → adj.: 喜ばしい = よろこばしい = yorokobashii = joyful

      疑う = うたがう = utagau = to doubt
      → adj.疑わしい = うたがわしい= utagawashii = doubtful

      嘆く= なげく = nageku = to lament
      → adj.嘆かわしい= なげかわしい= nagekawashii = lamentable

  1. Man.. I feel just weird. I’ve been going to school in Japan for almost a year now… and I had no idea how to say this until today…. my school can be a pain in the ass… making me look all gaijinish.



  2. My friend just referred me to this website and I like it a lot. I found it very useful and full of content. Thank you so much for doing this!!!!!

  3. Thank you so much for making this site and teaching us Japanese even in every bit of detail. I am so grateful and relieved that I found your site! Please keep being this awesome! !JYANE! !niconico!  !heartsippai! boucingheart!

  4. ありがと誤差います!!あけましておめでとう 誤差います!!!!マジ手すごい!!!!!!

    1. @errolronal
       明けましておめでとうございます。:) Thank you for visiting this site!
      Hope you come back again.
      (A little correction : ありがとうございます。
      Kanji 「誤差います」→You can write ”御座います” but we usually use hiragana. 「ございます。」)

  5. マギー先生、おはよー! (*^◯^*)
    他のレッスンでありがとう! また勉強になった!


    1. @Matteo Nassini


  6. なるほど!
    I have read some people saying “あげまして” instead of あけまして. I don’t think they are native Japanese speakers. Is this an alternate saying or a mistake?


    1. @songbanana

      Never heard of あげまして. You are right. They are not native Japanese speakers.
      Anyway 明けましておめでとう!!

  7. すごいレッソンですよ!とにがく、おとしだまがどこですか?wwwwwじょうだん、じょうだん!あけましておめでとうございます!

    1. @applezoid

      You wanna お年玉?Sure!
      :u: !onpu!

      Everybody! Go visit J.Geeks! It’s a great site!

      今年もよろしくね! :)

      1. oh! おすすめくれてありがとうございます!しつれいしましたごめんなさい!lol


        このレッソンはJGeeksのFacebook Pageでおすすみました。僕のおとしだまです!

    1. @akakumo

      ありがとう!!!akakumoもよいお年をお迎え下さいね。来年もまた一緒に勉強しましょう!! !onpu!

  8. :*:・。,☆゚’・:*:・。,ヽ(・∀・)人(・∀・)ノ ,。・:*:・゚’☆,。・:*:

    1. sakuragaOkaさん

      いつも読んでくれてありがとう!!!とっても嬉しいです!! :maggie-small:

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