Nara's sustainable cuisine earns Michelin Green Stars
Nara's restaurants have been recognized for their commitment to preserving Nara's farming heritage and heirloom vegetables
Celebrating Nara's long history of sustainable farming and biodiversity
The Michelin Green Star is awarded to restaurants at the forefront of sustainable practices, combining culinary excellence with outstanding eco-friendly commitments. These restaurants maintain high ethical and environmental standards and work with sustainable producers and suppliers to avoid waste. Five Nara restaurants have been recognized with a coveted Micheline Green Star.
Japan's ancient food capital
The Slow Food Movement isn't just a trend in Nara; over 1300 years ago, Chinese envoys brought ingredients such as tea and medicinal herbs and food preservation techniques to the capital Heijokyo. As Buddhism flourished in Nara, so did its food culture. Vegetarian shojin ryori cuisine was perfected in temples and pilgrim lodgings, with respect for the ingredients and a focus on flavor.
Tasting Nara's sustainable food heritage
The Nara Basin was an ancient lake and is one of the most fertile agricultural areas in Japan. A significant temperature difference between day and night provides the ideal climate for growing the flavourful fruits and vegetables used in local cuisine. Yamato Yasai vegetables have been certified by the Agriculture and Forestry Department of Nara Prefecture for their traditional cultivation methods, and for their taste, aroma, form, and provenance.
- Awa (Naramachi)
- Enjoy ingredients from Nara including Yamato vegetables, Yamato beef, and local sake, in a renovated machiya house in the heart of historical Naramachi. Like the sister restaurant Kiyosumi no Sato AWA, the focus is on working with producers to preserve Nara’s traditional farming heritage and highlight local flavors. Japanese Restaurants Naramachi
- Kiyosumi no Sato AWA
- Try a wide variety of locally grown organic produce such as Yamato yam, Imaichi kabu (turnip), Nogawa cucumber, Yuzaki nebuka (onion), and Katahira akane (red turnip) at the restaurant, where heirloom vegetables are displayed like artworks. There is very little waste; the restaurant’s goats happily deal with vegetable scraps. Japanese Restaurants Naramachi
- NIPPONIA Tawaramoto Maruto Shoyu
- The former residence and storehouses of Maruto Shoyu soy sauce brewery, founded in 1689, have been renovated as the accommodation NIPPONIA Tawaramoto Maruto Shoyu. Meals at the onsite restaurant Kuramoto Ryori Maruto Shoyu incorporate locally-harvested organic vegetables, Yamato pork, and the reborn Maruto Shoyu soy sauce. Hotels Yamanobe-no-Michi