Osechi ryori refers to a beautiful and delicious medley of traditional Japanese new year food, usually eaten during the first three days of the new year. It has been enjoyed in Japan since the Heian period, when it was actually considered taboo to cook food during those first three days! As such, women spent the last few days of the previous year cooking and preparing a variety of dishes that kept well and could be eaten over the holiday. The foods are stored in a traditional multi-tiered lacquer box called “jubako” and eaten at room temperature.
When dining in Japan’s metropolitan capital of Tokyo, there are few foods more native to the city than sushi. Tokyo is the birthplace of nigiri-style sushi, the iconic ball of vinegared rice topped with a beautiful cut of fresh fish or other seafood, which developed as a lunchtime food for laborers, merchants, and artisans during the 1800s. Nigiri sushi is also known as Edomae sushi, after Tokyo’s former name, “Edo”.