A traditional New years taste experience in Japan

December 30, 2017

Japanese people eat some certain things on New Year's Eve and on New Year! New Year in Japan is like Christmas in England, people spend time with their family. 
On New Year's Eve, Japanese people eat Soba noodles. Soba is softer than other noodles and can be easily cut. People believe this symbolises cuttinout all the bad experiences for the coming year. It also symbolises a long life due to the length of the noodle. Soba toppings also have hidden meanings. Shrimp means you live a long life.  
Some people eat it as a dinner, some eat it right before 0:00. You have to finish eating before the new year starts. 

On New Year's Day, people eat Osechi. It is served in a box like a piled-up bento box. People wish lots of happiness piled up for the new year. What ingredients you find in the osechi depends on the area of Japan you are in; however, people tended to use food with a long shelf life due to the shops being closed over the holiday seasons. This has changed over the years as most supermarkets and shops now stay open. A tradition that has stayed the same is that all the ingredients are served cold. 

Traditionally piled up bento box called jyu-bako, has five layers.   

Top layer side dishes: such as black beans, herring roe, gomame (sardine) 

Second layer - something sweet: such as datemaki omlett, kuri-kintin (mashed sweet potatoes with sweetened chestnuts) 

Third layer - seafood: grilled fish, grilled shrimp  

Forth layer - vegetables: lotus root, namasu (pickled radish and carrot) Kombu. 

The 5th layer is empty so we can save the happiness from the god. 

 As it is cold and people need to eat about the first 3 days of New Year. Kids aren't excited for this meal but osechi is a traditional meal that has got meaning behind it. 


Mochi (rice cake) is the famous food for Japanese New Year! Mochi is known as a food for god so when its festivals. Ozouni is like a miso soup that has got mochi in it. The reason mochi is eaten in new years is, people believed that having strong teeth gives you long life, and people ate mochi to train teeth and wished long life. 
So, the food people eat in new years has got meaning.  

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