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Bonenkai Shinnenkai


Bonenkai (forget-the-year-parties) are parties where friends and co-workers get together during December to wildly celebrate the end of a busy year.  Then, when New Years Day comes, shinnenkai (New Year parties) are held throughout January.


Bonenkai and shinnenkai are no different from other parties that frequently have nomihodai (all you can drink services), finger foods, and or full course meals.  Bonenkai are simply held at the end of the year and shinnenkai are held at the beginning of the year.For both bonenkai and shinnenkai, coworkers usually reserve tables or a private room at an izakaya (Japanese style bar) to drink and feast.

The drinks at izakaya include beer, cocktails, sours, shochu (distilled spirits), sake, wine, and soft drinks, and the food menu is extensive with small meat, seafood, vegetable, noodle, rice, and dessert dishes.For a smaller crowd of friends, nabe (hot pot) restaurants and home parties are also popular.
Some nabe ingredients are thinly sliced beef or pork, crab, kimchi (Korean style spicy pickled cabbage), udon (thick wheat noodles), ramen (Chinese style noodles), tofu etc.The dishes at home parties can range from homemade foods, delivered pizza, or mail ordered gourmet foods.


If you are willing to spend a bit more money for bonenkai or shinnenkai, there are traditional Japanese restaurant that serve high quality sashimi dishes or delicacies such as hairy crab from Hokkaido, grilled abalone steak, Matsuzaka or Kobe beef, or blowfish from Shimonoseki.


French, Italian, or Chinese cuisine at a restaurant or hotel with a beautiful nighttime view may be a quieter and more romantic option.Bonenkai on a yakatabune (traditional Japanese houseboat) would perhaps be the most unique experience, where you can eat a full course meal usually in a tatami (traditional Japanese flooring) room with karaoke or traditional Japanese entertainment.There are also cruise boat bonenkai where you can relax and enjoy the skylines.

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