In Japan, food has long symbolized prosperity, playing a key role in annual festivities. Mochi rice cakes bring fortune in the New Year while azuki red beans ward off evil spirits. Takenoko bamboo shoots grow quickly, symbolizing success, and candies handed out to children bless them with a healthy future. Tour the country with us on a recap of some of Japan's most important foods and the special meaning behind them. (Reporters: Alexander W. Hunter, Kyle Card, Saskia Thoelen and Janni Olsson)
Variety of Renkon lotus root dishes
Renkon lotus root
Chitose ame candy
Azuki red beans