'age Toro' Deep-fried Grated Yam, A Tasty Treat For All Ages

'Age toro' deep-fried grated yam, a tasty treat for all ages

"Tororo" (grated yam) restaurant Chojiya, standing on the former site of Mariko-juku--one of the many stations of the old Tokaido route--has a rich history that its owner intends to carry on.

Kaoru Shibayama, the 64-year-old proprietor, invited people who helped him rethatch the restaurant's emblematic roof to a party there on May 19.

'power Food' Of Old, Deceptively Moreish 'tororo' Grated Yam Soup

'Power food' of old, deceptively moreish 'tororo' grated yam soup

Chojiya is a restaurant specializing in "tororo" (grated yam) dishes located in Shizuoka city's Suruga Ward, an area that retains the feel of Mariko-juku, one of the many stations of the old Tokaido route.

The establishment replaced its symbolic thatched roof this spring and continues to attract many visitors from Japan and abroad, yet Kaoru Shibayama, the 64-year-old proprietor, says, "Our business had hit rock bottom at one point."

Time-honored 'tororo' Grated Yam, Fried With 'jinenjo' Jam

Time-honored 'tororo' grated yam, fried with 'jinenjo' jam

Inside a thatch-roofed house on the former site of Mariko-juku, one of the many stations of the old Tokaido route, is Chojiya, a restaurant specializing in "tororo" (grated yam) dishes, located about five kilometers southwest of Shizuoka Station.

Although Chojiya, which is said to have been established as the Sengoku period (Age of warring states) was drawing to a close, the building used today is an old traditional-style house that was relocated from nearby in 1970 by the late 12th-generation proprietor, Nobuo Shibayama.

Carpaccio Of Red Seabream

Carpaccio of red seabream

From the sound of the whisk touching the bowl and the sizzle of the meat to the conversations in English and French plus the calm music in the background, Jean-Georges Tokyo, a French-cuisine restaurant located in Tokyo's Roppongi, was filled with just the right amount of lively ambience.

Under the high ceiling, head chef Fumio Yonezawa prepares the dishes as he checks the guests' pace and occasionally exchanges words with his staff. But when it comes to the finishing touches, he takes his time and works carefully. When the guests see the beautifully served dish placed before them, their faces light up.

Minestrone Filled With Vegetables Of Spring Is 'soothing' Food

Minestrone filled with vegetables of spring is 'soothing' food

French chef Fumio Yonezawa has been serving as a volunteer once a month at the Ronald McDonald House Setagaya in Tokyo where his cooking helps lift the spirits of those who stay here.

The house, which is run by a public-interest incorporated foundation, is a facility for families and their children, who need to stay in or visit hospitals located far from home to receive advanced medical care. Some NPOs and other organizations have set up these type of accommodations near the hospitals to relieve the burden on young patients and their families.

'koya-dofu' Plus Soybean Flour Makes Plain But Nutritious Snack

'Koya-dofu' plus soybean flour makes plain but nutritious snack

When snack time begins at 3 p.m at Fukasawa Mill Nursery School, expectant children come running into the lunchroom where nutritionist Tomoko Ikeda waits, asking, "What are we having today?"

Ever since she was an elementary school student, Ikeda loved to eat and also observe her mother cooking. After studying cooking in high school, she gained certification as a nutritionist at a vocational school. She thought that she could make it a "job for life."

'cat In A Bath' Curry And Rice Spices Up Pupils With Allergies

'Cat in a bath' curry and rice spices up pupils with allergies

Of the 110 pupils who attend Fukasawa Mill Nursery School in Tokyo's Setagaya Ward, nine have food allergies, from the "big three" of flour, eggs and milk, to nuts and kiwi.

At the nursery school, the kitchen staff chooses the ingredients and recipes carefully so that everyone can eat the same school lunch as much as possible.

Kindergarteners' Favorite Salad With Cabbage And Strawberries

Kindergarteners' favorite salad with cabbage and strawberries

The open-ceilinged canteen at Fukasawa Mill Nursery School in Tokyo's Setagaya Ward is a sunlit, expansive place. At lunchtime, pupils holding trays line up at a counter where Tomoko Ikeda and others stand ready.

When serving the salad, the 43-year-old nutritionist asks each child, "Shall I serve less?" or "Can you eat bell peppers?"

Simmering 'oden' Hotpot, The Soul Food Of Shizuoka

Simmering 'oden' hotpot, the soul food of Shizuoka

The soul food of Shizuoka, where Yoshiaki Takei hails from, is "oden," a hotpot consisting of various ingredients in blackish broth.

As a child, Takei would return home from school, grab some change and head to an oden shop. When he slid the door open, he would see an oden pot simmering on the sunken hearth.

Basque Country Chili Pepper And Salt Seasoning For Any Dish

Basque Country chili pepper and salt seasoning for any dish

All kinds of seasonings are a passion of Yoshiaki Takei, editor of the website "Hobo Nikkan Itoi Shinbun," who enjoys overseas travels that allow him to experience local life through cooking.

He visits markets and stores; chats with the proprietors; learns where and how ingredients are grown and how they should be cooked.

Yoshiaki Takei's Shallow-fried 'ichibo' Steak, Inspired By Paris

Yoshiaki Takei's shallow-fried 'ichibo' steak, inspired by Paris

He has grilled meat in Paris, simmered jam in Helsinki and made mixed sushi in Prague.

Yoshiaki Takei is a seasoned editor of travel books who likes to stay for about 10 days at a hotel equipped with a kitchen when traveling overseas. The 52-year-old has been enjoying such trips for about 10 years, buying ingredients at local markets and shops to cook for himself.

Tofu With Walnut Sauce Features In Expanded Menu For Nara Monks

Tofu with walnut sauce features in expanded menu for Nara monks

The Shuni-e (commonly called Omizutori) ceremony has been held at Todaiji Temple in Nara since the Nara Period (710-784).

Although the large torches that shower sparks on people are famous, they are simply meant to lead the monks to the temple hall. The monks pray for the happiness of all living things and go through the cycle of penitence and prayer.