December 19, 2013

Shojin Ryori: Buddhist Cuisine

One of the highlights of staying at Ichijoin in Koya, Wakayama Prefecture was getting to experience shojin ryoryi ("devotion cuisine", traditional Buddhist cuisine that is famously vegetarian. Above was a dinner meal.

Shojin ryori has been around in Japan since the 12th century, and is believed to have a great influence on Japanese cuisine.

Many of the dishes are based on tofu, such as this one above, which is made of yuba (tofu skin).

Seasonal fruit also play a large role. This persimmon salad also had dried persimmon inside!

Soba noodles and yuba rolls.

The loveliest surprise of the meal: tempura. The inside was...

...fig, which I had never before experienced!

The miso sauce here was delicious. To be fair, though, everything was delicious.

Breakfast, which also features persimmon and tofu.

A monk gathering everything up at the end.

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