Launch your lucky year with mochi
Mochi (rice cake) is made by steaming and pounding glutinous rice into a sticky paste. In Japan, this delicious food is considered auspicious and traditionally eaten during New Year’s holidays and other celebrations.
The tradition of eating mochi on New Year’s holidays is said to have come from a custom of offering round rice cakes to gods in thanks for a prosperous harvest. Stacked round kagami (mirror) mochi decorations are a direct remnant of this tradition.
In the past, it was common for families to pound mochi with a large wooden mortar and pestle at the end of the year. But now such activities are usually reserved for community events.
Mochi is typically toasted and dipped in soy sauce, but Japanese enjoy eating it in other ways as well. For example, every local community has its own unique recipe for ozoni mochi soup, a staple New Year's dish. This soup is typically soy sauce based with square mochi in the Greater Tokyo Area, but miso based with round mochi in south-central Japan. Mochi can also be enjoyed as dessert, such as in a sweet azuki bean porridge called shiruko.
When visiting Japan in the New Year’s season, you can try various mochi dishes at Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo and Taikoen (Osaka), as well as delicious shiruko at restaurant ORIGAMI Asakusa. We hope to see you there.
■ Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo
For details, visit: http://www.hotel-chinzanso-tokyo.com/
■ Taikoen (Osaka)
For details, visit: https://www.taiko-en.com/e/
■ Japanese restaurant ORIGAMI Asakusa (Tokyo)
For details, visit: https://www.origami-asakusa.jp/en/
- Launch your lucky year with mochi