Monday, January 2, 2012

New Years Day in Japan

2012 is the year of the dragon. Even Kitty-chan dressed up!

The New Year celebration in Japan is called shogatsu and it's probably the most significant holiday of the year. Customs such as sending postcards to friends and family and creating mochi (rice cakes) take place. Traditional games are played, and families visit a shrine after midnight on December 31. Different New Year-specific foods are also consumed: osechi (a platter typically consisting of boiled seaweed, fish cakes, sweet potatoes, black soy beans), as well as a soup called ozoni, which is made of rice cakes and various ingredients according to each region of Japan.

Tokyo is usually a little empty, as most people return to their hometowns to spend time with their family. Although I luckily got to partake in some of those traditions (I sampled some foods, visited a shrine, and received gorgeous postcards), my own celebration was a bit more low-key, and centered around staying home: literally not leaving the house.

My friend Nicole was visiting from Kyoto, so we just lounged around the house in our pajamas and Christmas socks, and only left the house when I had the brilliant idea of baking cookies. Most shops are closed on New Years day and the following days, but thankfully we gathered enough ingredients for some creative baking (as well as a crêpes feast, take two). It was the laziest of days that ended with a shochu kampai ('cheers', in Japanese) with the rest of my house mates... not a bad way to spend the first bit of 2012.

Food binge + baking ambition

Happy New Year!

Love from Japan, and many thanks for reading and for your lovely comments and messages. xo

1 comment:

Michelle said...

I just saw your comment on Cupcakes & Cashmere that you see girls applying fake eyelashes on the train every day - that's so funny!! Time to go read your blog now. :-)