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We’re going to Kyoto!

Dear friends, 

We are going to Kyoto, Japan. 

For the past two years, we have been studying, traveling and researching the city of Kyoto and the Kansai region – in particular, kaiseki cuisine. This spring, we return to the place where so much of our own journey began.  

I first visited Japan many years ago to study food culture. It was a mind blowing trip full of new impressions and sensations. The most pivotal moment was when I experienced my first tea ceremony. It was a traditional ceremony with many rituals, and as a Westerner sitting for hours in awkward positions I thought to myself: why so much attention for one cup of tea?

With this question, a new world unfolded. A world of Zen Buddhism and Japanese traditions; the art of giving meaning to seemingly unimportant moments, and to discover what can grow from these moments when set with intention and dedication. I learned that this ceremony, once only focused on tea, over time started to include small plates of food. With refinement, this evolved into a kaiseki meal – a selection of dishes prepared with incredible thought and consideration to reflect a particular season. This made me wonder: could the tasting menu we see in the Western world today have its origin in Japan, from the city of Kyoto and kaiseki cuisine? Or put it in a different way—from a cup of tea?

It’s incredibly inspiring for us to have the opportunity to explore this unique tradition in the beautiful city, Kyoto, in the height of sakura season. We can’t wait to soon pack our bags—a group of 95 people, from apprentices to owners—and live in a new corner of the world, to meet new people, learn from a different culture, and see things from a different point of view. Hopefully, on the other side, we can bring back new perspectives and a clearer vision for how to be noma. This trip is also an opportunity for us to travel as a team and shake off the last 2.5 years of the pandemic. We need an adventure, one that will prepare us for our next and greatest transformational journey yet – a new chapter for noma, which will unfold in 2024.

– René Redzepi, October 2022

For more information about our upcoming popup, head to noma.dk/kyoto

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