One of the most unknown yet looked after type of monk cuisine in Japan, Fucha ryōri is a variation of the well-known vegetarian Buddhist temple cuisine called Shōjin rōyri. The word Fucha itself originally means “drink tea together” and has its roots in the old habit in China of drinking tea after work or meditation.
Fucha ryori, however, is nowadays exclusively used to describe the monastic cuisine of the Ōbaku school of Zen-Buddhism. The Ōbaku school is regarded as one of the three majors Zen schools of Japan, along with the Rinzai school and Soto school. The Obaku school was founded in 1661, when Chinese Zen Master Ingen Ryūki received the permission from the Tokugawa shōgunate to build a new Zen temple called Mampuku-ji on Mt. Ōbaku in Uji, Kyoto prefecture. Obaku’s teaching emphasizes both a rigorous training in lineage with the tradition of the Rinzai school, but also an closer interaction with the laic society, leading to more tolerance towards common people beliefs and food menu arrangement.
The core value of Fucha ryori is to paid tribute to any food ingredients,
An interesting aspect of the fucha-ryōri is the wealth of “mock foods”, like “mock-chestnut” or “mock-eel” for instance, which look incredibly real while being made of vegetarian ingredients like tofu and nori.
It takes two to three days to prepare a fucha ryori dinner for a few guests. This complex yet aesthetic and tasty monk cuisine is a true gastronomic experience by itself. For the monks in charge of its preparation, fucha ryori gives the opportunity to meditate about Obaku’s teachings, that includes the humble acceptance of any food provided by the laities and its enhancing into colorful and somehow exotic fucha ryori dishes.
– Guest Experience –
- Enjoy an authentic and 100% hand-made fucha ryori dinner made by skilled monks of Obaku school
- Discover the exotic Obaku school’s values and philosophy towards some symbolic dishes
- A very unique gastronomic experience not available outside Obaku’s temples