|Next, the rice gets dumped into a stone pot.|
|Once the rice is inside, it must be quickly "grinded" and mushed together before it stars cooling. Usually it takes three people for this step.|
|Next the pounding process begins. Anyone of all-ages can do this part. Two people get into a rhythm and take turns pounding the rice until it becomes a nice, smooth mochi texture.|
|The mochi is then sent to get cut and shaped.|
|The size of the mochi depends on how it will be eaten. If in ozoni (mochi soup), it will be smaller. If to eat plain it can be larger. They are even stuffed with an (black bean) or even peanut butter.|
Also enjoy fried with a little bit of sugar, shoyu, or even butter. Akemashite omedetogozaimasu (Happy New Year)!
Photo credits to Ryan Kawamoto and Travis Okimoto for covering this special occasion