Monthly Archives: December 2011

Akemashite Omedetou!
By Vijay

Hey Minna-san (everyone),

Hope all of you are having a great New Year’s Eve, or if you’re already waking up to New Year’s Day, hope you’ve got a whole fun day planned out for yourself!   If you have friends in Japan, be sure to message them today, as it’s the start of a New Year – (called ‘O-Shougatsu’ – ‘お正月’ or 1st month of the year) for them.   Wish them a happy new year as well as good fortune all year round.  Be sure to also include the phrase “Shin-nen akemashite, omedetou gozaimasu!”, which means Congratulations on the New Year!

New Year's Day called 'Oshougatsu' - お正月

In Japan, it’s tradition to visit the temples in Kyoto to pray for things like good luck, more money, a relationship, or possibly adventure.   I really love to visit Japan during this time of year, mostly because everything is decorated nicely, and people are in great spirits.

Here’s a picture from reader, Kenta Nakagawa, who submitted a photo of traditional Japanese food eaten on New Years:

Traditional Japanese Food on New Years - submitted by Kenta N.

If you live in Japan or have any pictures from this time of the year, share them with us!  Include a little caption of what you were doing, or who you were with, and anything else you’d like us to know.  We’ll feature them up on this site.  Send your pictures to

From all of us at GJ,

Shin-nen akemashite, omedetou gozaimasu! (Happy New Year’s 2012)

New Site
By Vijay

Hey guys, I had some time this break to update Ganbare. :) I was finally able to move the site from being just a regular ol’ HTML site to a full on blog site that can be updated by multiple users.

What that basically means is – the site is easier than ever for me to update, and any of my friends who are helping me out with GJ can update the site too without knowing code. As a result, you can expect to see more blogs and new content being published more often! Yay! It took me a while to figure out how to do all this stuff, but I’m truly glad I got my hands dirty and figured out how to get all the ‘web gears’ working together.

The site temporarily has a new basic, design. In moving everything, I sort of lost the other design that Cindy and Crystal put together so nicely for me. Still, this is the best I could do in their absence while they’re out doing their thing. In any case, I might update the design again – or I may leave it as be until I get all the main content pages and stuff up on here. That’s basically my new big task. I’m working on getting more online lessons up and also a Joyo Kanji list so people can study necessary kanji & vocab to pass JLPT exams. There’ll be some games and quizzes up as well in the near future..

Hope all of you are having a wonderful holiday season! Ganbatte Kudasai!


Merry Christmas!
By Naveen

A little something more for your Christmas spirit. Happy Holidays!


Merry Christmas メッリークリスマス!
By Vijay

Hope all of you are having a wonderful holiday season this year.

In Japan, Christmas time is usually spent with a loved one, and the tradition is to eat Christmas ‘Cake’, or keeki’ (ケーキ).    For me, I really love pastries, and I really love the ones you can find in Japan – they put a lot of detail into the presentation, and of course – the pastries are delicious.

Stay tuned for more updates!

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