Japan Diaries: Day 14 and 15

Day 14: January 1, 2015

New Year in Japan

Happy New Year from Japan! After a very quiet night (no fireworks), we woke up to experience New Year's day ala Japanese.

The Osechi-ryori

Check out how colorful our New Year's meal is!

Time to partake of the osechi

The Japanese (most if not all) celebrate their New Year in a simple partaking of the traditional Japanese New Year food called osechi. Aside from that Mr. Toshi also made us try the famous sake. (Nothing beats authentic Japanese food!) While we're enjoying the feast Mr. Toshi is also explaining the important Japanese New Year traditions. He told us that their family annually visits a temple to pray for their success and health for the year. He even invited us to join him and his family that afternoon for this religious obligation.

Kokawadera in Kinokawa City, Wakayama Prefecture

Inside Kokawadera

That afternoon we tagged along as our Japanese family drove to Kokawadera in Kinokawa City in Wakayama Prefecture. Once in the temple complex, Mr. Toshi showed and explained to us the procedures for their religious activity. We tried some of their traditions and offered prayers in our own way. 

Apple lollipops for sale outside the temple

A sudden snowstorm lashes through the city

When we were about to leave a sudden snowstorm caught us by surprise. The temperature dipped to below zero and we had to rush to the cars for warmth. We then drove to AEON Mall for our dinner. My wife and I also got the chance to buy some ingredients for some Filipino dishes that we plan to cook for our Japanese family in the days to come.

Driving to AEON Mall

Check out the size of this apple in AEON Mall!

Dinner at AEON Mall

Overall, we have learned several new things about Japanese customs and traditions today. We even had a chance to try some of it. Today's activities also made me fall in love with the Japanese traditions deeper.

Day 15: January 2, 2015

Snowy morning Japan! Yesterday we got to experience some Japanese cultures and traditions thanks to our Japanese family. Today, however, is our chance to make our Japanese family experience and taste some Filipino-styled dishes. Thanks to Kaldi Coffee Farm in AEON Mall yesterday, we got some much-needed "imported" ingredients from the Philippines that my wife would use in her dishes today.

That's my wife cooking her famous lumpia


Cooking for our Japanese family.

We planned to cook the famous pork adobo but the meat in the fridge was a lot different from what we really needed so my wife cooked some lumpiang togue instead. Aside from that I also helped her prepare her specialty buko pandan dessert. 
The taste test

During lunchtime, we were nervous about what our Japanese family would say about the dishes. Thank goodness, they kept on saying it was oishi! Because of the positive feedback, my wife and I became more confident and excited to cook again. Because of that, we spent the night planning about what other local dishes we could prepare for our Japanese family.

Overall, today was a really fulfilling day for me and my wife, we saw the positive feedback on our dish as an accomplishment. It also made us want to cook for them again.


  1. It's great that when you are in Japan, you can learn the customs and culture of Japan so closely. And what is LUMPIA? I am very curious. It looks very tasty.

    1. Hi Anna, Lumpia is a kind of food where in grounded meat or veggies are wrapped up in an edible wrapper. It is then fried. It's perfect to eat it with vinegar.

  2. Wow! I love your travel adventures, I'm rooting to visit Japan very soon. Thanks for this lovely photos I'm now more excited to be here. Lumpia looks delicious!

    1. Thanks Alexi. =) I hope you get to visit Japan soon. =)


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