Shogatsu, or New Year's holidays, are a special time for Japanese, who typically revisit and take part in long-standing traditions. It's a time when those who left their hometowns go back to visit their families, invite relatives and friends to their homes and wear kimono. It's also a time for foreigners spending the holidays in Japan to get a taste of the country's traditions. Below are some of the traditions Japanese participate in over the New Year's holidays.


Kakizome, the direct translation of which is "first writing," is the first calligraphy written in the new year, typically on Jan. 2.