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In this article, we will talk about the Japanese cultural tradition of giving mid-year gifts to those who’ve made a difference in your life.  What to send or what to give, we will talk about this in this article.

What are Mid-Year Gifts?

Ochugen

(Ochugen) is a Japanese custom that sends goods with a desire for health and a sense of gratitude towards those who are indebted regularly, superiors such as bosses and business partners. Basically, it is supposed to be from the beginning of July to the middle of August as the season, and it is popular to send some items such as somen and beer to spend the summer comfortably because it is the one to send in the summer.

The Time Is Different Depending On The Region!?

The time to give gifts varies depending on the region. In this section, we will introduce the most appropriate time for each region.

Hokkaido

In Hokkaido, it is common to send the Ochugen between July 15 and August 15. Please be careful as it will be treated as “late summer greetings” rather than Ochugen after August 15.

Tohoku・Kanto

In the Tohoku region and Kanto, it is common to send the Ochugen from early July to July 15. Please be careful as it will be treated as “late summer greetings” instead of Ochugen after passing July 16. Recently, however, more and more people are giving gifts from the end of June, and it is getting earlier to give a gift.

Hokuriku

The Hokuriku region is divided into an area that gives Ochugen on the early July to July 15 as well as the Kanto region and an area that gives Ochugen on July 15 to August 15 like Hokkaido. As a representative example (Kanazawa: July 1-July 15 / Noto: July 15-August 15) Let’s find in advance which region it applies to.

Tokai・Kansai・Chugoku・Shikoku

In the “Tokai, Kansai, Chugoku, Shikoku” region, it is common to send Ochugen between July 15 and August 15. Please be careful as it will be treated as “late summer greetings” rather than Ochugen after August 15. However, in this area too, the time to give Ochugen is getting earlier in recent years.

Kyushu

In Kyushu, it is common to give Ochugen from August 1 to August 15, and the time to give Ochugen to the Kanto region and the Tohoku region is delayed about one month.

Okinawa

In Okinawa, it is common to give Ochugen by July 15 of the lunar year. Therefore, it is time to give the Ochugen according to the year, so when you give the Ochugen to Okinawa, let’s be careful to give it after confirming July 15 of the old calendar.

Lastly

As explained in the first section, Ochugen is a Japanese custom that sends goods with a desire for gratitude and health towards those who are usually taken care of and superiors such as superiors and business partners. If you give it with all your gratitude, it will be different depending on the area, so check the destination area before giving it.