When people hear the word “Japan”, the first food most think of is “sushi”. Back in 2016, I enjoyed a wonderful experience eating sushi with my family in one of those sushi joints next to Tsukiji Market. The sushi was fresh and delicious and was worth the experience of lining up on a rainy morning and cramming into a small space. Unagi Friends jokes were made. I will always treasure the memory of sharing that particular experience with my family.
This time around, I only ate sushi twice; once, in a place outside Tsukiji, another time, in Nara. While the one near Tsukiji was a standard sushi experience, the one in Nara is different; the sushi is wrapped in persimmon leaves. This sushi style is local to Nara and called “Kakinoha sushi”.
Bite size rice balls are topped with salted mackerel and wrapped in a persimmon leaf. Each piece is then put into a wooden box and pressed with a heavy stone to ferment for a few days. When refrigerators were not around, this was a special dish the people in the mountains enjoyed during summer festivals.
You can read more about persimmon leaf wrapped Kakinoha sushi here.
For more pictures of my 2018 trip to Japan, click here.