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I love it that they sell them as plants! I always buy them in the plastic boxes and never know what is what!


Wow, thanks for sharing these photos. I couldn't find this pot-type "Nanakusa setto" at nearby supermarket -- all they had were unidentified herbs in plastic packages or freeze-dried version. (How can anyone identify them when they are chopped and freeze-dried?!) Though I didn't eat nanakusa-gayu myself, I'm glad that someone else did it and posted about it. :)

Martin F

That is a lovely tradition and you took such great care to describe it well.

My memory of this special dish brings me back to the zen temple where I was training, and at the end of the meal on January 7, the roshi (teacher) made a brief speech explaining the dish we had just eating. He mentioned that this season is harsh and eating kusa (weeds) or actually herbs was an inventive way to deal with winter food shortages in the past... As Buddhists would not eat meat, even in winter, o-kayu (rice-soup) with herbs was a lifesaver.

Thanks for posting the beautiful photos.


Do you think seven herb pots are on sale anywhere in London?


Kat, I won't be buying the potted version again. The amount of herbs is way less than you get with the package, and it turns out that the daikon and turnip were not actually grown in the pot- they were just transplanted there and already seemed a bit old.

Obachan, freeze dried? I've never seen that! Isn't the whole point of nanakusaguyu to eat something FRESH and nutritious?
By the way, your nabeyaki udon looked better and more nutritious than nanakusagayu.

Martin F, thank you for the comment. You bring a different perspective to the dish, and I imagine the special gratitude one would feel after eating nanakusagayu in such a setting.

Trig, I'm not sure about the potted version, but packs of the herbs are quite likely on sale in Japanese markets, but only on the days leading up to January 7th. Try having a look next year!

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