Mochitsuki is the traditional pounding of rice to make mochi (rice cakes). Many Japanese people, and even non-Japanese people, participate in this activity around New Year’s to celebrate good harvest, welcome guests, and give thanks. Mochitsuki is usually performed as a household, group, or can even be a community event. If you have never participated before, check out this video for a basic tutorial on the process. Here are some of the local mochitsuki events taking place this holiday season you and your friends or family can participate in:
Japanese American Cultural & Community Center (JACCC)
244 San Pedro Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Friday, December 28, 2018
9:30 AM – 4:30 PM
Enroll your child in JACCC’s day-long cultural workshop celebrating the New Year. The workshop will include calligraphy, gyoza making, taiko, screen printing, and of course, mochitsuki! Sign up here.
Wesley United Methodist Church
566 N. 5th Street, San Jose, CA 95112
Saturday, December 29, 2018
9:30 AM – 2:00 PM
Children ages 4 to the 5th grade have the opportunity to learn about the New Year’s tradition of pounding and eating mochi. Here is the info to attend.
5380 3/4 University Drive, Irvine, CA 92612
Sunday, December 30, 2018
7:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Teams compete to pound their mochi in 15 minutes and then create their own kagami-mochi (two stacked mochi cakes) decorated to their liking. Submissions will be judged, and awards will be handed out accordingly. Learn more about the event details here.
If you do not feel like pounding your own mochi this year, you can always pre-order some from the Asian American Drug Abuse Program’s annual fundraiser or pick some up from the best local confectioneries.
Mochi Pick-Up Location
Therapeutic Community (TC)
5318 Crenshaw Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90043
Monday, December 31, 2018
12:00 PM – 5:00 PM
315 E. 1st Street, Los Angeles CA 90012
Sunday – Thursday: 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Friday & Saturday: 8:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Fugetsu-do has been making traditional Japanese sweets for over 100 years in Downtown Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo. Their delicious mochi and manju make them one of the best confectioneries in LA.
217 Jackson Street, San Jose, CA 95112
Wednesday – Saturday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Sunday: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Shuei-do Manju Shop also specializes in manju and mochi and is located in San Jose’s Japantown. Pick up a variety box of their beautiful sweets to bring with you to your New Year’s party! Check out their Yelp page here for more information.
Feel free to share with us any other mochitsuki events that you know will be taking place in the community this holiday season!