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Chef Fuji is one of the best at Kaiseki cuisine, the finest Japanese cokking style. His abilities, skills and experience are at your service in Gosechie Restaurant. If you try it, you won't be disapointed.

Gin No Mori, an osechi story

What is osechi?

The New Year or Shôgatsu, which was included in the Gosekku as Kochôkai 小朝拝, is one of the most important celebration in Japan.

For this very peculiar occasion that a very peculiar set of dishes, the osechi, is prepared with a strong spiritual and religious connections.

Originally, osechi were prepared with seasonal ingredients and needed a long time to be ready before the New Year – as it was forbidden to use hearth for cooking on this very day.

The dishes were reserved for the family or the very close friends and the housewife was finally able to rest. At Gin No Mori, we built our products while keeping in mind the origins and the symbolism of osechi.

Japanese New Year Kagamimochi
New Year preparations : "Kagamimochi" fully and traditionally decorated.

The New Year celebration 

The dishes of the New Year were not at the beginning disposed in jûbako. This way of doing came later, as the various dishes did. Only rice and vegetables were used for asking the protection of the kami for the forthcoming year and crops.

Nevertheless, osechi menus are basically composed around the following dishes:

  • Toso: a medical sake reserved for the New Year
  • Iwaizakana Sanshu or Mitsuzakana:  the three dishes that celebrate the kami or Shinto gods.
  • Zoni: New Year soup that contains mocha and various vegetables according to the regions.
  • Nishime: simmered meal based on dashi, more or less sweet. There are vegetables like carrots, renkon (lotus root), daikon (white long radish), and other ingredients according to the regions.

In the Kantô region (Tokyo) the Iwaizakana Sanshu are made of kazu no ko (Pacific herring roe), kuromame (black soy beans generally sweet), and tadzukuri (dried Japanese anchovies with spices). In Kansai region (Osaka), kuromame are replaced by tataki gobô, dish based on the greater burdock, once used in Europe as vegetable.

Symbolism of the dishes above (as added dishes carry also their own meaning):

  • Toso: medicinal sake that cures the pains of the body and of the mind. It protects the body and takes away the sins.
  • Kazu no ko: 数の子 means literally “many kids”. A fertility sign and births are expected to come.
  • Tadzukuri: 田作り in Japanese means “making the paddy field”. A nice harvest is sought after the kami.
  • Kuromame: the black color is a bad sign but it is not the case in the Taoism – popular in China when some customs were adopted. Here, the black beans represent the life longevity and the hard work needed for subsisting.
  • Tataki Gobô: the Greater Burdock long and deep roots (50 cm to 1-2 meters) signify stability, good harvest and good health. It replaces black soy beans that can be seen as bad luck.
  •  Zoni: a meal really healthy that gives power for the forthcoming year. As its composition is deeply related to the local vegetables, this meal is a sign of respect for one’s own land and helps protecting the family on this land.
  • Nishime: if the cooking of Nishime warms up the kami or gods in the winter cold, the meal is then eaten cold. It is a sign of deference and submission towards the spirits and the gods.

Gin No Mori main product is then osechi box: you find in one box different traditional dishes and some new ones.

Handmade osechi is our life

After years of fine tuning our processes, recipes and skills, we are very confident in the taste of our osechi.

Here how we work:

  • At the beginning of the year trends are reviewed and R&D looks for new recipes
  • We discuss with our customers about each dish and craft for them
  • We source ingredients, packaging and all the required material for each customer according to their requirements
  • Production starts around July: we use our high speed frozen process to store dishes that require seasonal ingredient. It is also convenient for somoothing the production.
  • Peak of production is between September and December
  • December, a very busy month, is also the period for packing and sending the osechi to our customers

Our production system is like Ford or Toyota : we work with kanban, 5S and simplicty in mind.

Most of the tasks are done by humans: 

Processes are designed to get the most of our capacities without lowering quality standards.

Tasty is good, but if it is safe and without waste, it is even better.

Actually, most of them are sold under distributors names through Japan. Some of them are really famous and despite all the years working with us, they are still asking us to craft their osechi 

We hope in a near future to bring the osechi concept outside Japan as we know that many gourmets are waiting for it.