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I want to eat this in spring in Kyoto.

The hospitality of Higashiyama Ogata’s chef, Koji Fukui, and proprietress, Mei Ogata, made for an enjoyable evening in Kyoto.

There are certain foods that I look forward to when I come to Kyoto during this spring season.

Bamboo shoots (taketoko),

Lake Biwa’s honmoroko.

Hanasansho (Japanese pepper).

Just having these three ingredients in my mouth tonight makes me very happy…

○Bamboo shoots…Spring is the season of bamboo shoots. Kyoto is home to four major brands of bamboo shoots,

Sagano (Ukyo Ward)

Sagano (Ukyo-ku, Kyoto), Oedatsukabara (Saikyo-ku, Kyoto), Oharano (Saikyo-ku, Kyoto)

Oharano (Nishikyo Ward)

Nishiyama (Muko City, Nagaokakyo)

Just hearing these words immediately reminds me of rice with bamboo shoots and bowls filled with bamboo shoots.

The fish used to be caught in large numbers in Lake Biwa, but now it is a luxury fish used in ryotei (Japanese-style restaurants).

It is very tasty when fresh and grilled. The baby fish in early spring is more delicious!

Hana-Sansho (Japanese pepper)…used mainly in Kyoto and other areas in the Kyoto-Osaka-Kobe region, but now it has become a nationwide delicacy and is very hard to come by due to its rising price.

It is a condiment with the unique flavor of yellow flowers. It is very precious…

Chef Fukui’s skill, inherited from his master, is truly delicious and amazing!

In spring, bamboo shoots; in summer, young sweetfish and pike conger; in fall, matsutake mushrooms and crabs; in winter, fugu (blowfish) and shirako (baby white fish); and vegetables are also seasonal, and he always makes the most of the most delicious ingredients at that time of year.

I would like to revisit again in a different season.

Thank you very much!

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