I'm in Osaka right now, probably walking around town. But thanks to the ability to schedule posts, I can make this post go live at midnight California time!
So, Happy New Year!
My older students are more interested in following the osechi tradition, while younger students, especially the children, don't like it. I think only one of my school-aged students that I asked actually likes osechi meals.
Historically, osechi included only vegetables, but seafood and more recently even western food has been included. They're stored (and sold) in distinctive boxes that resemble bento boxes.
Osechi-ryori are the traditional Japanese foods served in osechi during the new year, and they all have significance. Even the arrangement is important. Soba noodles are an important part of the first osechi meal, too.
You can't buy osechi in restaurants, and unless you're in Japan over New Years it will be very hard to try. And it's not cheap, as boxes start around 10,000 yen (about $100), designed to feed a few people for a few days. Prices can reach $10,000 for the luxury ones made by celebrity chefs, though - and they usually sell out! Given the high cost, I doubt I'll get a chance to try osechi any time soon.