Happy New Year in Japanese: 10+ ways to say

Happy New Year everyone! けましておめでとうございます! We hope you’ve enjoyed a great time with your loved ones during these holidays.

In Japanese, you can say the phrase “Happy New Year” with various expressions. It partly depends on whether you’re in December or January, but ultimately it comes down to personal preference, too.

How to “Congragulate” Something in Japanese

Akemashite omedetou gozaimasu.

What a wonderful expression to get familiar with. The word けまして is based on the ideogram ““, composed of the sun (日) and the moon (月). This kanji has many meanings, among which you’ll find ‘bright’, ‘dawn’, and ‘changing’.

けましておめでとう is celebrating the dawn of a new year, or simply speaking, the new year’s opening. おめでとうございます is the phrase you’ll use for congratulations in various situations, marriages, birthdays and graduations.

These are some ways in which you can use おめでとうございます:

Gokekkon omedetou gozaimasu.
Congratulations on your marriage.

Goukaku omedetou gozaimasu.
Congratulations on passing the exam.

Otanjoubi omedetou gozaimasu.
Happy birthday.

Check out our other blog posts on Japanese New Year:

Different Ways to Say “Happy New Year!”

You’ll also find several variations for saying the expression. The most basic one would be akemashite omedetou, but you can change them if you want to spruce something more interesting.

Akemashite omedetou gozaimasu.
Happiness to you on the dawn [of a New Year]

Shinnen omedetou gozaimasu.
Happy New Year!

Shinnen, akemashite omedetou gozaimasu.
Happiness to you on the dawn of a New Year.

If you’re late to give your wishes, you’ll have to politely apologize.

Okurebasenagara, akemashite omedetou gozaimasu.
It is a little late, but Happy New Year.

Douzo yoroshiku onegai itashimasu.
I look forward to being with you.

When wishing a happy new year in Japanese, you’ll also say 今年(ことし)もどうぞよろしくお(ねが)いします which can be translated as “we’ll be counting on you this year as well”.

Keep in mind that the expression can’t be translated easily. Depending on the context, it may have various meanings.

When following new year wishes, the phrase calls for a good relationship this year as well. For most Japanese, it’s a custom greeting mostly used when you are around your colleagues and clients.

Indicating “This Year”

‘This year’ can be expressed with 今年ことし, more natural and friendly or with 本年ほんねん, in a formal document and polite letter.

Happy New Year. Without change, I will be counting on you this year as well.

(おく)ればせながら、本年(ほんねん)もどうぞ よろしくお(ねが)いいたします。
It’s a little late, but I will be counting on you this year as well.

挨拶(あいさつ)(おく)れましたが、(あ)けましておめでとうございます。 本年(ほんねん)もどうぞよろしくお(ねが)いいたします。
I am late to present my salutations, but Happy New Year. I will be counting on you this year as well.

When giving your wishes to your boss, make sure to thank him for his guidance!

This year as well, I will be counting on your guidance.

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