Eating (too much) is an integral part of the new year celebration in Japan.
A staple of new year fare here is mochi (お餅), which is basically mashed-up sticky rice.
In times gone by, everyone made their own mochi by steaming and pounding the rice themselves. In our modern, civilised existence, most people just buy mochi pre-prepared.
Store-bought mochi can still be delicious and filling, but it's even better hand-made, as I learned a few days ago when I had a chance to participate in a mochi-making party (餅つき) for the first time.
Below is a short video:
Making Mochi from Tony Wu on Vimeo.
In case you're interested, l took all the footage with a Canon EOS 7D.
...time to eat again.