The way of show appreciation at the end of year / Oseibo

The way of show appreciation at the end of year / Oseibo

One of the main events in December is the Japanese culture of お歳暮(Oseibo) , or year-end gifts. Oseibo has the meaning of the end of the year, and is a gift to those who have taken care of you this year. It is meant to thank them for their kindness and to ask for their continued support in the coming year. It may be given to friends and family members who live far away, as well as to superiors at work and business partners.

What is the specific time frame for Oseibo?

In the old days, preparations for the New Year started on December 13th. And this custom still remains mainly in the Kansai region, where it is common to start sending oseibo on December 13. In the Kanto area, many people start sending oseibo in early December. Although there is no specific date firmly set in stone, it is said that the basic manner is to send them by December 25, when people are busy preparing for Christmas and New Year's. It seems that the custom of Japanese people to care for others is ingrained in many aspects of their culture.

In this article, we will introduce the top 3 classic and popular gifts for oseibo. In December, various stores and websites start selling gift sets for oseibo.

What exactly are the most popular oseibo in Japan?


No.3 Beer

A whopping third place goes to alcoholic beverages. Beer is the most popular among them.

Beer, a staple of oseibo, is a disappearing item that disappears after drinking, making it easy for business partners and relatives to receive it. Since everyone can enjoy toasting together, it is also useful at the end of the year and New Year's when there are many opportunities to get together with family and friends. If you present a set of the brand that the recipient likes, an assortment of beers that can be compared, and snacks that go well with the beer, they will be sure to be delighted.


No. 2 Baked sweets

Baked sweets, which are not easily liked or disliked, are recommended as oseibo for people whose tastes are unknown, such as relatives and business partners. There is a wide variety of baked goods that will last for a long time, so they can be enjoyed slowly during the busy year-end and New Year holidays. We have a diverse lineup of products, including assortments with a luxurious feel suitable as gifts for superiors, and sets of individually wrapped sweets that are easy to share with many people at the workplace. The packaging is also very elaborate, so they look great.


No. 1 Ham

In Japan, most people think of ham when they think of oseibo. Ham is cited by many people as a nice gift to receive because it is hassle-free and can be used in a variety of dishes such as soups and salads. The fact that it can be used in osechi dishes or eaten as a snack when everyone gathers together is also a good point for oseibo. Since they have a relatively long shelf life, they tend to be appreciated by people who plan to return home or travel for an extended period of time during the winter holidays.


The tradition of oseibo has been nurtured over a long period of time and is a wonderful Japanese cultural way of expressing one's feelings toward loved ones, even though the format has changed little by little. In the busy season of the New Year, we look back on the past year and think about how much we have done for that person or what happened with that person. Some may think it is a bit formal custom, but I think it is a uniquely Japanese custom to send "oseibo" to someone at the end of the year with gratitude, and to receive "oseibo" as a sign that you are appreciated by someone, which warms your heart when you think of them.

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