Japanese New-Year count down (-10)

10 ten day left this year. Let’s talk about Japanese End of the Year and New Year traditions.

There are casual parties : Bonenkai (funerals of old year) and Shinnenkai (baby shower of new year) when all groups in society gather for a dinner. That’s for friends, people that go to a same class/club for hobby, school mates or alumni, coworkers, etc… All have a gathering over the 2 months

December and January. But there are no special tradition.
31rd december eve and the first days of the year are the contrary. That’s the the Japan of 1000 years that suddenly reappears. They don’t turn off the neons… but nearly.
Osechi Ryori (good luck cuisine) is bizarre for foreigners. It is also unusual for Japanese people. It’s as if you were having a Middle-Age style meal of your own culture. Many don’t like it at all. Many love it for its originality. Others are not fans but like maintaining traditions.

On January first, the jubako boxes get out the closet :

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But days before, people have started filling them. With many goodies. Let’s start with the hen or the eggs ?
EGGS ! This one is very easy to cook and the taste should please most :


Tamago, the egg is full of promise for the New Year….

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Unaju, ritzy unagi box

Unagi, Japanese eel. Jubako, the nice lacquer boxes. Una-ju. It’s the dressed up eel on rice meal. It’s very chic to eat in those boxes… compared to your plastic bento. That’s a dish served by the high end unagi restaurants. Well, surely theirs are often better…

Eel is often eaten in hot season because it’s very nutritive and still easy to eat and digest. Having some helps you feel better in hot humidity.

Koshikari rice, flavored with kabayaki sauce.

Flambeed reheated kabayaki unagi.

With sansho


Suimono, broth with fresh wakame seaweed and sesame.

Tsukemono, salted turnip.

Home-made duo : zaru-doufu and yuzu koshio.

Making yuzu kosho
making zaru tofu

A full menu for a hot day. Really delicious.