Whilst we were in Japan, one place that I longed to visit. NUSHISA.
Some may remember my blog post (→here) about children’s cutlery set. Sabrina absolutely loves these, saying “special spoons”. Indeed they are very special. Individually handmade, beautifully curved wood and softly finished with lacquer in unique colour variations. They are made by Keisei Takemata, a master of NUSHISA.
NUSHISA is located in place called Yoshikawa, less than an hour train journey from my parents. It’s a small cafe where you can eat family meals with organic vegetables and fresh fish, whilst you can also enjoy his handmade tableware and furniture. As soon as we walked in the place, we could feel the warmth from the wooden furniture and surrounding. Each wooden furniture shows different faces with different characters but all look happy. Especially the chairs. So fun to choose from, my daughter alike.
Main menu changes weekly. The photo shows what we had for lunch on the day. These homemade Japanese meals are far beyond my forte. It was delicious! We certainly enjoyed it but I wish I could cook like this!
Eating with wooden tableware gave me a fresh sensation. So light, so warm. It comforts the users. Something totally different from ceramic ware, it was an exciting experience to me. When it comes to Japanese lacquer ware, I usually imagine traditional shyu-red or black shiny ones, which has somewhat a snobbish look. Keisei’s lacquer ware, instead, gives us gentle and calm feel, and the most of all the warmth. Unlike traditional shiny lacquer ware, Keisei’s ware has the texture of wood and rustic colour variations. They have rather “down-to-earth” look, no gimmick or no snobbishness, just genuine honesty. You can tell that not just by looking, but also by touching by hands and your own mouth. (When you eat Japanese food, unlike us placing everything on a plate and using a folk and knife, we lift a bowl to eat with chopsticks, sometimes it touches our mouth directly, so each ware becomes more close to us.)
My daughter also enjoyed her meal, which originally came with that special spoon, but she picked up much large wooden spoon from the table. She certainly enjoyed it, opening her mouth so big and wide! That’s the way you do it, girl!
We have brought two of his handmade plates home. We loved those quirky shape and lovely texture on the surface. It’s fun to think about what and how to display food on them!