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Taste “Iron Bowl” Buddhist Vegetarian Cuisine in a hidden Teahouse or Reception Room

“Iron Bowl” Buddhist Vegetarian Cuisine from Izusen, a Kyoto cuisine restaurant founded in 1871 that serves Higashi Honganji Temple as its dedicated caterer.

In fully reserved tea houses and reception rooms normally closed to the public, enjoy Shōsei-en garden while dining on “iron bowl” Buddhist vegetarian cuisine (shōjin ryōri).

“Iron bowl” (teppachi) is a reference to the iron bowls monks use to receive their meals. The practice began in faraway India, and reached Japan in the eighth century, when it was used by alms-seeking monks. In the Buddhist culinary tradition passed down since ancient times, Buddhist teachings are observed by avoiding meat and seafood and only using ingredients such as grains, beans and vegetables. To make the most of the ingredients’ flavor, use of seasonings is restrained and each ingredient is fully used without waste. By filling all the tastes of the four seasons into an iron bowl-shaped container, Izusen’s “iron bowl” Buddhist vegetarian cuisine brings the Kyoto cooking tradition to life today.