Mochi Day: The Best Day of My Life

beautiful little red bean mochi

I went to Togetsu a few minutes after 6:00pm, their seasonal closing time which I had forgotten about. The man who owns the shop saw me checking the time from inside and he ran out to tell me that from now until the end of the year they were only selling mochi, and of course kagami mochi. He tells me to wait and runs back inside. When he comes back he gives me these and apologizes for the shops seasonal change and tells me to come back tomorrow. Through tears of joy, I say yes.

Cut to the next day. I come back as promised and they really have changed everything for the new year! Its all mochi, all outside! The smell is incredible, the aroma of fresh mochi can be caught a block away. I’m already over the moon.

My Japanese abilities are humiliatingly bad, but I try to ask how to prepare the kagami mochi at home, for me to eat. It came out, however, as how is it made, at the shop. To my absolute shock and joy, the woman goes to the back and talks to the same man that gave me the mochi yesterday. He tells me to come to the back so I can have a tour of the shop and see how it is made!! This is just about the most busy time of year imaginable for them. I cannot believe it as 4 wagashi makers who have been making these neighborhood sweets and snacks and traditional customary foods show and tell me how the mochi is made. Truly cannot overemphasize, this is my Disneyland. I am so happy I cannot speak or take a picture.

This is already the best day of my life. But then. He asks if I would like to make my own. To say I made it would be a bit of a stretch because, well. These people have achieved a perfect product through a perfect system and technique. But I was involved and that means so much to me.

I was so so so happy to take home by beautiful baby kagami mochi. On new years I will turn it into zenzai or ozoni. Or both. I really can’t believe how lucky I was to benefit from his kindness and generosity. Every time I look at it it brings me so much joy. Japan, the neighborhood, and this shop have the most elegant, precise, intricate and immaculate items, but sometimes simple is special too.

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