Hanshin Madhouse 阪神混乱

Today we went with Somemaru Hanshin, a major department store in Umeda. We had to buy ingredients for osechi, traditional Japanese food to be made and eaten over the New Year’s holiday, the first few days of the new year. I’ve heard that the idea behind osechi is to give mothers and wives, who are generally busy in homes throughout the year, a break from the kitchen at the beginning of the year. Since Somemaru does virtually all the cooking in his house, the time off will be his. I’ll write more about osechi and New Years at Somemaru’s in the coming days.

Because the country all but closes down for the first few days of the new year, everybody seemed to be out taking care of their year-end shopping. The trains were packed outside of rush hour, and Hanshin was a madhouse! It was all fun for  me though, because I usually don’t get to see such sites. It really reminded me of the situation in American shopping malls immediately before and after  Christmas Day. Instead of doing last-minute Christmas shopping and gift returns, people in Japan are buying up food that keeps well, and New Years decorations.





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