Year: 2021

Mochi tradition and microwave-free recipe for the Japanese new year

It’s almost the new year, so in Japan it’s time to make mochi and attract luck on you and your family – so here I share the tradition and a microwave-free recipe you can easily make at home. The end of the year and the beginning of the new one represent two recurrences…

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My expat New Year in Japan

We went to Sensoji because I wanted to celebrate New Year traditionally. I remember a bunch of kids in front of us who were ahead of the police countdown and had a laugh. They almost shouted “Happy New Year!” few seconds earlier than the official countdown. Not the bangs of the firecrackers, but…

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Celebrate the Japanese New Year with wagashi

Boxes of wagashi are something you can find everywhere in Japan around New Year day, in addition to kagami mochi. What are wagashi? The term wagashi is used for practically any Japanese sweet. Mochi, for example, also fall into the category. Despite having a history of more than two thousand years, the wagashi…

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Kagami mochi to celebrate the New Year Japanese style

As early as December, Japanese supermarkets start selling New Year’s decorations. The most traditional is kagami mochi, two mochi and a mandarin stacked on top of each other. ‘Kagami’ means mirror, because the two mochi seem to have the shape of a bronze mirror used in Japan in ancient times. The mandarin is…

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Embarking on the Timeless Journey of Dolce Vita in Italy

Having wandered through various corners of the globe, I’m often approached with inquiries about life in Italy, and one query that perennially surfaces is whether the essence of the “dolce vita” still permeates the Italian lifestyle. So, what exactly does “dolce vita” mean? Literally translating to “sweet life”, dolce vita encapsulates the sentiment…

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Celebrating Tori no Ichi at Hanazono Jinja in Shinjuku

One of the best things about going to school in Shinjuku was that the school building was right next to the grounds of Hanazono Jinja, one of the best places to celebrate Tori no Ichi! What’s Tori no Ichi? Tori-no-ichi is an annual festival traditionally held in November, on days designated as days…

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How to make Japanese 7/11 pistachio cookies (vegan and non vegan)

Since it’s my Japaniversary week, I’m making the Japanese 7/11 pistachio cookies, listing both a vegan and non vegan recipe.   My Japaniversary Three years ago this week I left my hometown to get on a plane to my beloved Tokyo. I enjoyed my time there, but at the same time it was…

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Do Italians celebrate Halloween?

At the beginning of October, supermarkets and shops in Italy get ready to celebrate Halloween and start to decorate with pumpkins, bats, black cats and so on. However, you will also see options that are typical of Italian traditions for this time of year. Is Halloween a thing in Italy? Halloween is an…

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Why Halloween is popular in Japan

If you’ve ever wondered why Halloween is popular in Japan, here’s the answer. The beginnings in the theme parks It all started in 1997 when Tokyo Disneyland created a Halloween-themed event to attract more visitors in autumn. Immediately after, Universal Studios in Osaka did the same; as events escalated, more and more Japanese…

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Japanese chestnuts for Autumn treats

What’s more autumnal than chestnuts? I remember when my grandfather came back from the farmers market with a bunch of chestnuts that he would later roast on the stufa. Well, in many Asian countries chestnuts are as popular as here in Europe, and in Japan the love dates back… …about 5000 years Chestnuts…

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