Shōjin ryōri

Shōjin ryōri means devotion cuisine and is the Buddhist vegetarian cuisine which is served at Shojoshin-in were we are staying at the moment.

It’s a feast for all senses including the eyes. According to a pamphlet we got this cuisine is based on a concept of five flavours, five cooking methods and five colours. Every meal should include a grilled dish, a deep-fried dish, a pickled dish, a tofu dish and a soup dish.

For each meal we are led into a private room where we find the set up you can see below. Then a monk comes and brings the hot dishes (= soups), a bowl of rice and a pot of tea.

IMG_3784 Our dinner yesterday:

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IMG_3786Our dinner today:

The dish on the very left side is a mini nabe. But instead of the normal pot there was some kind of a fire-proof (and hopefully food-safe) paper which was heated by a flame. When we arrived the food in it was still all fresh. The man who led us into the room then lit the flame. And while we were starting to eat the other dishes the nabe got slowly ready.

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IMG_3898We also get breakfast. It’s served right after the early morning ceremony – a 40 minute chant by two monks which starts at 6.30am. Attendance is expected which we translate to compulsory.

Breakfast looks similar to dinner. For the eyes a feast but for my early morning stomach not so much…

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