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Nikkei Center Mochitsuki 2013 – Vancouver

Mochitsuki!  An essential Japanese New Year tradition, y’all!!!






I’m late in posting this because….well….Ashamed Cat











Luckily this isn’t a current events blog!  I know New Year’s has already come + gone – but I’m telling all you Vancouverites to go to the Nikkei Center next year for the mochitsuki!  Mochi is pounded rice cake that is a custom to eat during the Japanese New Year.

This past year it was held on December 29th at the Nikkei Center – Vancouver’s top destination for Japanese Canadian culture + education.  Jeff, Deb + my nephew Matt were all game, so off we went!

Go on time + you’ll get to see the Chibi Taiko group performing!Mochitsuki - 01

They are the first children’s taiko ensemble EVER in Canada!  Take that!

The audience is filled – lots of families which is awesome to see.Mochitsuki - 02

There’s my guy….Mochitsuki - 03

MC + Nikkei Centre’s board member, Mits Hayashi!!!  He is the recipient of the Order of the Rising Sun by the Japanese Government for his contribution to the social welfare of the Nikkei (term used for people of Japanese immigrants + their descendents) Community in Canada!  How much do you love his suspender style + his slightly disapproving facial expression????Mochitsuki - 05

I always want to talk to him, but he’s so busy!  I get shy + just obsess over his suspenders.

Okay!  Taiko performance over – now the pounding of the mochi!  Another style maven, this guy is also a man after my own heart.  He is wearing THREE DIFFERENT PATTERNS!  Count ’em, THREE!Mochitsuki - 06

GET THAT MOCHI!!!  BEAST IT!!!!Mochitsuki - 07

Oooooh, glutinous…sticky…yummmm.Mochitsuki - 08

The cool thing about the mochitsuki at the Nikkei Center is that you can get a ticket + when your number is called, you get a turn at whacking that rice!  I didn’t take any pictures of the adult guests this year because they were boring me.  But look at the mini mochi pounders!  AWWWW!!!!Mochitsuki - 09

And this future samurai!!!Mochitsuki - 10

We were getting hungry so we wandered over to the fresh mochi line.  Here is the sign with a list of condiments that are available for your liking.Mochitsuki - 11

You get three fresh mochi with or without nori.Mochitsuki - 12

Folks are in the kitchen busily making the rice cakes while socializing..Mochitsuki - 13

Jeff, Deb + Matt at the condiments table!  I’m so glad Matt came to experience an important Japanese tradition!  Kids are so cool!Mochitsuki - 14

Jeff insisted on wearing a blazer, vest, button down shirt AND a tie because it was Japanese New Year + therefore a very meaningful occasion.  That made me happy.  Jeff always respects the Japanese customs that are dear to me.

Condiments neatly labeled.  So Japanese.Mochitsuki - 15

After we scarfed down our mochi, we did a little shopping.Mochitsuki - 16

Keep ’em coming!Mochitsuki - 04

We all shared a package of the manju – sweet rice cake with sweet bean filling!  It was so good, I want some right now!!!!Mochitsuki - 17

Here I am really happy to buy frozen mochi + the guy was really happy to give it to me.  All around happiness vibes + a right-on feeling at the Nikkei Center!Mochitsuki - 18

Afterwards, there was more eating to be done!  Outside the center was a Taikyaki stand!!!  Yay!!!!  Taiyaki is a fish shaped, pancake batter with a sweet red bean filling.  I don’t know why it’s fished shaped because it’s sweet.  It’s a common Japanese street food.  I haven’t had a fresh baked one in ages!!!  Here I am looking really preggo + with a bottomless stomach.Mochitsuki - 19

YUM!!!!!Mochitsuki - 20

GET IN MY BELLY!!!!!  This is the first year for the taiyaki stand, so I was glad to see them!Mochitsuki - 21

Next year, go to the Nikkei Center for the mochitsuki!  It’s an awesome Japanese tradition + super family friendly!!!  And super yummylicious!!!  Hai!!!!  Domo!!!

12 Comments Post a comment
  1. kenneth '' Dad's - Papi '' nishino #

    YUUMMMM,next year Mum, Ashley, & i will have 2
    spend Christmas New Years with U’all, Nan, Jeff &
    Meg’s and join the Nikkei Center, New Years Cele-
    -bration…huh huh !!!!! Looks & sounds like U guy’s
    had a wonderful time, and Wow, Matt, has grown!!!
    ok, take care, hope 2 C U soon, best 2 Jeff !!! cheers
    luv U, miss U, Dad’s

    January 10, 2014
    • YES!!!!! That would be so fun if we were all there next year!!! Matt is getting so tall!!!! Miss you, love you, Dad!!!

      January 10, 2014
  2. You look so good! And I love Jeff’s bow tie! 🙂

    January 10, 2014
  3. Deb Fayle #

    Thanks for taking us with you Shelli!! Matthew and I enjoyed ourselves and were happy to be part of your Japanese tradition. The food was so yummy; next year I will save room for a taiyaki. You look so beautifully pregnant in the photo … it will be awesome next year with baby!! xx

    January 10, 2014
    • Thanks for coming with me! I love how Matt eats mochi + sweet bean cakes!!! I can’t wait to bring the baby to the Nikkei Center next year!!! Family tradition!

      January 10, 2014
  4. ohmigosh, I want to rub your baby belly, you look so cute! Love it, love it! I need to plan a trip to Canad-eh for 2014. Need to see you guys and that baby baby!

    January 10, 2014
    • Haha!!! Yes!!! Maybe the Fayles + the Benjamins will meet in BANFF!!!!! Wouldn’t that be dreamy????

      January 10, 2014
  5. Karen Tustanoff #

    The Shelly belly is beautiful!! I can’t believe the progress going on in there!

    January 13, 2014
  6. woah! dude you’re pregnant!

    January 16, 2014

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