As a bit of a reminder, the Japanese calendar system has been beat up and smashed around to the point that it is confused and hardly recognizable, but suffice to say that May 5th is thought of as a seasonal holiday called “Tango no Sekku” (also known as Kodomo-no-Hi, and perhaps you’ve heard of it as Boy’s Day or Children’s Day), but because the weather is still too cool to call it the start of summer on May 5th, the San’in Region and some parts of northern Japan practice tsuki-okure: They delay these seasonal holidays by a month and instead celebrate Tango-no-Sekku on June 5.

Chimaki, known by other names and methods in other Asian countries, is a traditional treat for this holiday. The basic idea is that you make a dough out of rice flour (and perhaps some other ingredients for flavor), wrap it in leaves (bamboo leaves are common now), and boil them. If you don’t boil them, they have the tasteless consistency of dough, I found out. Although I really did not know what I was doing when it came to boiling them, I did find them more palatable afterward. I would have appreciated them with a little something sweet, though.