Calligraphy and Food

Calligraphy and food at the Herokjo restaurant

We were out in the agricultural hills of central Kanagawa prefecture a couple of weeks ago, and stopped off at the 90 year old home of the Hekkoro / Gonbachi restaurant. It’s an old style wooden Japanese farm house, old wooden floors, a casual table layout, and the back is adorned with calligraphy and artwork from local art classes, mainly from children. Why not mix calligraphy and food?

Aside from serving some very decent food using local vegetables and making dishes from noodles to curry, it also allows you to read some of the books they have, and even do some shodou (書道 /calligraphy), which a couple of junior high school kids did actually do whilst we were there. On the day we went it was raining, and as you can see, the condensation on the doors to the garden was a relaxing backdrop to the calligraphy table.

The gonpachi restaurant windows steamed up, with calligraphy pens
Pens in the window

It’s yet another interesting local place, a little bit out there, but worth a look if you’re anywhere near the vicinity. It has it’s own small gravel carpark, which isn’t too difficult to find from the road, and since it was raining quite heavily on the day we were there, it meant a short run from the car to the restaurant itself.

I had the black bean curry, and yes, it was very good. It’s also good to know that you’re eating local produce, and that it’s really fresh, which adds to the taste and the whole atmosphere of the place.

Interestingly, and this likely due to the local produce, they also have a page dedicated to local radiation readings, since the Fukushima disaster in 2011. That’s a thoughtful touch, even almost ten years on.