In 2020, I was in Japan having a New year at Onsen. The below was the New Year foods that I had as a breakfast on the 1st Jan. Osechi Ryori is a special meal for a new year. Usually the Japanese provide the certain special foods.
Foods for Osechi and the reasons for that
I explain from the top left hand side box and why they put them in.
1. Kuri kinton – (Candied Chestnuts and Sweet Potatoes) is a sweet Osechi dish for Japanese New Year that symbolizes economic fortune and wealth.
2. Kazunoko – salted herring roe that has been marinated in seasoned Dashi that symbolizes many children and prosperous family.
Kazunoko – 数の子
3. Tazukuri – is a very popular dish for osechi ryori and it is made of roasted Japanese anchovies coated in a sweet soy sauce glaze that symbolizes harvest, health and prosperous family.
Tazukuri – 田作り
4. Kuromane – Sweet Black Soybeans, are an important part of the symbolic Osechi Ryori meal of traditional Japanese New Year foods that symbolizes long life, health body and protection from evils.
Kuromame – 黒豆
Now, from the top right hand side box.
5. Takenoko – Bamboo shoots or bamboo sprouts that symbolizes prosperous family and long-last happiness.
Takenoko – たけのこ
6. Kamaboko – a type of cured surimi, a processed seafood product common in Japanese cuisine. Kamaboko is formed in a half moon sized on a wooden board and that shape looks like a sunrise, that symbolizes a beginning of new journey. What’s more it is quite often putting red and white kamaboko for Japanese new year food. Both colors are for celebration and a meaning of red is a protection from evils and a meaning of the white is purity.
Kamaboo – かまぼこ
7. Red and White namasu – pickled daikon and carrot, one of the traditional Japanese New Year Osechi dishes. The colors of red and white express Mizubiki [水引・decorative Japanese cord made from twisted paper,] and it is quite important food to be prepared for Osechi.
Kohaku Namasu – 紅白なます
That was all inside two boxes. There are other foods can be prepared for Japanese New Year.
Now let me explain a type of fish that was placed. That was ” Tai”・ yellowtail. There are other fishes can be eaten such as salmon, sea bream and tuna. The yellotail I had has a meaning of prosperity. Salmon symbolizes many children.
The photo below is mochi. Mochi is a Japanese rice cake made of mochigome. That was specialty of the Onsen I stayed. Usually eaten at the Japanese new year.
This new year I was unwell just spending times in my bed and watching the firework that my neighbors set off. New Year is a special thing in Japan. If you ever travel at this season you must try and enjoy the Japanese new year foods!