I just talked to a friend of mine recently who went back to France last summer because he couldn't find a full-time job in Osaka. Now, ony after six months, he is already talking about going back there. It's a familiar feeling. Things always seem better on the other side of the fence. But if you want to make the stay worth your time, you should plan beforehand.
新年明けましておめでとうごいざいます。今年も宜しくお願いします。Shinnen akemashite omedetou gozaimasu. Kotoshi mo yoroshiku onegai shimasu.
There are at least five important things related to the Japanese New Year:
1. Oosouji. Cleaning the house thoroughly before the yearend.
2. Osechi-ryouri. A special set of dishes prepared for oshougatsu (New Year).
3. Kouhaku Utagassen. A popular TV show where guys and gals compete against each other at singing.
4. Hatsumoude. Your first visit of the year to a shrine.
5. Otoshidama. A monetary gift for children.
In the west, we're more accustomed to seeing fireworks and making New Year's resolutions. Have you already made your New Year's resolution for 2010? I've written a New Year's resolution guide for you if you're interested in successfully fulfilling your objectives this year. Good luck!