Speakin' Japanese: Winter holiday phrases

Speakin' Japanese: Winter holiday phrases

by Takahiro Takiguchi
Stripes Japan

During the holiday season in Japan, you will see KFCs filled on Christmas Day, while on New Year’s Eve, you will hear bells from temples heralding the arrival of the new year. Here are some useful Japanese words and phrases you can use during the holiday season.

“Kurisumasu wa doo sugoshimasu ka?” = How are you planning to spend Christmas day?
(“Kurisumasu” = Christmas day, “doo” = how, “sugoshimasu” = spend)

“Kanojo to Kentakkii ni ikimasu.” = I will go to Kentucky Fried Chicken with my girlfriend.
(“kanojo” = girlfriend, “kareshi” = boyfriend, “kentakkii” = KFC, “ikimasu” = will go)

“Kurisumasu keeki wo kaimashita.” = I bought a Christmas cake. “Kanpai shimashoo.” = Let’s make a toast.
(“keeki” = cake, “kaismashita” = bought)

“Santakuroosu ga pizza wo haitatsu shiteimasu.” =  Santa Claus is delivering a pizza.
(“santakuroosu” = Santa Claus, “haitatsu shiteimasu” = delivering)

“Yoi otoshi wo.” = Have a happy new year. (Greetings in the yearend)

“Joya-no-kane ga natte imasu.” = The New Year’s Eve bells are ringing.
(“Joya-no-Kane” = New Year’s Eve bell, “natte imasu” = are ringing)

“Hanabi ga agatte imasu.” = Fireworks are going off.
(“hanabi” = fireworks, “agatte imasu” = are going off)

“Akemashite omedeto gozaimasu!” = A happy new year! (Greetings)

“Kotoshimo yoroshiku onegai shimasu.” = I ask for your continued goodwill.

“Hatsumode wa dokoni ikimasu ka?” = What shrine/temple are you going to visit during the first of the year?
(“hatsumode” = first visit to a shrine/temple for the year, “dokoni” = to where, “ikimasu” = will go)

WHEN ON OKINAWA –

You can also say it in “Uchinaaguchi” (island dialect) like this:

“Iitosshi mukaikimi soori.” = Have a happy new year.

“Iisooguwachi deebiru.” = A happy new year! (greetings on Jan. 1)

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