Japanese rice dishes

Japan with its four seasons, has various cuisines that are eaten during each season. The spring season and autumn season are often the periods when the different cultural cuisine or washoku is in focus in Japan. But there are also some traditional and cultural foods that are eaten during the long cold winters.

In this Japanese learner's blog, by one of JOI's Japanese teachers Someya sensei, the focus is on winter cultural cuisine. Please read through the blog without any Kanji help first, and then learn some Japanese Kanji from the second reading.

There is also an English translation and video on YouTube to help you study Japanese for free.

Nanakusa Gayu


By SOMEYA Sachiko





To listen to this blog, please watch our Youtube video.





Nanakusa Gayu

In Japan, on January 7th, there is a custom of receiving the new year with a hope to have sound health and no illness by eating 'Nanakusa Gayu', which is a rice gruel that includes seven kinds of young greens.

In supermarkets, there are packs of seven greens sold. The custom was introduced from China in the middle period of the Heian era. It gives a rest to stomachs that have become weak due to over-eating during the New Year holiday. And the seven greens each have various effectiveness and efficacies.

The time after the New Year holiday is a busy period so I always realize this custom only after January 7th has passed, so that I often find myself saying that – oh no! I forgot it again this year! This year, I used some freeze-dried spring vegetables, so it was simple to make and eat. I hope that I can stay healthy for this whole year !

迎(むか)える    take in、invite、receive

若草(わかくさ)    young grass

風習(ふうしゅう)   habit、custom

伝来(でんらい)   introduction

中期(ちゅうき)    medium term、middle period

胃(い)         stomach

効果(こうか)     effect; effectiveness

効能(こうのう)    effect; indication; efficacy

慌(あわ)ただしい  busy、hurried

フリーズドライ     freeze‐dry


Konnichiwa, My name is Sachiko Someya. I live in Yokohama city in Kanagawa prefecture. Yokohama is an attractive city with a lot of tourist destinations. If you ever get the chance, please come and visit. Learning a new language can bring you a lot pleasure but can also be difficult. I would like to help you to enjoy learning Japanese. Let's try hard together ! I'm looking forward to meeting up with you online.

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