Shojin ryori is the art of cooking simple food, typically consisting of a soup and three side dishes. It generally uses minimal seasoning and solely uses vegetables as its main ingredients and so because of this, most vegans and vegetarians can enjoy this simple yet elegant cuisine. Some temples strictly follow a rule where they only use select vegetables given on that day. It has become a long-standing traditional practice for most monks and because of that, the dishes always result in unfailing simplicity and beauty. It doesn’t have any fancy decorations but you’ll definitely see and taste the honesty in the food. You’ll be glad you had taken this humble and vegan-friendly cuisine to eat.
The shojin ryori cooking style was adapted by Japanese people during the early 13th century when Zen Buddhism was growing widespread throughout the country. It was introduced by its founder, Monk Dogen, who introduced and emphasized the practice of seated meditation. Due to the belief that animal spirits interfere with their meditation, Buddhist tradition doesn’t allow the practice of killing animals for human consumption, and so they don’t use meat or fish on their dishes. Despite this, shojin ryori is far from being bland because even so, the five flavors are present in the dishes, offering five colors which balances everything out. And the result? A simple yet flavorful dish.
Shojin ryori also uses the cooking technique modoki ryori which is a common trait in most Japanese cooking. This is the substitution of vegetable ingredients in the place of meat. For example, mushroom, tofu, or seaweed products are used instead of beef or pork. As Buddhist monks also believe that nothing should go to waste, they make soups out of these leftovers like trimmings from carrots or peels of potatoes. Without requiring so much handwork, shojin ryori is simple and harmonious, teaching us to receive the simple joys given to us. Create exceptional memories out of making your own shojin ryori at a Buddhist cuisine cooking class in Tokyo.
Highlights of the Shojin Ryori (Buddhist Cuisine) Cooking Class in Tokyo:
- Make and prepare 5 different dishes of shojin ryori
- Learn about the culture and history of Buddhist cuisine in Japan
- Vegetarian-friendly menu
- No onions or garlic used
- No MSG or additives used
- A 3-hour shojin ryori Buddhist cuisine cooking class
- English-speaking Japanese cooking instructor
- Ingredients for making 5 dishes of shojin ryori
- Utensils and tools to make shojin ryori dishes
- Recipes to take home with you
- Complimentary sake and green tea
- Tororomushi (a steamed mix of grated daikon and Japanese yam)
- Vegetarian pressed sushi topped with ‘egg’ made from tofu
- Deep-fried vegetable skewers
- Sautéed seasonal vegetable steaks
- Miso soup (made from kombu seaweed, no bonito flakes used)
- Transportation fee to and from the cooking class location
No minimum people required. Solo travelers, friends, couples and family, all are welcome!
Kappabashi: Between Ueno and the traditional downtown district of Asakusa, Kappabashi is the place to go for all of your kitchen needs, it’s any chef’s absolute dream. Kappabashi Street or Kappabashi Kitchen Town is famous for specializing in everything a restauranteur could possibly ever need, with dozens of shops selling Tokyo’s best Japanese knives, kitchenware, and utensils. All the way through to tables and lamps and signage, Kappabashi is the go-to place for all things cooking and food, with the exception of fresh ingredients. In fact, Kappabashi is also known for being the place to buy plastic food samples, delicious looking replicas that are often displayed in restaurant windows, used to entice customers. Impressively realistic, these faux foods are made to order, and despite being inedible they will surely make your eyes widen and your mouth water.
Meeting Time and Meeting Location:
The meeting point is at the cooking class location. This cooking class in Tokyo is located in between historical Asakusa and Kappabashi Kitchen Town. The exact location and video guide for accessing the cooking class location will be provided upon booking.
- 5-minute walk from Tawaramachi on the Metro Ginza Line
- 5-minute walk from Asakusa Station on the Tsukuba Express
- 13-minute walk from Asakusa Subway Station on the Toei Asakusa Line
- Upon booking, you will receive a booking confirmation email. Once confirmed, present your booking information at the event place.