Interview Kyoto Cuisine

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What is Kyoto Cuisine?

Nishijin Uoshin owner : Shigekazu Terada
by Tomoko Moriyama

teradaKyoto cuisine is as rich in flavor and taste as it is in its cultural history. From its ancient past to its present day status, Kyoto cuisine continues to enrich the pallets of many, and to know its origin is to truly appreciate its authenticity.

The capital city of Japan for more than a thousand years (from AD 794 to about AD 1868), Kyoto developed its royalty based culture (the emperor as its central figure) during this time. Shintoism is Japan's original religion (Buddhism was imported around the 6th century) and its people, who cherish both, a religious and loyal to its foundation today as they were yesterday.
From this loyalty to its emperor a royal cuisine using fresh local ingredients developed and spread to the public in many variations related to related to religious rites.

Far inland from the ocean, Kyoto brought in dried sea food from the Sea of Japan and Osaka. It's hot and cold weather basin nur tured vegetables that mixed well with Kyoto's fresh water fish caught in rivers and lake Biwa. The combination of Kyoto cuisine with royalty based cuisine soon evolved with added richness from its soil, the ocean, and its fresh water. But change didn't stop here.

uoshinKyoto cuisine continued to evolve with the times and what it is stands for today was established in the mid-Edo period from the 18th and century and mid 19th century. Kyoto today, as it was then, is a town filled with common folk embracing traditional crafts and merchants with dignity and pride. Because of its history and its present the food prepared for royal celebrations, to be served in temples, shrines and in seasonal rituals, has trickled down to the merchant class (and the masses) resulting in merchant festivals, celestial festivals, and banquets. The Kyoto cuisine of today is rich in history, culture, and geography, and is distinguished from other cuisines in that you can taste the ingredients by using very little flavoring and at the same time feel and enjoy the seasons. ■

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uoshinNishijin Uoshin / 西陣魚新
Established in 1855, Nishijin restaurant continues to carry on the old tradition of Yusoku cuisine today as it did when it was served at the Palace during seasonal events and ceremonies.
Amid a historical well and pine trees, Nishijin is the place to enjoy the traditional taste of Yusoku-Nishijin Bento lunch boxes in a casual, relaxing fashion This authentic Royal cuisine dinner is available for just 36,225 yen.

Reservations : Required
Average Cost : 4,226 yen and up (L), 12,075 yen and up (D)
Credit Card : JCB, Amex
Open : 12:00 am - 3:00 pm (L. O.)(L), 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm (L. O.)(D); Open 7 days (Closed January 1st to 3rd)
Location : 17 min. walk from Imadegawa Station (Subway) 075-441-0753
〒602-8469 京都市上京区中筋通浄福寺西入中宮町300
300, Nakamiya-cho, Jyofukuji Nishi-iru, Nakasuji-dori, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto 602-8469


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