Seasonal Stories


A new view

The salon began as a concept, an idea for an uncommon and intimate experience I could offer here in the countryside of Japan to connect guests to the landscape in which Japan’s flavors and food culture originate. Once the concept was fully realized, I myself realized that such an experience deserves a dedicated space, a […]


Season of shincha

We are entering the season of shincha when leaves of the first tea harvest of the year are released. Tea benefits from some post-harvest aging to allow the flavor to intensify. But it’s hard to wait and so we celebrate the harvest by drinking an aromatic and delicate tea brewed from the freshly harvested leaves. […]


On the rocks

Spring must have partied hard last year because she was late to rise this year. The cherry trees haven’t bloomed this late in over 10 years. Sandwiched between cold winds and drizzle, we were graced with one bright and balmy day to celebrate them with our Sakura Season guests, enjoying a picnic under the first […]


Breaking Ground

It was a big day, an important day, and so I chose a tarot card as a meditation, a message to center me for the day. I shuffled the cards and let my hand wander to one. I drew it from the deck, flipped it over, and set it down. A black cloaked figure on […]


If you look closely

February 4th is an auspicious day. It’s the first day of spring according to Japan’s ancient almanac. Only in a culture such as Japan’s, a culture of anticipation, could a day as early as this be the first day of spring. Here, unlike in the west where we bear all and shout a thing from […]


An opulent choice

After hours around the table and a feast of many flavors, I pull out a slender bottle and pour a tasting of this sweet elixir for my guests. It runs a tawny syrup and as potent as a port. Unctuous and silken, rich and intense, it hits the nose and tongue with a cascade of […]


For the gods

Lights still twinkle on the Christmas tree as we linger in the final throes of the festive December season. But as we count down to the end of the year, I feel the first sparks of an urge to put away remnants of things past and set the stage for a new beginning. I relish […]


The crest of winter

I wake in the dark, kindle a fire in the hearth, brew chai, and kneel beside Bean on a sheepskin before the wood stove. I cradle my warm mug between sips and together we watch the flames dance. Not a glimmer of light glows on the horizon, won’t still of quite some time. Darkness reigns […]


Stillness and shadows

After a warm spell that left me wondering where winter was hiding, it blew in on an icy north wind. We brought the first load of wood up to the house and built a fire in the wood stove. I pulled sheepskins out of storage, one at each bedside to caress bare feet on cold […]


The taste of fire

October, a golden season of ripe rice and goldenrod, turns to orange and red in November as the colors of autumn thicken. But we are still reveling in the season of shinmai, dining on the new crop of rice. The plump, chewy grains pair so well with other autumnal flavors like Ginko nuts, mukago, and […]


Honeyed and sweet

The taxi turned right onto the lane that leads up to our home. Towering goldenrod pressed in from the left while light-seeking branches reached in from the right funneling the car into the center of an already narrow pass. The driver wound cautiously up, passing a thicket of bamboo, then a grove of cedar, and […]

Explore the Seasons


Join an intimate gathering of extraordinary guests and together we'll explore the flavors of the season in the context of one of the world’s greatest culinary traditions. I can’t wait to welcome you.

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