Sending Out New Year’s Cards – 2018 Is the Year of the Dog

The year of the rooster is about to end and the year of the dog is about to begin.



You may wonder, what does that mean?


Japan has twelve zodiac signs, called Junishi (十二支).


The Japanese zodiac is based on a 12-year cycle with each year representing an animal.


These 12 zodiac animals are:


  • Rat (Nezumi)
  • Ox (Ushi)
  • Tiger (Tora)
  • Rabbit (Usagi)
  • Dragon (Tatsu)
  • Snake (Hebi)
  • Horse (Uma)
  • Goat/Sheep (Hitsuji)
  • Monkey (Saru)
  • Rooster (Tori)
  • Dog (Inu)
  • Boar (Boar)


Instead of sending out Christmas cards or holiday cards in December, Japanese people send friends New Year’s cards with a zodiac animal for the next year printed.


If you find yourself sending out your season’s greetings a bit late this year, try a Japanese style new year card.  You can purchase them any of the below, which usually carry a large lineup.


Since some of them are pre-stamped for, add extra stamps to send out to family and friends abroad, or to your new friends here in Japan!



Post Office

They sell new years cards untill January 5rg. You can find nearest post office at;







(Only Japanese is available at this time)



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