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Oshogatsu: A New Years Celebration

Oshogatsu: A New Years Celebration
January 10, 2016

The New Year is Japan’s most important and celebrated holiday. We ring in our 39th annual New Year’s celebration with the tastes, sights and sounds that define the traditional Japanese New Year as well as our own.

Ticket Sales will begin in December 2015
  • adults (ages 11+) $12 online, $15 at the gate
  • children (ages 4-10)$6 online,  $10 at the gate
  • Tickets are non-refundable and Oshogatsu is a rain or shine event

FREE for museum members and children 3 & under

The VIP Tasting Room

Enjoy general admission PLUS access to the limited-entry Oshogatsu Tasting Room including samples of rare, high-end sake, Japanese craft beer and a sake cocktail, sake Q&A sessions with a certified sake specialist, and more. Check out the Tasting Room tab to the left for details.

To do at Oshogatsu
  • DIY Daruma Wall
  • Open-air Koto and Taiko
  • Mochi Pounding
  • Oshogatsu t-shirts courtesy of the Fine Print Shoppe, and more!

About the Japanese Zodiac

The zodiac was introduced to Japan from China and there are several tales of how the animals were selected and in what order. One of the most popular stories finds Buddha calling all the animals of the world to come to him on New Year’s Day. As a reward, he promises each one a gift. Only twelve animals came and each one was given the honor of having a year named for them. Their arrival time marks their esteemed position in the twelve-year cycle with the rat always first and the boar forever last.

This year, we’ll celebrate the Year of the Monkey for those born in 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016

What is Oshogatsu?

The New Year is Japan’s most important and celebrated holiday. We’ll ring in our 39th annual New Year’s celebration with the tastes, sights and sounds that define the traditional Japanese New Year as well as our own.

Ticket Sales Begin in December 2015

  • General admission: $12 online, $15 at the gate (ages 11+)
  • Children: $6 online, $10 at the gate (ages 4-10)
  • VIP Tasting Room: $30/Morikami members, $35/ non-members
  • Museum members and children 3 and under are admitted to the festival for FREE!
  • We accept cash and credit at admissions – but remember, cash lines move faster!

Are you a Morikami member?

Morikami members get in FREE and do not need to reserve tickets to the festival. However, members must reserve tickets to the VIP Tasting Room online, in advance. Please bring your membership card and ID to festival admissions and you will be granted entry to the festival. Not sure if your membership covers your Oshogatsu guests? We’re here to help! Email

About your ticket purchase:

  • Tickets are non-refundable.
  • Group, student and senior discounts are not available for this event.
  • VIP Tasting Room purchasers must be 21 or over, we I.D.
  • Oshogatsu is a rain or shine event.

The VIP Tasting Room

Morikami and Stacole Fine Wines are bringing you an Oshogatsu experience to remember! Tasting Room guests will enjoy general admission PLUS access to our limited-entry Oshogatsu VIP Tasting Room. Tasting room packages include:

  • Samples of rare, high-end sake, Japanese craft beer and a sake cocktail – each tasting room guest will receive 10 drink tickets (One ticket = One 2oz sample)
  • Japanese snacks from the Museum Store
  • Sake Q&A sessions with a certified sake specialist
  • A pair of tickets to one of our five Sushi & Stroll evenings (May – September 2016)
  • Automatic raffle entry to win a one-year Morikami membership
  • $30/person for Morikami members and $35/person for non-members.

Please note: purchasers must be 21 or over – we I.D.

About the Sake Specialist

Sake Specialist, Midori Roth, will be our guest in the VIP Tasting Room and available throughout the event to answer your questions as well as give you some background and more info on our sake and beer offerings. Midori grew up in the sake business, initially working as a “little helper” at her uncle’s brewery located in Aichi prefecture, Japan.  She obtained a degree in marketing/sales from the University of Colorado at Boulder’s Leeds School of Business in 2002, and in 2007 obtained her professional certification.  She has served as a sales manager for a renowned sake importer and further honed her skills as a sake sommelier at high-profile Japanese restaurants throughout Miami (including Zuma).  She has also served several restaurants nationwide as staff trainer for sake brands.  Japanese-born, Midori has spent her life studying sake.

There’s lots to see and do at Oshogatsu! See below for the full schedule, or click here for our event program.


Experience the roar of taiko by Fushu Daiko, the playful shishimai lion dance, our signature mochitsuki, or rice-pounding ceremony, and open air koto performances featuring master shakuhachi player, Marco Lienhard.

Shishimai Stage
Fushu Daiko welcomes the New Year with Shishimai, the Lion Dance, to the beat of taiko drums!
Check back for the 2016 schedule

Koto Stage
Enjoy musical performances by Friends of Koto and world-renowned Shakuhachi artist Marco Lienhard!
Check back for the 2016 schedule

Scheduled Activities

Experience our signature rice-pounding ceremony to make mochi, traditional and auspicious New Year’s rice cakes on Festival Grounds.
Check back for the 2016 schedule

Tea Ceremony
Observe the peace and quietude that accompanies sado, a traditional Japanese tea ceremony at the Yamato-kan.
Check back for the 2016 schedule

Japanese Gardens 101
Get an introduction and an inside look into one of the six historic gardens of Roji-en. Meets in the lobby.
Check back for the 2016 schedule

Bonsai Demonstrations on festival grounds
Watch our experts trim a tree and learn how to take care of your very own.
Check back for the 2016 schedule

All Day Activities

Enjoy games and crafts for kids and adults alike – try your hand at hanetsuki, Japanese badminton, discover what lies ahead at our Japanese fortune-telling, or Omikuji, booth ($1), and much more!

Exhibits @ Oshogatsu

In the Galleries
See the current exhibits, and explore our main galleries.

On Yamato Island
Explore Morikami’s bonsai collection and the exhibitions Japan Through the Eyes of a Child and The Yamato Colony: Pioneering Japanese in Florida

Pick up your exclusive Oshogatsu t-shirt!
Choose from one of our designs and have it screen-printed at the Fine Print Shoppe booth. Bring your own t-shirt (we recommend a light colored shirt) and screen-printing is FREE for the first 3 shirts ($5 per shirt after the first 3). Here’s the 2015 shirts:

Oshogatsu T-shirt 2015

 Food and Beverage Tickets

In order to accomodate the large amount of guests at the festival, festival food vendors, the beer garden and sake station accept only food and beverage tickets as payment. Food and beverage tickets are available for purchase on festival grounds. Each ticket is equal to $1 and may be purchased by cash or credit card. ATMs are also available on site. The Cornell Café accepts food and beverage tickets in addition to cash or credit cards.

Kirin Beer Garden

Stop by our Kirin Beer Garden, located on festival grounds, featuring one of Japan’s most prominent and respected breweries.  Dating back to 1888, the name Kirin has become synonymous, in Japan and around the world, with beer of the highest quality. Choose from a selection of Kirin Light or Kirin Ichiban available in bottles and on draft.

Cornell Café

The open-air café serves Pan-Asian classics on a terrace overlooking the gardens. The Cornell Café will offer an abridged a-la-carte menu during the festival, but on regular days you can try any of the full menu’s delectable offerings. Check back soon for the full festival menu.

Sake Station

Our Sake Station, courtesy of Stacole Fine Wines, offers a variety of premium Japanese sake as well as tasting notes. Can’t choose just one? Our Sake Flight lets you try three!

Festival Food Vendors

On the festival grounds enjoy a variety of Pan-Asian and all-American favorites cooked on site by our festival food vendors. Check back soon for the full festival menu.

The Basics

  1. When do the gates open and close?
    The event gates open at 10am and close at 5pm.
  2. Where are you located?
    We are located at 4000 Morikami Park Road in Delray Beach, just off of Jog Road between Linton Blvd. and Clint Moore Rd.
  3. What happens if it rains?
    We are here rain or shine!
  4. Do you have activities for kids?
    Yes, we have plenty! Kids can enjoy games, craft activities, and our interactive exhibit Japan Through the Eyes of a Child at the Yamato-kan building.
  5. Do you have first-aid available?
    Yes, first-aid will be available on site and indicated in the event program map.
  6. Do you provide wheelchairs for guests?
    Unfortunately, we are unable to provide wheelchairs for guests at Oshogatsu. We encourage guests in need of wheelchairs to bring their own on festival days.
  7. Do you accept credit cards at Oshogatsu?
    Credit cards are accepted at admissions, the food & beverage ticket station, the Museum Store and the Cornell Café. However, the cash only lines move more quickly than the credit lines as our credit card machines rely on remote satellite signal. We suggest bringing plenty of cash or using one of the on-site ATM machines. There are two located on site and indicated in the event program map.

Tickets And Parking

  1. Do members get in free?
    Yes! Members get in FREE to the festival – all you have to do is bring your membership card. The same membership guest benefits that apply to you on a regular day apply on festival day, however, ALL visitors who wish to attend the VIP Tasting Room must purchase a VIP Tasting Room package online, in advance – including members.
  2. If I’m a member, do my guests get in free?
    It depends on your level of membership. The same membership guest benefits that apply to you on a regular day apply on festival day. Please contact our membership department if you have questions about how many guests your membership level covers.
  3. Can I become a member at the festival?
    Yes, if you join at the festival you get 10% off your membership and get in FREE to the festival.
  4. Do kids get in free?
    Children 3 and under are admitted free.
  5. Do you have student, senior citizen or military discounts for tickets?
    Sorry, no discounts are offered for festival admission.
  6. Can I get a refund for my online ticket if I can’t attend?
    Unfortunately, ticket sales are final and non-refundable.
  7. How does parking work and how much does it cost?
    Parking is FREE and our on-site staff will direct you to an available space.
  8.  Is there handicap parking?
    Yes, handicap parking is available. Please bring your handicap decal and display it visibly on your rearview mirror.

Food And Drink

  1. Can I bring my own food and beverages?
    We do not allow any coolers on the festival grounds. However, we have plenty of food and beverage vendors on festival grounds.
  2. Do you sell alcohol?
    Yes, we have beer, wine, plum wine and sake available on-site.
  3. Will the Cornell Café be open?
    Yes, the Cornell Café is open and serving a special festival menu.
  4. What kind of food is available on the grounds?
    Puffs and Stuff, our festival food vendor offers both Pan-Asian and American classics.