When you come to Japan, I recommend that you experience Japanese New Year.
The reason why is New Year’s eve and day is most important day for Japanese people in the year. So everyone in the family gets together and eats a feast and watching TV children can get money as Otoshidama.
In New year’s eve we eat Soba as Toshikoshisoba and watch special TV program.
Toshikoshisoba means the soba noodles eaten on New Year’s Eve because soba noodle is long so we hope long life and soba is easy to bite off so we hope we cut bad luck like soba.
Then at midnight we go to shrine to Hatsumoude.
Hatsumoude means first visit to shrine.
We draw an Omikuji. An Omikuji is fortune slip, so we can tell our fortune of new year. It’s very fun.
On New Year’s day, we eat Ozoni and Osechi. These are traditional Japanese food and get money from relative and eat a feast and just relax .
So we often say Shogatsu-Butori. (shougatsu means new year ; futori = means getting fat). Together, they mean gaining weight for New Years.
Japanese New Year is very fun but please be careful about Shogatsu-Butori.