Japanese New Year’s Postcards
If you have been watching Japanese TV or have been to a post office in the last week you will notice a lot of advertisements of Japanese New Year's greeting cards, or nengajo. This is the tradition of sending a year-end postcard to friends, family or—in the case of a business—to a client, wishing them a prosperous new year, similar to holiday greeting card traditions elsewhere. And with the cold weather now well and truly here, creating nengajo is a fantastic indoor activity to do with kids as well.
First off, you need to create the front design. Plain New Year’s cards can be a blank canvas for your child’s imagination, or a family photo makes a great nengajo cover. A personalized message on the other side completes the design.
Most home printers can be used to print directly onto the postcards, otherwise many online shops in Japan offer nengajo printing services.
Nengajo can be purchased at post offices nationwide for ¥52 per card. This price includes postage to anywhere within Japan. Even better, this year Japan Post introduced a new ¥18 nenga stamp, which, when affixed to a regular nangajo, will enable it to be sent to anywhere in the world. That’s a total cost of just ¥70 per card; a much better deal than trying to send a whole stack of Western-style holiday cards overseas.
So why not try something new this year for friends and family by sending a unique Japanese-style card and message? They’ll be fun for the whole family to write, and a real treat for recipients to find in the mailbox.
In addition to post offices nationwide, nenga stamps and postcards can be purchased from the on the Japan Post website. The site is available in Japanese only, and please note that shipping is only available within Japan.