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Date : December 12, 2006

–Serial Press Tours in 2006: Experience Japanese Food Culture with Five Senses– vol. 2: “HANABIRAMOCHI”

post date : 2013.08.25

Japanese-style Cake "HANABIRAMOCHI" for New Year Celebrations




〜Explore its 600-year-history and experience making hanabiramochi〜



Hanabiramochi, an elegant Japanese cake (wagashi) eaten at the beginning of the year, originated from a court function established in the Heian period (Year 794 to Year 1185). This press tour gives participants a unique opportunity to make their own hanabiramochi and eat them, then explore the history of wagashi with a lecture. Wagashi is called “the art of five senses”. Through this press tour, participants will find insight into the sense of seasons which wagashi represents. 


Hanabiramochi consists of a flat mochi (rice cake), which is folded into a semicircular shape and filled with sweetened burdock and soybean jam. Hanabiramochi takes its origin from hishi-hanabiramochi which has been eaten in the Imperial Court to celebrate the New Year for 600 years. Hishi-hanabiramochiis a simplified form of the ancient court function called “hagatame no gishiki” which was established in the Heian period. As a symbolic representation of the court function, hishi-hanabiramochi has been served on the New Year’s day in the Imperial Court for 600 years right up to today. The court function “hagatame no gishiki” has the meaning of a prayer for the strong teeth and long life at the beginning of the year by eating a tooth-hardening meal. (In the old days, it was believed that having strong teeth meant having a long life.) In the original way, before it was gradually transformed into hishi-hanabiramochi, ancient people placed a red flat mochi (rice cake) and other ingredients such as wild boar, daikon (Japanese radish), salted ayu (sweetfish) or uri (gourd) on top of a white mochi (rice cake) and ate it.


In the Meiji period (Year 1868 to Year 1912), the sweet started to become accessible to the public as hanabiramochi, a simpler style of hishi-hanabiramochi, since Gengensai, the 11th grand tea master of Urasenke, got permission to serve it at the first tea ceremony of the year. Therefore hanabiramochi is considered a classy sweet with an ancient and honorable origin.


With the cooperation of Kagawa Nutrition University, this press tour presents an opportunity to make hanabiramochi and a lecture by the teacher of the university who actually makes the sweet for the Imperial Household. The participants will get a better understanding of the reality of Japanese people’s sense of the seasons and life style.


This is the second program of the serial press tour project with the theme of “Experience Japanese Food Culture with Five Senses”, which follows the tour held in January of this year dealing with makizushi (sushi roll) as a special recipe for hare-no-hi, or a day of celebration.


*Courtesy of Kagawa Nutrition University and Kagawa Education Institute of Nutrition 
>> Link


Tour itinerary and application details


1. Date: Saturday, 16 December, 2006


2. Place: Kagawa Nutrition University Komagome Campus (Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo)


3. Schedule (tentative):
09:30 Meet at JR Komagome Station and walk to Kagawa Nutrition University
09:45 Arrive at Kagawa Nutrition University
10:00-10:30 Briefing on hanabiramochi, a special Japanese sweet for the New Year celebrations exploring the history and meaning of hishi-hanabiramochi by Mr. Yasuhiro Iijima, lecturer, Kagawa Education Institute of Nutrition
10:30-12:00 Making hanabiramochi
12:00-13:00 Tasting hanabiramochi and Q&A 
(Finished and disperse)


4. Qualification: Bearer of Gaimusho foreign press registration card


5. Expenses: 1,000 per person *FPC will later inform the participants of methods of 
payment, cancellation fee etc.


6. Participants: Limited to the first 15 applicants on a first-come first-served basis.
(Only one reporter and one photographer from each company, but
two participants from each TV team will be acceptable.)


7. Application: You can also find information on this press tour on the Press tour information of the Media Assistance Page on the FPC’s website: 
>> Link Please apply online from that page. You need the following username and password to enter the application page. Username: fpcj Password: members Or fill in the application form below and send it to FPC by fax.


8. FPC Contact: Ms. Koizumi or Ms. Yoshida (Tel: 03-3501-5070)


9. Remarks: 
(1) There are some restrictions on photographing and filming at the tour sites. Please follow the instructions of the officials on duty.
(2) Kagawa Nutrition University, Kagawa Education Institute of Nutrition and FPC will not be liable for any inconvenience, trouble or accident that might occur in the course of the tour.

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