Column / May 2015

Summer had dowsed the Grown & Gathered patch with light, delivering lush and abundant life. Plentiful pumpkins and zucchinis cascade sideways, while giant sunflowers and corn stand tall, stretching for the sun. Now into autumn, the garden is still blooming, with late-starters finally deciding to show their true potential, and the summer crops continuing to relish the warm days.

In early April, I was invited to come to Awaji Island by one of my friends, Masayo Funakoshi, and set off the journey in a spur of the moment. Masayo is a chef, who makes people all over the world happy with her exquisite cuisine. She participated as food director in the Get Away project organized by Food Studio, held on this island. Setting off in a highway bus late at night from Tokyo, I crossed the Seto Inland Sea early the next morning.

It is the first weekend since the official beginning of spring in Japan, and for the local Tokyo habitant it means one thing: the season of the cherry blossom has finally arrived. Gone are the cold winter days and the short afternoons. Everybody is eager to stretch their legs and look for the best spots in town to witness the marvelous sakura trees come to life again. Along the Meguro River, the sakuras cover the river in white and pink, and a multitude of locals and surprised tourists walk through tunnels of sakura flowers.