Cultivated Days | Dispatches from Japan
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Mukago can start the meal as an appetizer, either fried in olive oil with a generous douse of good coarse sea salt, or fried in light sesame oil and flavored with soy. A bowl of them still hot from the pan offers a salty, oily satisfaction that pairs well with any one of Japan’s...

Last week, on a perfect fall day with a high blue sky rising above aureate fields rustling in the gentle breeze, Miyazaki-san, the proprietor of a local vegetable market where I buy my rice led me towards Kato-san’s fields in a wide valley. As one of very few farmers using organic...

Food is so intimately tied to place. I write for you, an English speaking audience, in hopes that I can elucidate things hard to know outside of Japan and eventually lure you to travel and eat in situ. The food culture of Japan is hard to translate, even harder to transport...

The rains have gone and we are swimming through sultry days. Hot, still air vibrates with the high-tension shrill of giant cicadas. But by all accounts this is still the minor phase of heat, the prelude to a major swelter still to come. Mornings are fresh and...

The craftsman and the cook harmonize, animating tableware both masterfully made and masterfully used. When each works with care and consideration vessels come alive. When the craftsman says a and the cook says um, we at the table are blessed. ...

I can think of no better way to tune into the season than to grasp any break in the weather to walk country paths and gather handfuls of wild edibles just at their prime, knowing that yesterday would have been too soon and tomorrow would be too late....

Nama-nori ties us to the taste of winter, when the cold waters and bright sun raise the best nori while nanohana is a harbinger of spring. When brought together, this inspired dish eloquently expresses the current in-between season...

Ten years ago this week I moved to Japan, into the little house on the hill that Hanako had built for us. We'd wake in the mornings under a mountain of blankets, our breath visible in the frigid air and spar over why the other should be the one to...

There will never be a white Christmas in Mirukashi. If we get snow it comes only in flurries and dustings that don’t stick. But I consider the kaki trees my consolation. Driving the country roads, it seems the hills are dressed for the holidays...

After hours and hours on planes and trains, a taxi dropped us at the foot of our little hill. In the dark we hauled suitcases up the path to our door. I turned the key in the lock and entered, breathing in the familiar aroma of the cypress beams that frame our little Mirukashi home....