« Nasu | Main | Hatsumode »



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


One of your best posts!


I'm hoping to check out that cake shop soon!! Happy 2009!


Oh my goodness. I had to read this post while eating cold udon noodles. So much to say. Starting with omedetou! Which I think is related to omedetai.

1. Kani miso. This stuff really is like foie gras. The first time I had it, the menu description was a little lacking. I asked the waitress what it was, and she didn't want to say. Eventually, she quietly said "crab guts" which I think is pretty apt. It doesn't imply brains - which it isn't but it does taste good. A sushi chef friend of mine put it on his menu, but nobody ordered it, so he had to eat it by the spoonful. He didn't mind.

2. That chicken dish. I know it. It's one of my favourites, but Aiko makes it with the thigh bones still in. We don't really have a name for it either, so I call it Vinegar Chickin.

3. I don't like herring roe either. It's too rubbery. I've never had homemade mochi, but I know all about the choking hazard. See Juzo Itami's "Tampopo".

4. I think I've had kuromame before, but that's one of only a few osechi that we have because Aiko is one of those people who doesn't like osechi. Happy Year of the Bull!


now that's one fine oshogatsu!!

happy new year! my MIL usually makes all the osechi herself, the only store-bought stuff was usually year-end gifts (like ham, yum!) but this year they ordered osechi. *sigh* i think her health is not the best, and this year's oshogatsu was very relaxed, but i have to say the ordered stuff wasn't as good as her cooking. and in the past, the osechi was gone in a day. this year it took them nearly three to finish it off!

i've never had nishime. here we have chikuzen-ni which looks similar (but no kuwai). *sigh* so much good food in this post!!


oh my!
Such a lame comment, but this post is so interesting that I don't know what else to say!

Ms J


Informative oshogatsu post, even for those who already live here in Japan! I had to laugh when you said that osechi is somewhat universally detested, for this is very true!

I decided to make some osechi stuff with my MIL for this year, but cheated and didn't use as much sugar/sweeteners as the recipes called for. No real differences to the recipes [datemaki, kurikinton] and no one suspected otherwise!! My SIL also pre-ordered some osechi from Natural Lawson, which wasn't too bad either without all the extra additives and muck. I've also been urged to incorporate some non-Japanese dishes on account of my foreigness which will hopefully become a new family tradition.


Hi Amy,

Happy Year of The Bull ! I would really like to try the chicken dish. It looks so delicious. And also the chocolate berry cake.. Hmmm, I can almost taste it in my mouth just by reading your post. I must be day dreaming..

BTW, I'm Indonesian and live in Jakarta. I enjoy reading your blog and feel very honored that you said in your old post of how you like Indonesian food (Bali, that is) and even managed to cook it yourself albeit the difficulty in finding the herb and spices needed. You have to try other Indonesian food here (Sunda, Java, Batak, Manado, etc) if ever in the future you finally decided to continue your traveling journey you once started when you were younger.


Wow. That pretty much sums it up.

After I read your original post on macarons and how they suddenly seem crazy popular, I read somewhere else that Oprah featured them on her show last year. Mystery solved. They seem to be called macaroons here, though, which doesn't make sense to me as macaroons are an entirely different animal.

Happy new year!


Everything looks so delicious and I am trying not to think of all the time and energy needed for the final result!!!!
My favorite is ozoni and missed it this year.
Happy New Year and thank you for your wonderful posts all year!!!!!!!



We've been checking out your blog for the past few months. Very nice! I have a similar experience as an American, married to a Japanese, living in Tokyo. We're in Los Angeles, now.

Would like to e-mail you, but can't seem to send a message. Sorry, it's probably our fault - new to blogging.

We would appreciate an e-mail contact for you. Many Thanks!


Everything looks so yummy! I look forward to Oshogatsu all year long. My mom is an excellent cook (she's and my step-dad have had a japanese restaurant for 25 years) so she tends to go all out for new years dinner. Although everything she makes is great, I'm always looking forward to the ozoni and kimpira gobo. I unfortunately am not such a great cook so I usually get the job title of "salad maker".
Totally off topic: Mom and I are going to be visiting Japan this spring to see the cherry blossoms in bloom. We'll be doing a lot of traveling, and one of the places we'll be visiting is Nikko. Have you visited this area? I've heard there are a lot of steps involved to reach the Shogun shrine. My mother has problemns with her knees and is worried about the trek up the steps. Do you know if it is a serious hike up the steps? Since you are quite the explorer I just thought you might have some knowledge about the area.

Mari L'Esperance

Love your Oshogatsu posts! Almost as good as being there myself, indulging in all that glorious, beautiful food. Happy Year of the Ox to you from Oakland, California! It's after midnight here and the neighborhood is alive with the sound of firecrackers!


Wow! They really are some impressive meals! I am so jealous of the crab you ate. Years ago, my friend's mother went to Hokkaido and brought me back a crab. I still remember just how delicious it was (and how special I felt to receive it!).

We had osechi at a friend's place this year, but nothing like your husband's family has! Mind you, I think this family make a lot of exceptions for my picky western tastes. Hubby (also Aussie) happily tries everything though, so he's always very welcome in their house. My favourite are the black beans.


Thank you Okihwn!

Kat, I hope you like it.

Thanks David. Interesting that the same chicken dish turns up on your table! My MIL does cook it with the bones in (I think), but removes them before serving. The vinegar is extremely subtle and I don't know if that's a special variation or if she does it that way because Hideaki doesn't like sour food. Very glad to know it's a well-know dish though, maybe I can find a recipe.

Illahee, I've heard so many people say that ordered osechi isn't good, but that doesn't stop people from buying it! Somehow the few store-bought items my MIL serves are really good, I guess she chooses carefully.
Good point about the chikuzen-ni. I think a nimono is an essential part of osechi, but the name and recipe varies a bit. I didn't realize that kuwai is not standard though! Thanks for pointing that out, and I'll correct my post.

Tess, "Oh my" is what I thought on my first oshogatsu!

Ms J, that's awesome that you got to help cook (and tone down the seasonings)! And how fun to come up with some western osechi. Any idea what you'll do?

Thank you Zee. I would dearly love to try more Indonesian food and hope to travel there again someday.


Hi Aspasia! Very interesting about Oprah, but it probably only explains the macaron's recent mainstream US popularity. From what I can gather from the blogging world macarons have been big for a few years now in Europe, Asia and the online food world. I guess Oprah is like the Madonna of TV: she brings underground trends to the masses.

Thanks Carlyn, and I'm sorry you couldn't have your ozoni. It's not too late though, it's yummy any time of year!

Thanks Rickyjr. I think you can get my email address from my "About" page, but if that doesn't work try bluemoonovertokyo at gmail.com

Robin, your mom's New Year's feast sounds great! I haven't been to Nikko in over a decade, but I do remember those steps. Actually, lots and lots of temples have an intimidating number of steps but I do recall Nikko's as especially hard. Old folks in Japan are fairly used to steps and seem to get up without problem, but your mom will probably need to take her time.
If you're worried about her not making it up, could you change your plans? The temples in Nikko are magnificent, but Japan is full of magnificent temples. A trip to Kyoto (or even Kamakura) is a nice alternative.

Thanks Mari!

Thank you Melanie, Hokkaido crab is indeed delicious, and I really should feel special to get to eat it but I'm in danger of getting used to it...

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo




  • Japan Food Blogs
  • Food Blogs
  • Dead Food Blogs
  • Food Links
  • Japan Blogs
  • Former Japan Blogs
  • Japan Links
  • Miscellaneous Blogs
Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 10/2004