Photo: The delicious Mother's Day Osechi Ryori, jointly created by Rakuten Ichiba and award-winning gourmet merchant Hakata Hisamatsu

Mother’s Day is a great opportunity to say thank you to some of the most important women in your life – and celebrate mothers and motherhood around the world at the same time. With this momentous occasion just around the corner, we wondered, what gifts will moms be getting this year, and, more importantly, what gifts do they really want?

A quick look at the Rakuten Ichiba rankings for Mother’s Day shows that moms in Japan should be expecting the usual, with flowers topping the rankings, followed by cosmetics and sweets. But are these the sort of presents mothers are really hoping for?

A recent survey carried out by Rakuten Research, in which 400 mothers in Japan in their 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s were asked for their thoughts on Mother’s Day, suggests that we might be missing the mark when it comes to the gifts we give.

According to the survey, flowers are the most common gift, with 40.5% of respondents saying they had received them in the past. But when asked what they really wanted for Mother’s Day, gift-givers may be surprised to hear that the results were quite different, with “words of appreciation from their children” (41.0%) closely followed by “time with their children” (40.0%) topping the list.

On top of this, a survey by Rakuten’s e-commerce marketplace Rakuten Ichiba showed that 93.8% of mothers wish for nothing more than to have a break from cooking on Mother’s Day, while 96.5% go a step further and wish for someone else to cook for them. A recent Mother’s Day blog post on U.S. cash back site Ebates suggests a similar trend is occurring there, and recommends treating moms to gifts such as holidays or meals out.

Based on these results, Rakuten Ichiba this year collaborated with Hakata Hisamatsu, an award-winning gourmet merchant, to create an innovative new twist on a classic Japanese meal that will give mothers exactly what they are after.

The dish, osechi ryori, is a traditional Japanese feast typically enjoyed in the new year festive season. Osechi ryori contains a variety of Japanese dishes selected not just for their flavor but for their symbolic value and good fortune, and comes served in stacked boxes known as jubako. It is eaten over the first few holiday days of the new year to give homemakers a well-deserved break from their usual duties.

Rakuten and Hakata Hisamatsu’s Mother’s Day osechi ryori builds on this concept to give moms in Japan the time off and delicious food they are looking for. Slightly different from the New Year’s version of the meal, this special osechi ryori contains both western and Japanese delicacies, in addition to a variety of sweets, so it can be enjoyed by the whole family. If you happen to be in Japan over Mother’s Day this year, why not treat a mom to one?

On a slightly different note, for those of you who haven’t got the mothers in your life a present yet this year, Rakuten Research’s survey suggests that you don’t need to rush. According to the results, more than 90% of mothers answered that they are happy to celebrate even after Mother’s Day, so take your time, shop around and find something she’s really after this year.