Autumn flavor from the mountains and sea

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In Japanese/Kyoto cuisine, the combination of ingredients in each dish is one of the most important elements. As Japan is blessed with nature, we have a large variety of ingredients both from the mountains and sea. We like to find and enjoy the best possible combination of seasonal fish/seafood (or meat) with vegetables (or seaweed). We call it ‘umi no sachi ‘ (blessing from the sea) and ‘yama no sachi’ (blessing from the mountains) in Japanese.

In October what you must not miss is the combination of matsutake and hamo.
Matsutake is a mushroom that has an elegant flavor, particularly the ones grown in Kyoto. They are quite expensive, though. (So not necessarily the ones grown in Kyoto) Hamo is a fish that also has a very good but modest flavor, thus doesn’t compete or interfere with matsutake’s wonderful flavor. Hamo's season will end soon; please hasten to it!

Dobin-mushi of matsutake & hamo

'Dobin-mushi' is a Kyoto autumn special; kind of a clear soup dish. Using a tiny pottery tea-pot, we cook it and we drink the soup in tiny sake cup

Matsutake mushroom

Simmered taro potatoes with prawn amber sauce

For meat-lovers: taro with ground chicken sauce

Another combination from the mountains and sea:
Nagaimo yam(potato) and fresh tuna(fish) cocktail

Shiitake mushroom and prawn tempura

Matsutake gohan : cooked rice with matsutake mushroom

Shimeji gohan : cooked rice with shimeji
Shimeji is other kind of mushroom

Topping-ginkgo nuts

One class : fish・fish・fish

O-sashimi: raw fish dish with wasabi

Sushi and grilled fish

In the moonlit night

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Uzuki showcase in the moonlight

By the old lunar calendar it is considered that the most beautiful full moon appears in the mid-autumn. This year tomorrow, on the evening of Oct. 3rd we'll be able to appreciate it. We Japanese love the moon viewing very much. When we have the full moon viewing in autumn, o-dango(tiny dumplings of rice cake) and some seasonal ingredients, like sato-imo(taro potatoes), kuri(chestnuts) and autumn fruits such as grapes etc. are offered with pampas grass to the moon.
Hoping to have a moonlit night tomorrow!

O-dango: tiny dumplings with a rabbit!
As we have an old folk-tale that rabbits live on the moon and pound rice cakes.

Shungiku-dango: dumplings of 'shungiku' green leaves with red bean paste

Shira-ae: tofu dressed salad
Traditional style - dried shiitake mushroom, lotus root and Kyoto carrot

Fruity one - kaki(persimmon) and green beans