Rishun Dinner: Celebrating New Year’s Day in the Lunar Calendar

It was Rishun in Japan yesterday, new year’s day in the lunar calendar, and the beginning of Spring. We had a special dinner to celebrate it.

I went Nordic walking, and forest walking during the day to greet trees and plants, so the whole day was a festival for me.


Setsubun dinner we had the night before was a regular Japanese dinner with Ehomaki I bought at the store, but on Rishun day, we had the Ikigai Diet dinner; fermented brown rice, Natto, and home-made pickles.


This fermented brown rice is special because it has black rice, as well, which is one of the native grains, adding the redness that was already created by Azuki beans, making the rice look more like Sekihan, the red rice we have for festive occasions.


This is home-made Natto, which had just been ready a little before the dinner.


This is Suzumasamune, a local Sake. This is Namazake, unpasteurized sake. Brewers usually pasteurize sake in order to stabilize its quality and halt fermentation. For Namazake, however, brewers do not conduct pasteurization, and that allows fermentation to proceed during storage and after bottling too. So, compared to pasteurized sake, this kind of sake has an unstable shelf-life. We drink it within a week or so after buying it, and keep it in the refrigerator. Because of its nature, it tends to be local, and it is one of the advantages of drinking local sake.

This is also Nigorizake, white, cloudy sake made by straining the Moromi through a coarse cloth only. You can enjoy the flavor that rice originally has.


This is a dish of Jerusalem artichoke with spring onions. I dug the Jerusalem artichoke in my garden on the day, and eating it raw.


And tofu again, since it is good to eat tofu both on Setsubun and Rishun. We had tofu the night before to cleanse evil energy and we had tofu last night to welcome happiness.


The Ikigai Diet: The Secret Japanese Diet to Health and Longevity

POD Paperback