Branching out with Japanese-style New Year decorations

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Women make hanamochi New Year decorations at a workshop in Takayama, Gifu Prefecture, on Tuesday. White and pink mochi rice cakes are rolled around branches of willow, plum and other trees to make the traditional ornaments, used to adorn entrance halls or tokonoma alcoves during the New Year holidays. Recently, hanamochi has been added to ikebana flower arrangements, and branches can extend for as long as 2 meters. The production process will continue until around Dec. 25, and the decorations will be available in the Tokyo metropolitan area and Kansai region as well.