Washoku: The Heart & Soul of Japan

So what is washoku?  Yes, you in the back.  Right, pre-Western foods from Japan.  Mountain vegetables, miyoga, fish and shellfish from the Sea of Japan, and so on.  Plus the style and pace and presentation of dishes–wa.  Harmony.   Order.  Succession of flavors, textures, and temperatures.

All that said, yesterday saw the D.T. Suzuki museum in Kanazawa, which was designed by Yoshio Taniguchi.  Same architect who did MOMA.  Stunning, empty spaces, no clutter, lots of places for the mind to roam.

Later, on the very same day, it was a delicious dinner at Beniya Mukayu–the name “Mukayu” means non-being or nothingness–consisting of exquisite fish and vegetables.  Flavors sang, the chef is restrained and playful at the same time.  The owner, Sachiko Nakamichi, and her husband Kazunari, epitomize omotanashi.

More baths in the hot springs.

And then a Japanese breakfast of yuba, grilled fish, salad, steamed vegetables, and miso.

It’s food and space that speaks of temporality.

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