Food Galleries

Explore Japanese Culture in Flat Rock

Preparations for New Year’s Day. Utagawa Kunisada, artist

The Gallery at Flat Rock invites you to celebrate the New Year at a traditional Japanese Mochitsuki ceremony on Saturday, January 13, from 1–4 p.m. The ceremony, which involves making mochi, a sweet or savory rice cake, is offered through the WNC Japanese Culture Center, a Hendersonville organization dedicated to sharing aspects of traditional Japanese culture.

“Mochitsuki is a fun way to gather the community and participate in an ancient tradition of starting the new year with good fortune,” says the gallery’s owner Suzanne Camarata Ball.

The ceremony, held just outside the gallery, will include two rice-pounding demonstrations in which sticky rice is processed using a large mortar and pestle to create a paste that is formed into balls and flavored. Guests will have opportunities to try the technique themselves as well as to taste various flavors of the finished product. Though eaten year-round in Japan, mochi is believed to bring good luck in the New Year when Mochitsuki ceremonies typically take place.

Inside the gallery, traditional kimonos will be available for women, men and children to wear for a photo opportunity. WNC Japanese Culture Center founders Emiko and Manabu Suzuki will provide tips on the proper way to wear a kimono.

The Gallery at Flat Rock is located in Flat Rock Square at 2702-A Greenville Highway in Flat Rock. The event is open to the public. The cost per person is $5, with all proceeds going to the WNC Japanese Culture Center. To learn more, including demonstration times, visit or call the gallery at 828.698.7000.

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