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Greetings for Special Occasions


Greeting with appropriate words is important for socializing. Here are some useful expressions for special occasions.

Click the link to hear the pronunciation.

New Year's Celebration

The New Year is the most important time of the year in Japan. (just like Christmas in the west).

At the end of the year:


During New Year's days (Jan.1st to 3rd), up to the middle of January:


  • Happy New Year.
    Akemashite omedetou gozaimasu. (formal)
    Akemashite omedetou. (casual)

    "Akemasu" literally means "to open". "Kotoshi mo yoroshiku onegaishimasu (I look forward to our continued relationship over this year)" is often added after "Akemashite omedetou gozaimasu". To reply, "Kochira koso" is used.

    Seeing someone after a long absence


  • I haven't seen you in a long time.
    Gobusata shite imasu. (very formal)


There is a Japanese song titled "Ohisashiburi ne(お久しぶりね)". "Ne(ね)" is a sentence particle. Ne is used to seek confirmation and is similar to English expressions such as "right?" or "don't you agree?".

To reply to "Gobusata shite imasu," "Kochira koso (Same here)" is used. In casual conversations among friends, simply repeat "Hisashiburi!" or "Hisashiburi ne".

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