Kagami-Biraki: New Year Sake Celebration
Bring in the New Year in traditional Japanese style with the "Kagami-Biraki" or "Kagami-wari".
The traditional ceremony, translating to "Opening the Mirror" or "Breaking of the Mochi (Japanese rice cakes), is usually held during occasions such as weddings, opening ceremonies, sports events and other parties. To celebrate the New Year, kagami biraki is usually held on the 11th of January as odd numbers are considered auspicious in Japan.
During the kagami biraki ceremony, the lid of the sake is opened using a kizuchi (wooden mallet). Then, a hishaku (wooden ladle) is used to fill the masu cups with sake from the barrel. Traditionally used to measure rice, masu is a unique-looking cup which is square in shape.
Last year a number of hotels in Niseko host this traditional celebration including Ki Niseko, AYA Niseko, The Vale Niseko and Hotel Niseko Alpen.
To join in the celebration, head to any of the major hotels in Niseko. For those of you who prefer a little sleep in on New Year's Day (and perhaps you need to nurse a sore head), Ki Niseko will host their celebration late afternoon. Visit www.kiniseko.com for details.
For one of the first Kagami-wari ceremonies of the day, head to King Bell Hut at 10:00 am on 1 January.