Attention to detail and coaxing the best out of ingredients are hallmarks of Japanese cooking. Americans take pride in eating naturally and locally, something the Japanese have pursued for generations. Traveling foodie, David Latt, takes us along with him in Kyoto as he has lunch at a Zen monastery, explores the Diamaru food court, dines on Kanta style eel, bar hops the izakayas in Gion and starts his day with a tuna auction at 5:30am.
No matter how early it starts, I have to see the tuna auction at the Kyoto Central Wholesale Market. My guide, Toshiro (“Toby”) Sugihara leads me through the cold concrete and steel building to find groups of men in heavy coats watching auctioneers flailing their arms around as they shout out prices. The buyers don’t respond to the auctioneer until the price is right. Then a barely perceptible nod gives the auctioneer the sale he wants, and he’s on to the next fish.