New year is a family holiday in Japan.
It’s similar to Christmas overseas – hang out, watch TV, get everyone together and eat food.
And similarly to Christmas the kids reap the rewards with presents.
By presents… I mean cold hard cash.
They are given Otoshidama/お年玉 – which means new years gift.
They are only given whole notes and it always has to be an odd number – 1,000, 3,000, 5,000 or 10,000.
10,000 yen is often given to high schoolers.
It is still an “odd” bill because it’s counted in Japan as ‘one ten thousand’.
Here’s a video on how to prepare Otoshidama: