TOPMachiya & Kyoto GuideNew Year Osechi

Traditional New Year Breakfast: Osechi

Like many cultures in Japan, the 1st of January is a time for celebration with friends and family. In Japan, there are a number of New Year traditions that many people still honor to help welcome in the new year. From otoshidama money giving, the first shrine visit of the year, decorating the house auspiciously and more, New Years (oshogatsu お正月) is a busy and exciting time of the year.

One special tradition that we love partaking in is indulging in osechi – a selection of specialty dishes enjoyed on New Year’s Day in Japan. Every dish is carefully prepared and has special meaning in welcoming the new year.

Whilst there are small variations depending on the region, family traditions, or even modern additions, there are key ingredients and dishes that always make an appearance in traditional Japanese osechi cuisine. Broadly speaking, osechi dishes can be categorized in 5 main categories: celebratory appetizers, small appetizers, grilled dishes, vinegar-based dishes, and simmered dishes. You will usually find all of these small dishes carefully arranged in a tiered jubako – as it represents ‘stacking happiness on top of happiness’.

Have you had the chance to celebrate the new year the Japanese way? Guests who stay with MACHIYA RESIDENCE INN over the New Year holiday are able to enjoy a traditional osechi meal, produced by ‘Kiyojiirou’, a well-known Kyoto restaurant specializing in fine Kyoto cuisine. Contact our staff for more detail & information!


Want to learn more about new year traditions in Japan & Kyoto? Find out more here!



Follow Us on Instagram! machiyagram

Tag your photo with @machiyajapan, and share your machiya memories with us!

Discover More