What is Toshikoshi Soba / Toshiake Udon Anyway?

What is Toshikoshi Soba / Toshiake Udon Anyways?

Ohayo Gozaimasu! Domo arigato Misuta Wada desu! I would like to share a little bit about Toshikoshi Soba and Toshiake Udon this time.

What is Toshikoshi Soba (年越しそば) ?

Soba (buckwheat noodles) eaten on the New Year’s eve is called toshikoshi soba. Many Japanese do it for wishing a good luck for the next year just like osechi ryori. Basically soba should be eaten before the clock hits midnight to cut (noodles) bad stuff off that happened in that year. To be frank I always have soba after New Year’s eve but you know what? It still tastes good, anyway.

What is Toshikoshi Soba / Toshiake Udon Anyways?

What is Toshiake Udon (年明けうどん) ?

On the other hand, toshiake udon is udon noodles eaten after the New Year’s eve. This new tradition started in 2009 by a city of udon, Kagawa Prefecture (Shikoku Island), mainly for promoting their udon culture. Not that many people would follow first but toshiake-udoners seem to be increasing with backups (marketing) by instant noodle companies, etc. Not so traditional but it would be nice to have an alternative in case we forget to have soba, don’t you think?

What is Toshikoshi Soba / Toshiake Udon Anyways?

Lastly

How do you find it? Either soba or udon, I would enjoy and appreciate hot soup on such cold days.

See you around!

What is Ochugen / Oseibo Anyways?

ochugen oseibo

Hi there. It’s Mr. Wada back on duty. I would like to introduce what Ochugen/Oseibo is.

What is Ochugen / Oseibo?

Ochugen (お中元) / Oeibo (お歳暮) is a seasonal (formal) gift to someone close to you, business partners, etc. One big difference between two is season. Ochugen is given in summer and Oseibo in winter. Gifts could be purchased at department stores or supermarkets. Seasonable gifts like fresh fruits are popular in general, but reasonable/easy ones like cookies, instant coffee are available all year around.

ochugen oseibo

 

Ochugen (お中元)

Ochugen is to thank for the first half of the year and also to wish well-being for the next half, usually sent between late-July and mid-August (a little earlier like July in some cities but August should be fine most of time). Aside from fruits, beer, and cold food are popular since it’s in summer.

 

Oseibo (お歳暮)

Oseibo is sent before the year-end in December. Popular gifts are ham, sausages, liquor, etc. It means to thank for the entire year, so more people likely to send Oseibo instead of sending Ochugen.

 

Lastly

How do you find it? Today it has become more like a business manner (for clients, etc.) so you hardly get one from friends, though it’s still good to know Japanese custom huh?

See you around!