"Osechi" Reservation Starts at Ganko
"Osechi ryori (おせち料理)" is traditional Japanese New Year's cuisine. Osechi are in a special box called "ju-bako (重箱)" which means piled up boxes. They are usually in 2-3 boxes filled with many traditional Japanese dishes. Each dish has differet special meaning in celebrating the New Year.
Some popular examples are:
*Ebi (えび) - shrimp, symbolize a wish for a long life, to live until you have a long beard and bent waist like shrimps.
*Konbu (昆布) - type of seaweed, symbolize a wish for a joy of life, associated with a Japanese word "yorokobu".
*Tai (鯛) - sea bream, symbolize a wish for auspicious events, associated with a Japanese word "medetai"
*Kazunoko (数の子) - herring roe, symbolizes a wish to be gifted with many children. "Kazu" is "number" and "ko" is "children" in Japanese.
Most of the Japanese family eat Osechi in the 3 days of New Year's. This is because in early days, shops and restaurants were closed in the New Year's, and Japanese people stayed at their homes. Shops, restaurants, and convenient stores are open 24/7 nowadays, but this culture of eating Osechi and housewives and salaried men staying home relaxing, is still remaining in Japan. Have yourself "Osechi" if you are in Japan over the New Year's. Some can be bought on 12/31 and 1/1, but they are usually bought under reservation.