New Year’s Food



What is typically eaten in Japan at the end and the beginning of the year? Many traditions still persist in Japan when it comes to food. Let’s take a look at them!

Toshikoshi Soba 

This dish is typically eaten on the last day of the year, also known as Ōmisoka. As a tradition, it is usually served with soba noodles with a hot dashi broth. Therefore, you can make it your own way and add your favorite ingredients to it.
We decided to add toppings to make the dish even better: shrimp tempura,  nameko (it’s a type of mushroom), and daikon oroshi (Japanese Grated Radish). You may be wondering why most of Japan’s population eats this dish on New Year’s Eve. Eating toshikoshi soba, symbolizes the desire to leave behind the arduous past and start a peaceful and fulfilling year, gaining strength every time you slurp up the soba noodles.


Osechi ryori is eaten at the beginning of the year, also known as Oshogatsu. Although osechi have been greatly modernized, their true origin is in the Heian period (794–1185).
 It is served on special boxes called jūbako (重箱), which resemble bentō boxes. Each dish that makes up the osechi has a different meaning to celebrate the arrival of the new year. Nowadays, some brands or shops that make osechi includes their own original elaborations, so you will be able to try different flavors and dishes every year. Many families decide to rest during the first days of the year, so they do not cook either. Eating osechi is a way to avoid cooking, as it usually lasts a whole day (or more), and there is no need to heat it.

Different countries, different traditions 

Of course there are more dishes that are eaten in Japan in that season of the year. However, these are the ones I got the chance to try this New Year, so I wanted to introduce them to you. The thing that has caught more my attention is not the food, but the way many families spend the beginning of the year in Japan.
Actually, I didn’t know about it, and it is completely different from how it is spent in my country. Most of them just eat and lay down on the kotatsu (if they have it). This surprised me a lot, and I thought I was not able to spend three days like that. But in the end, you can rest a lot and disconnect from work and your daily life.