How to Write Nengajo (Japanese New Year’s Card)

Hi there. It’s Mr. Wada back on duty. Are you ready for the New Year’s holiday? You know what, you might be forgetting something important. Yes, Nengajo cards! Here’s how to write Nengajo.

Please note that there are some ways/styles for writing Nengajo. The one I’m going to introduce in this post is just one of those and the usual way I do.


How to Write Nengajo (Japanese New Year’s Card)

Who to Send

In general, to friends, boss, family members (if you are away from them), etc. Anyone you think you should be nice to. There are no rules and it is totally up to you, but it would be awkward when you got one from a person who you didn’t send to. (-n-)…


How to Write Nengajo

Where to Get

It’s available at every post office and convenience stores in Japan. Price is the same as regular cards. You have options to pick designs you like.

How to Write Nengajo konbini and post office

How to Write Nengajo

Alright, let’s get started. I normally use a calligraphy pen for writing Nengajo cards. It gives a good touch.

Write the receiver’s and sender’s info on the front side.Front


Normally it starts with a greeting like “Happy New Year” (in Japanese ‘あけましておめでとうございます’ ‘賀正’ ‘謹賀新年’ ‘早春’ would be classy), messages for wishing well-being, good relationships,etc, date (2018 元旦: 2018 January 1st), and your name. It’s okay if you write in English. I believe your friends would feel your sincerity especially if you add your own message.

Did You Know?

You may FAIL writing a Nengajo and freak out sometimes. HOWEVER no worries. Take one(s) you screwed to the post office and they would trade it to a new one by 5 yen each! What a relief!!!

How to Write Nengajo post office

When to Send

Japan Post accepts Nengajo cards between December 15 – 25 to be delivered on the New Year’s day. If a Nengajo card was posted after this period, your cards would be delivered late. But if you miss it, don’t be bothered. It’s the thought that counts.



It’s just once a year, but it’s one way to keep in touch with people like ex-colleagues, friends, classmates, teachers, etc. Sort of good opportunity to stay connected right? We tend to have it done by email and messenger today but still we should cherish this tradition, don’t you think?

See you around!

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2 Responses

  1. フダ says:

    Dear Wada-san

    Thank you for this post!
    It gives me the motivation to write a Nengajo to my japanese friend this year and I hope she’ll likes it!
    (My Japanese is very basic at it’s best so I hope she can read my handwriting!?)

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