Many Japanese customers spend new years eve at home watching television such as kohaku, red and white team, singing show and traditionally some eat soba noodles for good luck and long health.The month leading up to the end of the year is spent cleaning. Washing the curtains, wiping the walls, cleaning up the garden, washing all the windows inside and out, dusting the curtain rails and lights, polishing wooden floors and taking out the cooking equipment and crockery for making dishes for new years day lunch.The day before new years day is called oumisoka
On New years day or shougatsu (正月) it is common for people to visit either their local shrine or the largest shrine close by to home or a shrine that has significance to them and to pray.
Picture: Soba Noodles
Picture: On the way to a local shrine
This photo shows the crush of the crowd of people in Tokyo today making their way to a local shrine
Some families prepare a selection of dishes known as osechi ryouri which can be made up of a wide selection of foods. Vegetables, meat, fish and fruit. Those with time still make each dish while those people who are very busy may buy from a local store.
Picture: Making a traditional kadamatsu decoration
< Houses and business are proudly displaying kadomatsu - traditional new year ornaments.
The new years period is a very busy period for Japanese customers cleaning, catching up with friends relatives and family, travelling to a shrine, praying for the new year, eating and celebrating.
How are you communicating with your Japanese customers over the new year period?