Toshikoshi-soba (年越しそば) Fun! Japan Words vol.123

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20161205-09-01-Yuki

With New Year’s coming up, it is the perfect time to learn more about Japan’s New Year culture and its various traditions. In particular, we will learn more about one of the traditional New Year dishes, osechi ryouri, that Japanese people eat on New Year’s Eve called Toshikoshi Soba (年越しそば). It translates roughly to “New Year Soba Noodles”.

If you are familiar with Japanese cuisine, you most likely already know about soba noodles, made from buckwheat. New Year soba is eaten to welcome health, life longevity, and good luck, symbolized by the characteristics that Soba noodles are known for, thin and long.

There isn’t a set recipe for New Year soba and the ingredients will vary extensively by region and household. Even if you don’t get to eat New Year soba, if you are in Japan, definitely give soba noodles a try! They are especially delicious in Japan!

Let’s remember the following useful sentences before going to Japan!

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●Haha ga tsukuru toshikoshi soba ha sugoku oishii desuyo!
(母が作る年越しそばはすごく美味しいですよ!)
> My mother makes really delicious New Year Soba!

●Toshikoshi soba wo taberu to nagaiki dekiru to iwarete imasuyo!
(年越しそばを食べると長生きできると言われています。)
> It is said that eating New Year Soba will allow you to live a long life.

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Now all that’s left is to go out there and try using them in Japan!


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