During the New Year's holidays, especially on the first three days of January, Japanese people eat mochi. A representative dish is zoni（雑煮） soup. As two chinese characters for zoni shows, you can use various ingredients and flavor with soy sauce, miso paste, etc.
By the way, mochi is a rice cake made from special sticky rice. After steaming an adequate amount, knead it and then pound it using a mortar and a mallet. You need to pound the mass until any grains can not be found in it. You need to pound it up while the mass is hot.
Sometimes, you need to add some water to avoid the mochi from sticking to the mortar and mallet.
A steaming mass will be divided into pieces and cooled by flattening it on a board. Leave it about a half day to a day so that the mochi sheet can be cut by a knife. You can eat mochi pieces after putting them into soup or after toasting them.
Akiko lives in a city next to Hakodate and loves to drive around Hakodate and surrounding area. I hope people who visit or live in the Southwest area of Hokkaido come to love the area, too. 函館の隣町在住で道南エリアのドライブ大好きAkikoです。道南を訪れたり、住んでいる人が土地を好きになってくれたらなぁ、と思います。