I meant to post this yesterday, but in Japan 7th January is the day we eat "Nanakusa-gayu" (七草粥) which literally means seven-herb rice porridge. Another Japanese customs/traditions from the part of (or the end of) NewYear Celebrations.

People tend to eat and drink A LOT during the new years in Japan, so to eat something light and healthy like Nanakusa-gayu on the 7th day of the new year is thought to give worn-out stomach a good rest. But actually it is believed to bring longevity and health if you eat it on this day. I do it mainly for the former reason though.

The New Year is really important in Japan and there are SO MANY customs and traditons regarding New Year, but there aren't so many that I follow. This one is nice and easy (and tasty!), the seven-herb is sold at the suparmarkets so I do this every year :) (Actually we are supposed to eat it in the morning of 7th Jan but I couldn't be bothered cooking when i woke up so I cheated by doing it in the evening for a quick and easy dinner.)

The seven herbs (edible wild herbs they are) are:
Japanese parsley (seri), Shepherd's purse (nazuna), Jersey Cudweed (gogyō), Common chickweed (hakobera), Henbit (hotokenoza), Turnip (suzuna), and Daikon (suzushiro).


  1. Thank you so much to share Japanese traditions!

  2. this sounds like such a great tradition. and your photos are gorgeous!

  3. very very great tip.
    your blog is learning me so much about Japan. Thank you Hiki !

  4. Perhaps a bit like the typical American New Year's resolution to diet?

    Lovely pics.

  5. this sounds delicious! im also enjoying learning about japan here, so thank-you!

  6. I love learning about aspects of Japanese culture that I didn't know of before... Thanks for sharing with us!

  7. This looks delicious! I want to see the finished product! I might have to google it after this! Can't wait to see you in a few weeks!
    Love Love
    Hello Sando

  8. happy new years hikisan!
    maybe i should eat that too, i drank a lot to welcome the new year as well. hahah

  9. thank you everyone!
    it was quite tasty :)
    i did take a photo of it when it's done, but it didn't look so good so i did not put the picture up here. i'm not really good at food presentation.... :p
    but anyway i'm glad you enjoyed this post :)

  10. it's funny because when i cook the raw ingredients always look better than the final dish :-)
    lovely pictures, especially the 2.
    happy 2010 hiki!

  11. hiki! your photos look so fresh! it doesn't even feel like winter!
    I can't believe new years is coming up already! I wish I was in asia to celebrate it!

  12. hikisan, by the way...
    i watched the honokaa boy movie that you suggested! :-)
    its a very pretty film and cute story....DEMO, chotto kimochiwarui. hahah because it is hard for me to watch a movie that is placed in Hawaii....since i live in Hawaii, i find so many things wrong with films in Hawaii...you know what i mean? like i find things not true, or seem silly because what people place in films about hawaii are very..."touristy"?

    hahah i did enjoy it though. thank you for the recommendation anway :-D

  13. i love your tablecloth:) what a great photo of the 7 herbs. i am sure it was totemo oishii!

  14. awesome pictures, always


  15. I love your blog and I talk about you today on mine…

  16. hey wow hiki, you've taught me something new about traditions today! :) and i love the green against the white in the photos, how vibrant and pretty.

  17. Interesting! In Frankfurt, Germany there is a delicious green sauce dish which uses seven herbs as well! They are borage, chervil, cress, parsley, burnet, sorrel and chives.


your kind words are always welcome and appreciated! arigato :)