How is everyone’s new year? This year I welcomed it for the first time in Japan. Since I didn’t go back to Singapore, I spent it with my family here! We had osechi ryori, the traditional Japanese new year food. It’s like bento, but a luxurious and extra pretty sort with a huge variety of ingredients.
It came nicely packaged like this! Unless it’s homemade, osechi is usually expensive…they can start from a hundred dollars for a set and go up to literally several thousand dollars. We got ours on Amazon where the price was relatively reasonable; it was about ¥9000 for three tiers!
There’re lots of ingredients inside, like rolled omelette (datemaki) and fish cake and chestnuts. 34 in total actually, stuffed into the three trays that made up the bento.
The detail they put into it is amazing. Since it’s supposed to be the year of the monkey, they actually put it into the osechiI can’t even think about carving one little monkey out of a sweet potato, much less hundreds for mass production.
So we spent most of the time sitting at home and being cosyBut outside there’re lots more activities going on for the new year! In Harajuku there was a little festival too, with the street lined with food stalls at night.
There was the typical matsuri food, like takoyaki and yakisoba and candied applesEven if they’re generally not the kind of stuff I usually want to eat, I get attracted way too easily to food that’s sold under a bright sign on a crowded street.
Because they’re actually really eye-catching. Look at the colours of those fruits!
And also these super decorative bananas on sticks. I’ve never seen a more girly fruit…In Japan bananas are dressed up even better than me. Choco bananas (チョコバナナ) are a typical matsuri treat
You know it’s 2016 when you see bananas covered by little Disney heads flashing with LED lights and singing It’s A Small World on the street. I’m not sure I understood either, but I guess this is the future…
Back to something more old-fashioned—okonomiyaki on a huge sizzling grill! They had both Osaka and Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki, and these were popular with everyone looking for something hot and savoury on a cold winter night. Also even if you don’t want to eat it, it’s fun to just look at the stall owner chopping away at the piles of okonomiyaki
Mochi, the quintessential Japanese snack
So yes. It’s a new year! This time I didn’t (or haven’t yet) put up a post reflecting on everything that went on in the last year…but you all know I moved to Japan anywaySo that was a new life event, after graduating from school. I’m starting the year still as a university freshman, so that’s excitingIt’s been about 4 months since coming to live here, and I’m beginning to get a little antsy about going home to see everyone I miss haha. But I’m enjoying myself everyday here
I’m going to continue posting about life in Japan and the things I get up to here. I’ve been updating every weekend about cafes and places, but once in a while I think I want to try more personal posts in between too.
Thanks for reading my blog! Have a good start to the year