SAN JOSE — Every year, over 200 volunteers work together, teach each other, make new friends, eat together and give up a precious shopping day to help at Yu-Ai Kai’s annual mochitsuki.

Eating smooth, round rice cakes is the traditional Japanese way to welcome the New Year, and the mochitsuki event has become a community and multigenerational annual gathering place.

A special variety of sweet rice (mochigome) is steamed, pounded and shaped into small cakes (komochi). Mochi is a New Year’s food symbolizing strength, good health and wealth.

This year’s mochitsuki will be held at the San Jose Buddhist Church Annex, 640 N. 5th St., on Saturday, Dec. 13, from 12 to 3 p.m. Mochi will be sold for $4 per pound and must be ordered by Friday, Dec. 5. Orders will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Yu-Ai Kai will not be responsible for mochi not picked up by 3 p.m.

All proceeds benefit Yu-Ai Kai’s programs and services for seniors.

For more information, call (408) 294-2505 or visit


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