For many visitors to Japan, experiencing new things is just as important as sightseeing or shopping.

Those interested in trying something new and getting a taste of the real Japan during their trip are encouraged to try out an osechi cooking class.

“Osechi” is a traditional New Year’s dish in which an assortment of mini-dishes are displayed in ornate boxes. Each ingredient used in osechi has a special meaning, and are used to wish for prosperity and good health in the new year. Most of these dishes keep well, which traditionally gave the women of the house a break for the first three days of January.

While osechi is eaten during the holiday season, the cooking classes are offered year-round. Open to tourists since last year, the classes, which also introduce New Year’s traditions like otoso (rice wine) and otoshimada (New Year’s allowances) have been a hit.

For more information, visit the official website (English) or PR TIMES (Japanese only)