The Japanese New Year is a special time of year for families to gather together. And, like other holidays worldwide, food plays a huge role in the celebration. On New Year’s Eve, families enjoy toshikoshi soba (year-end noodles) and then on New Year’s Day they celebrate with osechi ryori (Japanese New Year cuisine). At its most elaborate, osechi ryori consists of several symbolic dishes all arranged beautifully in multi-tiered lacquered boxes called jubako.
Each osechi ryori dish has a special meaning. For example, kurikinton (a mash of candied chestnuts and sweet potatoes) translates to “chestnut gold mash” and is symbolic of prosperity. And eating kuromame (sweet black soybeans) on New Year’s Day supposedly brings good health in the new year. Including kurikinton and kuromame, you’ll make six types of osechi ryori dishes in total and learn the significance of each.
In addition, you will also make zouni (or ozouni), a traditional Japanese New Year soup containing mochi rice cakes, which is supposedly the most auspicious dish for the new year. Each family has a slightly different way of making zouni, depending on their family recipe or the region of Japan where they live.
All ingredients to make osechi ryori
All tools and tableware
Guidance from a Japanese cooking instructor
Namasu (pickled radish and carrot), Nishime, Tazukuri (caramelized nuts and small fish), Kurikinton, (sweetened chestnuts and sweet potatoes), Datemaki (rolled egg omelet) Kuromame and Zouni
Transportation fee to and from the event location
Meeting Point and Meeting Time
The meeting location is the north exit of Ninomiya Station
While Ninomiya might seem a little out of the way, it’s a perfect stop if you’re on your way to see Mount Fuji or the hot springs of Izu or Hakone