Unique Japanese New Year’s Celebration Free to Public with Traditional Rice Cake Pounding to be Held Feb. 3

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DEL MAR, Calif., Jan. 21, 2013 – Southern Californians looking for a cultural adventure are invited to celebrate the new year Japanese style with Shimbashi Izakaya in a traditional rice cake pounding event, called Mochitsuki, Sunday, Feb. 3, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. A local Japanese choir group, Chorus Kaguya, will perform during the event, which is free of charge. Participants will enjoy complimentary mochi (rice cakes), demonstrations and hands-on activities for all ages.

Mochitsuki is an important part of the New Year celebration in Japan, during which rice is pounded with a huge, wooden hammer called a Kine in a traditional mortar called an Usu. It takes brawn, stamina and a sense of cultural adventure. Seating at the patio will be available on a first-come first-served basis.

Directly after the event, participants are encouraged to stay for Chanko Nabe, or chankonabe, the staple food eaten by sumo wrestlers in Japan to help them pack on the pounds they need to compete in the ring. Refined and tasty variations of this dish are enjoyed at chanko nabe restaurants throughout Japan. Nabe is a traditional Japanese one-pot dish popular in Japan during the cold winter, and chankanabe is stew containing chicken, beef, vegetables and seafood all cooked in a pot. It’s very healthy and lean until the rice cake is added, which is what makes it hearty and perfect for Sumo wrestlers. Customers can order this healthy and nutritiously balanced meal after the Mochitsuki event Feb. 3 for $24 per person, minimum two orders.

Shimbashi Izakaya, with its sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean, is located on the Market Level at the Del Mar Plaza, at 1555 Camino Del Mar in Del Mar, Calif. Named Shimbashi, after a district in Tokyo where the first train rail was built in Japan in 1872, and where famous Izakaya-style bars and restaurants for businessmen to relax and unwind are located, Shimbashi Izakaya brings the Japanese culinary culture and tradition to the U.S. With its tapas-style Japanese menu, Shimbashi Izakaya features fresh seafood that is always in season. The restaurant regularly hosts events on site. Learn more at www.shimbashiizakaya.com or 858-523-0479, stay up to date about restaurant specials and events on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or visit us online and join our mailing list for special offers.

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