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Kansai Scene Magazine

Spreading Holiday Cheer


Spreading Holiday Cheer

The red leaves of autumn have come and gone and the cool winter winds have whistled their way back to Kansai, which means kurisumasu (Christmas) is around the corner! While Christmas is not generally celebrated throughout Japan the same way as in the West, that doesn’t mean you won’t hear plenty of holiday music, yuletide greetings, and see an abundance of festive decorations, albeit perhaps with a slight twist.

Oddly famous for KFC Christmas lunch and dinner specials, and for its secondto- none illuminations, Japan captures many of the charms of this Western holiday with its own unique spin.

With Christmas being more of a couples’ occasion than a family day (see page 20 for some romantic restaurant ideas), Japanese New Year (shougatsu – おしょう がつ) is family time where most people return to their hometowns to be with their relatives.

If you’re planning to be in Japan for the Christmas/New Year period, start practicing these useful holiday phrases now so you’re well equipped to ask what’s going on in your area, and to spread festive season cheer. Santa-san is coming to town!

Useful Expressions

How do you celebrate Christmas? クリスマスは どう いわいますか? Kurisumasu wa dou iwaimasuka?
Are you doing anything on Christmas eve? クリスマス エブは なに か しますか? Kurisumasu ebu wa nani ka shimasuka?
Are you going to any Christmas parties? クリスマス パーチィ に いきますか? Kurisumasu party ni ikimasuka?
Have you heard of any Christmas events or festivals happening around town? どこ か で クリスマスの イベント や フェ スティバルが ある か しってますか? Doko ka de kurisumasu no ibento ya fesutibaru ga aru ka shittemasuka?
Where is a good place to go and see Christmas lights? クリスマス の イルミネーション は どこ で みるのが いいですか? Kurisumasu no irumineeshon wa doko de mirunoga iidesuka?
Merry Christmas! メリー クリスマス! Merii kurisumasu!
Happy New Year! あけまして おめでとう ございます! Akemashite omedetou gozaimasu!
Are you getting time off over the new year? お正月は やすみが ありますか? Oshougatsu wa yasumi ga arimasuka?
Are you returning to your hometown for New Year’s? お正月に きせい しますか? Oshougatsu ni kisei shimasuka?
Where is your hometown? いなかは どこ ですか? Inaka wa doko desuka?
Do you eat the traditional foods – osechi and ozone? おせち とか おぞうね とか お正月 りょう りを たべますか? Osechi toka ozoune toka oshougatsu ryouri o tabemasuka?
What’s your new year’s resolution? しんねんの ほうふは なん ですか? Shin nen no houfu wa nan desuka?
Are you going to an end of year party? ぼうねんかいに いきますか? Bounenkai ni ikimasuka?
What are you doing on new year’s eve / day? おおみそか / がんじつ は なに を しますか? Oomisoka / ganjitsu wa nani o shimasuka?
Are you going to a new year’s party? しんねんかいに いきますか? Shin nen kai ni ikimasuka?
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