Celebrating the Spring Holidays

What Inside an Average Japanese Family’s Home is like New Year’s Holiday

What Inside an Average Japanese Family’s Home is like New Year’s Holiday


in this video I’m gonna show you what a New Year’s holiday is like in the home of a Japanese family during the New Year’s holiday Japanese families usually gather in spent time together just like the Christmas holidays in Western countries so for this New Year’s holiday Michael and I decided to spend time with her family so we’re in Michaels hometown I Chi which is about three hours of south of Tokyo and this house behind me is a house that she actually grew up in and since I’m already here for the holidays I wanted to take this opportunity to show you guys what it’s like inside their home how they spend the Japanese holidays what they eat what they do hopefully we make it to the shrine and maybe a little bit of the house itself and today is December 31st New Year’s Eve day it’s about 10 o’clock right now but let’s start this video in the morning [Music] all right that feels a little bit better I got my coffee now it’s still 7:30 everyone is still asleep there’s got to wait for everyone to wake up now check some email I’ll [Music] [Music] we’re actually in her old brother’s room right now I don’t know if you guys can see this mica was still in the bed she had a long night time to take a shower but so not a lot of stuff is happening this morning dad went back to sleep Micah’s mom is in the kitchen Micah’s over there doing her makeup let me just show you around the house while we have some time because we’re not really doing some what right now I guess this is like part of the day not a lot happens so this is a typical house in aichi countryside two stories three bedrooms living dining and kitchen and even a cool tatami room with a personal shrine alright so this right behind me is their backyard as you can see it’s actually quite good then you would expect specially when comparing it to Tokyo there’s cocoa at the front of the house there’s usually a family name tag like this and this laced rope like decoration is called shimmy Noah it’s a special decoration for the new year it’s supposed to exorcise bad fortunes in Michael’s parents house it’s everywhere in the kitchen bathroom etc and at the main entrance there’s a shochiku vibe Banzai which is also a New Year’s decoration so chiku Bai means client bamboo and plum tree pine and bamboo stay green all year round and plum trees bloom beautifully in winter so it symbolizes remaining faithful and a healthy long life this is the kitchen it’s got a typical stainless sink built-in gas stove with three burners and a small fish grill dishwasher family size refrigerator oven microwave rice cooker and a toaster this is the kamidana Shinto altar the miniature shrine can be found in many Japanese households shops and sometimes offices for daily worship since it’s a New Year’s chimney Noah and Saki is added as offerings and mykos dad placed a big jumbo lottery ticket here how cool would that be if they won alright so this is the second floor toilet it’s actually quite interesting just the way they save water and space and stunts I really want to show you this is Michael’s sister’s room right here and this is the toilet right here and you can see there’s actually not a lot of space let’s open this door so you can see right behind me this is the entire toilet bathroom space like right here is the door here’s a toilet so if you were to sit down in this like my knees are pretty much hitting the door but this is common for a secondary toilet in Japan the main downstairs toilet is much larger and has a separate sink area just wanted to show you how space efficient homes are in Japan but what’s interesting about this toilet is that you’ve probably seen in my other video an actual sink is built into the toilet so what happens is when you flush the toilet the water comes down into here you can wash your hands and then that water is used to fill up the toilet it’s actually a pretty cool way to save water and it also saves space because there’s actually not a lot of room to put another sink in here and obviously that is the day control so you have all that functionality it has a seat warmer one thing you find on a Japanese home is that people love to watch TV and just sit around all day Pressley on days like this when no one has work or they just like sit around and watch TV and Japanese TV is probably like the most interesting during the New Year’s holiday because they know people are gonna be sitting at home doing nothing and just relaxing and having a good time with your family and so the program it’s actually pretty good the one time that I do watch TV Japanese TV is like this time because they have really interesting programming stay just watch TV Kenickie Moscow is given by oh so Michaels younger sister needs to be dropped off at the station she’s actually spending New Year’s with her friends in Kyoto there goes one family member so just drop drop at the train station and now we’re going to the supermarket to pick up some food it’s actually quite late so I think you might just have lunch there or somewhere not very traditional in my eyes but apparently like us is that Japanese people don’t celebrate at lunch in the New Year’s right don’t celebrate it this place is just as so busy right now hopefully here shopping done with work quickly go back home the supermarket is filled with people in fact I’ve been to this market before but it was never anything like this so we’ve been waiting in line forever the lines are so long on New Year’s Day reminder to get your stuff before New Year’s Day otherwise we’ll be waiting there’s like so many people all that wait for a self checkout line to scan your items and go is it this convenient in your country we’re just gonna realize for a little bit and I think we’re gonna start for King read means my mom well the already has a lot of stuff and in my family we don’t serve game probably so one thing I learned about the supermarket just now I actually offered told my car that leaders should pay for the groceries but Michael told me that that we did it be very rude to pay for the groceries because we are the guests in the house even though I wanted to help out I guess you really aren’t supposed to help out in the situation your parents are poor I know but if you’re like offering the support in a financial that means you are showing that oh I’m making more money than you guys it’s weird because I think in my family if I were to come home and help pay for groceries and actually be happy that’s your pain you find what is okay so do you think it’s a verifiable they’re like oh I took yeah I got it think they’d be happy yeah yeah I think it’s culturally like yeah it’s so what another culture I think in my culture it’s easier to like accept like like if someone has more money than you it’s not like oh they’re better than you just like oh okay cool thank you I appreciate it woah less I guess just different in Japanese culture right how about you guys what’s your culture like is it okay to pay is it not I’m not quite sure let me know in the comments so here’s the problem today since I woke up so early I’m gonna be super tired so I’m trying to figure out when to take a nap we’re supposed to have dinner at around 6:00 6:45 and we leave here at 11:30 so maybe after dinner I’ll go and take a nap but the problem with that is you don’t want to like take a nap right after you eat right anyways it’s about 2:30 right now dad’s out we just got back from shopping any sound Michael sisters gone for the rest of the trip and it’s just us for well you think about like during the Christmas holidays like family everyone comes home and you’re supposed to have a go reconnection of people getting together but this time around it’s like brothers gone Michael sisters gone and it’s just us for but I guess that’s like you know that that happens right and a lot of families not everyone comes home or everyone like starts getting older and they have different plans anyways we’ll just continue on and this okay so Mike was just turning on TV and watching TV now which is like a constant theme probably in this video so as you can see behind me they’re just sitting back having some coffee some donuts it’s not very Japanese thing but Krispy Kreme is now around Japan so what else do you guys expect I can’t make them do more traditional stuff I was hoping they are gonna do more traditional stuff but they’re not [Music] I just cut these the final meal is prepared you can see behind me happy new years guys we’re about to have our final meal of the year so this is what we’re having for New Year’s dinner what goes on the table really depends on the family and where you live Michael’s family dinner is based on traditions in Nagano Prefecture for her dad is from so I’m quite interested in the menu you have Toshi tortillas Akana which is grilled yellowtail burdock pickled octopus marinated herring roe nama saya marinated Binker chiku’s any which is a broad vegetable and chicken and lots of sashimi since Nagano is an inland Prefecture seafood used to be considered a luxury food and so nowadays it’s a must-have on the menu to celebrate the new year and my favorite is a chawanmushi it’s kind of like a hot steamy egg pudding people just love watching TV all right so now we’re gonna do hot summer day it’s about 12:40 right now and instead of like going out to like the city center and go party and drinking and celebrate the countdown people actually go to the shrine I can’t believe like a family I get together it’s already like it’s late I don’t know if you can see what I face I’m so – super tired actually fell asleep a little bit I’m excited I’ve actually never been mother and then it’s after the New Year’s but I’ve never actually gone to the shrine at midnight Matsumoto is known as the first shrine visit of the year Michael’s family goes at midnight so we left the house about 15 minutes before the new year its standard to go to the family’s local gods shrine which is usually the closest one but it’s also okay to visit other shrines or more than one for Hudson wedding there’s a huge fire burning there just something magical about being at a shrine at midnight to welcome in the new year if you guys ask me what to do for the New Year’s in Japan I suggest trying this at least once as this is so much different than any New Year’s I have ever spent after praying at the main altar and the ones on the side it’s time to check out the food of mine which is food offered by the shrine during hot summer day so the shrine was offering or shiruko red bean soup with mochi balls I’ve been shrines to give away sacred alcohol called Oh Mickey amazake all right Happy New Year’s guys it’s officially 2019 what’s really nice too is they hand out soup to everyone so this will get some soup like I’m all has like little balls of mochi so this is called static or apparently [Music] it’s a red bean soup I thought it was gonna be like a miso it’s the red beans I guess they don’t know at this run it appears a tradition is to gather around the large crackling fire and greet with neighbors for the new years while eating the hot soup definitely love the local vibe here alright so we just got back and now we’re gonna have a little comfort oast this is Toshi pushy soba it’s supposed to help celebrate the new year in a long prosperous life have long thin noodle to symbolize long life a long year happy year prosperous year I’m looking us come on it’s 12:30 right now we just got back and we’re still heating it was like eating all day the next morning January 1st people eat osechi which is a traditional Japanese New Year’s food and served in this pretty delicate box called jus buckle forgot to hit record on the main camera so here’s my Instagram I’m sorry and don’t forget to follow my Instagram account to see what I’m doing on a daily basis also served as a so nice suit which is completely different in each area so again we’re basing another Nagano Prefecture customs in the dashi soup you’ll find chicken shiitake bamboo shoots oxide cabbage I’m a local fish cake yam and of course mochi alright so that concludes the video if you liked it help me out and hit that like button let me know what you thought about how to Japanese family spends the holidays and let me know in the comments what the difference is between your home and Japan and if you want to see more my adventures in Japan I released a video every Saturday morning and sometimes Wednesdays so hit that subscribe button and the bell button and I’ll catch you guys in the next one


Reader Comments

  1. LIKE if you wan to see more Living in Japan vids? If so, what?
    My Toe-Kyo Hoodie Merch – https://teespring.com/stores/paolofromtokyo
    My Instagram @PaoloFromTokyo – https://www.instagram.com/paolofromtokyo/

  2. I’m an arab and in my culture paying instead of other ppl is a tradition and it shows how generous you are, because arab ppl like to give and generosity is a part of our culture , sometimes ppl fight over who will pay 😂😂

  3. My relatives are from cyprus – when we get invited to their house for dinner or we just go visit, we always take a cake from the patisserie or some sweet goodies with us for all to share!

  4. In london, many the young guys go clubbing or to the local pubs and get pissed and start fights. I much prefer your way of spending the new year! well done !

  5. Hold on one mutha fuckin second. Was that a box of Krispy Kreme donuts I saw just sitting on the counter at 3:12 ??? Of all the American things I thought Japan wouldn't have, that is at the top

  6. Haha this is so cool!. I am from colombia and our culture is totally oposite to japanese! I dont even know where to start. Lets just say, every saturday night there is a party in many houses around the city and it goes with loud music until early morning, they dont care if you cant sleep!. jajajajajaja

  7. Someone Asks To Pay In Texas, You Accept Buy Beer, Buy Ribs, Fajitas, Chicken, Sausage, Invite The People Thay Payed For That, And Then Have A BBQ And Then Go To Sleep At 1 AM (Maybe Just Me) ええ、ほとんどは私だけ、大爆笑だ!

  8. My dad and my Father in law are a lot alike. Both will sneak off right before the end of dinner and pay behind our backs. Then they just get up and leave and everyone's like "what about the bill?" it's actually pretty funny if you make it humorous rather than "I have more money" type mentality.

  9. I have four brothers, and if you can't make it home during the Christmas or any important occasion, you better be dead. Because the other four will find you, they will stalk you, then they will beat the crap out of you when you least expect it. Like when walking out of the office, or going to the dentist. Don't remember how it all started, all I remember are the beatings.

  10. My cultures are the worst.. You suck all his/her blood until there's no more and left to die slowly.. I'm talking about money, respect, trust, friendship & influence ..and we also voodoo our brothers & sisters especially to get what our parents left for when die (money, jewelry, house, lands etc).. Not all but in general 😂

  11. My mom cooks Osechi by herself. So around the end of the year, she is the boss of kitchen.
    Also my family make Mochi on every year of late December .

  12. Hi Paolo, sorry to hear this, but your girlfriend is a little bit arrogant. Haha. Peace bro. Kitang kita ko yung pagpigil mo. Ang lupet nung control. Nice

  13. Just like its tradition for them to pay for stuff as the hosts in my culture its always rude not to offer help as the guest. Its like the least we could do as guests is to help out in anyway we can.

  14. Oh yeah? Well in my family its "man that was fantastic, who's paying? Not me I assure you. I "forgot my wallet" for good measure.

  15. Maiko's mother is so pretty. Oh is it rude to appreciate a japanese woman's beauty? YOure lucky to have such a wonderful family, Paolo. Maiko is such a wonderful person too. And hey NYE is my birthday!

  16. In Latin America, it would be ok to contribute, maybe not by directly giving money, but by buying part of the meal for instance.

    In South Asia, no, I would not be allowed to contribute. Best I can do is bring a gift.

    In the North, don't know in general, but in Netherlands, USA and Canada, yes of course you should contribute. In fact, it would almost be rude not to contribute. It could be seen as inconsiderate or, god forbid, greedy.

  17. This really resonated with me. Growing up, I didn't notice the culture and practices that my parents did. I didn't know why. I just knew it was the way of life. But it's such a stark contrast with how Asian etiquettes and such view showing kindness and hospitality compared to western and other cultures. Seeing how Maiko mentioned how accepting money from others is a showing of your financial standing to peers, I'm able to now make sense with my father's erratic behavior. Even if he's too old and stubborn to explain why he does things the way he does. This definitely threw a curveball to making friends. With the practice of "do me a favor and I'll get back to you." (eventually) more prevalent with a lot of people I've interacted with. Looks like any future friends I meet, I'll have to show them the culture in intimate detail if they're going to visit often. Which is something that I know friends do, stopping by a lot (sometimes unannounced.)

  18. I'm new to your channel but was wondering where you are from, of course in America offering to pay for food for someone is seen as being gracious.

  19. To bad the Japanese are slowly losing their culture, an traditions pretty soon they'll start eating  sugary donuts an cereals for breakfast. yuck!

  20. I would have loved to learn the meaning behind the dishes for the New Year’s meal. We Jamaicans (I live in US) have standard dishes for New Year’s, but these dishes generally have some symbolic significance. Is this the case in Japan? Why yellow tail, for example, and not tuna (or some other kind of fish)? Why so much mochi? I’m hungry for details over here, lol.

    It’s still a great video. Thanks for sharing.

  21. I've been watching your videos the last few days non-stop and have learned SO much about Japan. You dive right into the authentic moments and translate everything so well. THANK YOU FOR SHARING ALL THESE AMAZING VIDEOS!

  22. Ok Japanese people keep eating your traditional food , it looks very healthy throw the donuts and other western food
    In the bin it’s basically garbage.

  23. In P.R. y you want to pay, parents are ok. Or depending on how they raised you, expected. And usually, depending on how you were raised, if you are the daughter or if it's your wife is expected to help in the food preparation and clean up.

  24. In my culture if I'm offering to pay for groceries, they will gladly accept and instantly add more items in the cart.. 🤣

  25. this is so cool. in the U.S., new year’s feels like a secondary holiday to Christmas since they happen so close to each other. usually New Year’s is more of a romantic holiday for couples than a family holiday. people travel to cities to watch huge fireworks displays and kiss their partner when the new year starts. we don’t have any food traditions for new year’s, other than people getting drunk on new year’s eve lol

  26. typically in the southern USA (dallas, texas) we have pot-luck dinners on holidays, where the host provide the main meat or meats and the guest each bring a side dish and/or dessert

  27. I enjoy the fact that they just chill and watch TV like my family on New Years. Granted, our family watches sports and parades. I also am kind of happy that the old man is drinking Asahi lol, I doubted that japanese people actually drank that. The food though, looks like it would be the appetizer spread for my family. My mom cooks a giant Thanksgiving like meal. I've only just started helping my parents by paying for groceries and helping my mom cook. But, we all work together to make the holidays happen.

  28. "We've been eating all day" — sounds like Thanksgiving in America! LOL 😀
    Many holidays are just like that, people show love with food <3

  29. I like your vids Paolo. You teach me more about Japan than my own Bro living there and married, too, to a Japanese! More great vids!

  30. no offence bro but that girl is rude 🙏🙏 don’t involve her in your videos anymore please she’s spreading lots of negativity in your comment section .

  31. In the netherlands if you pay for someone's candy, let's say it's $0.50 you can expect them to ask you to pay that $0.50 back, even if it's months later lmao

  32. Now that I'm a little older, and I've been working for a long time now, I sometimes pay for dinner with my parents when we go out. If it's a special occasion, like a birthday, then other people tend to pay, but other times, I like to repay… it's sort of like proving to my family that I can support myself. I don't think that's necessarily standard, I don't do it for a cultural reason, just what I think is right. Sometimes my dad insists on buying but we don't really have a system. If the situation is different and I'm out for coffee with superiors, I'll always offer to pay for their drinks, but again, sometimes they out-insist me and I have to just accept that!

  33. If you pay it will. Be generous but you will not be allowed to pay cuz u r guest and guests are treated like guests. Simply u r not allowed to. Pay… Pakistan 🇵🇰

  34. I live in India
    So yeah
    Super ok to pay
    They'll be all over you if you do
    And while you're at it get some extra for the rest of the month.
    Maybe some booze for the night too

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