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Postcards from Japan: Enjoying a Zen Buddhist meal

Postcards from Japan: Enjoying a Zen Buddhist meal
By Seamus Kearney

In this last episode of Postcards from Japan, we’re back in Kyoto, to take the time to enjoy some traditional cuisine.

As well as discovering the amazing restaurants, visitors can also combine a temple visit with a unique culinary experience known as Shojin-Ryori.

Key facts about Japan:

  • It is an island nation in East Asia
  • The population is more than 127m
  • Land area is just under 378,000 km2
  • The country’s currency is the Yen
  • Main religions are Shinto & Buddhism

Euronews’ Seamus Kearney reported: “This special Zen Buddhist meal is known in Japan as devotion cuisine.

“And it’s in temples like this that the various vegetarian and vegan dishes are prepared, by experts who say that simplicity and harmony are key.”

Absolutely nothing is wasted in the preparation, with only fresh vegetables used – some unique to the region – as well as tofu.

Genbo Nishikawa, the Abbott & Shojin-Ryori chef at the Torin-in Temple, told Postcards: “The most important thing in Shojin-Ryori is to fully bring out the characteristics of the ingredients such as the shape, the colour and the flavour.”

And after a quick sample it’s time to give the taste buds a treat, with a meal that’s made even more special in the sacred surroundings.