Japan Does It Better 5: Nengajō

NengajōI love the tradition of sending holiday cards to my friends and family. I also love that throughout December, my mailbox is a flurry of greetings from people I hear from regularly as well as those friends and family who only send greetings once a year.

In Japan, instead of sending Christmas cards and other holiday greetings, people exchange nengajō–New Year’s Day greetings. These greetings come in the form of postcards, either store-bought or handmade. Usually the messages are handwritten and the cards are always hand-addressed with the sender’s best calligraphy.

The best part of nengajō though–and this is where Japan Does It Better–if you send your cards during a window of time (usually mid to late December), the Japan Post Office holds the cards and delivers them ON New Year’s Day!!! Wouldn’t it be fun to open your mailbox on January 1st to find a flood of new year wishes from all of your family and friends?

The best.

According to this tweet (which includes a great picture of the delivery team), the Japan Post estimated 1.82 billion nengajō cards were sent throughout Japan on the first.

The cards pictured above were nengajō that I purchased at Mitsuwa last month. I filled them out on New Year’s Day, so they won’t be arriving anywhere on time, but the spirit is there. The one on the left says “Happy New Year” and the one on the right says “Welcoming Spring”, both typical nengajō greetings.

Nengajō and well-orchestrated New Year’s wishes…another reason Japan Does It Better!

(For more JDIB posts, click here.)

Tagged , ,

2 thoughts on “Japan Does It Better 5: Nengajō

  1. […] buying Japanese New Year cards (nengajo) for the past two years, I decided to try making my own for 2016. They were pretty […]

  2. […] as planners, Christmas, and New Years. If you’ve been around for awhile, you may remember this post that explains the Japanese tradition of sending nengajo, or new years postcards.  We found the […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: