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The Vegan Cuisine at the Chozenji Temple

The traditional Buddhist monks meal 'Shojin Ryori' grew widespread in popularity with the spread of Zen Buddhism in the 13th century. This follows the idea of no killing of animals for human consumption which was believed to cloud the spirit and interfere with meditation. 

Despite the lack of meat, fish, or strong flavors, Japanese buddhist cuisine is far from bland. The monks use the “rule of five” when cooking, so that every meal offers five colors (green, yellow, red, black, and white) as well as five flavors (sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and umami), which are drawn out naturally from the ingredients rather than added via additional flavorings. This balance in color and flavor is believed to provide nutritional balance while also bringing the body into balance with the seasons.

The sophistication and elegance of the 'Shojin Ryori' is executed to the highest standard at Chozenji Temple. Their course meal is exclusive only to Bamboo Tours.

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