Four seasons

It has been very chilly, and I can see beautiful autumn leaves everywhere. I have been living in London since 2002, and since then I have enjoyed Springtime most in London. It is the most welcoming season after the cold and wet of winter.

When I was growing up in Japan, my family always tried to eat seasonal food in an  appropriate setting. Sadly, I do not have any pictures of these family dishes, but I do have some pictures from my favourite restaurant in Tokyo. Tokyo has the most Michelin stars of any city in the world, and it is quite normal for Japanese people to have a seasonal approach to food. The Japanese are also famously hard working (in a good as well as a bad way). I can remember how in Tokyo, everyone has a proper lunch everyday, even if that means they have to work until quite late. I cannot ever remember seeing any of my colleagues eating sandwiches in front of their computers, as happens so much now in the West.

 The picture above shows a Shokado bento, which I love whatever the season. The one here is a typical autumn Shokado bento, where the fresh seasonal ingredients are packed in small containers, most usually raw fish (sashimi), boiled vegetables, something deep fried, something grilled, pickles, boiled rice and miso soup. These are all placed in the square box with seasonal petals. It is a meal that involves five senses.

The following picture shows a typical starter for the autumn season. It reminds me of autumn Japanese gardens. It is a lovely idea to use the treasured Japanese garden culture when arranging dishes for the table. You could do something similar at your own dinner party, and really impress your friends or partners!