I have been on winter break for about two weeks now, and it has been seemingly eventful. Just recently, my host mom and I went to Ueno Zoo in Tokyo. I had a blast! I got to see so many animals, a lot of which aren't in American zoos. I even got a new key chain from there! Another eventful thing I've done is eat mochi! While that might not seem that exciting, it was. For those of you unaware, mochi (often referred to as "Omochi") is Japanese, pounded rice cake. It is most often made and eaten around New Year's. The making of it is what makes it exciting. To make mochi, rice is soaked over night, cooked, and then pounded vigorously until it is a dough-like substance. Then, it is shaped into various things, mainly spheres and cubes. While mochi can be eaten plain, it is most often eaten with various toppings such as nori (dried seaweed), kinoko (soybean flour), and a variety of other flavorings. I'm definitely grateful to have been able to take part in this Japanese tradition!