ABOUT SHUN GATE(March 11,2016)

Preserving “Japanese Food Culture" for the future

"Japanese Food Culture" refers to the produce grown as a reflection of the four seasons and topography of Japan, and in addition the way the raw materials are used as ingredients before they are delivered to the dining table. It is the result of the knowledge and innovation of the Japanese people.

This "Food Culture" is something we hope to relay to many people all over the world, and encourage everyone to visit Japan to experience it for themselves.
For this reason we created “SHUN GATE”.

You can taste the natural beauty of Karakuwa in its oysters

― Karakuwa at Kesennuma, Miyagi prefecture

(Month information was collected:November 2015)

“We were confident that if we put enough thought and hard work into it, we could produce really good quality oysters that would resonate with the public,” explains Hatakeyama. “After the tsunami, we remodeled the oyster farms to give priority to quality over quantity. Because we also knew that we had to make the job more attractive—if oyster farming is all hard work and drudgery, then who’s going to step up and take over? We saw it as our responsibility to be looking ten or 20 years ahead and trying to present oyster farming as a viable career option for the next generation.”


A day in the life of a Sanriku fisherman

― Ofunato City, Iwate Prefecture

(Month information was collected:October 2015)

When the original Banya was lost, Yagi and his friends resolved to rebuild it for the sake of Kayo if nothing else. And this has introduced a whole new audience to the world of the Sanriku fishing villages, as well as those fabulous recipes, the tradition lovingly preserved by Kayo and others.

Banya:Banya is a quaint wooden building near the coast that serves as a central meeting place for fisherman to socialize and work together.


Distinctive cultures cultivated by distinctive topography

― Iwate Prefecture

(Month information was collected:September 2015)

Although Koishihama Hotate was one of the first to be successfully branded, the traditional method of selling the harvested scallops at the market under the umbrella of “Sanriku products” did not fully capitalize on this strength.
“I was very frustrated by the fact that consumers did not understand how much care we took to grow these scallops in Koishihama,” says Jun. That’s why they began to directly ship their scallops to consumers about 12 years ago. This was an exceptional move for the marine products industry at that time, and was welcomed by not only the consumers but the producers as well.


“Mom’s power” handing down Abukuma's food culture

― Fukushima Prefecture

(Month information was collected:August 2015)

“We plant rice in the spring, and after the harvest we make kashiwa-mochi (rice cakes wrapped in an oak leaves). In the winter, we freeze dried daikon radish to make Shimi Daikon. Everything we did as a part of our lives could not be done after leaving Iitate Village, and there were a lot of women who were sad about this. I thought there might be something we could do to maintain Abukuma’s food culture, and it would give purpose to our lives.”


One step taken by a young sake brewer in Fukushima

― Fukushima Prefecture

(Month information was collected:August 2015)

To be honest, IBUKI made in the first year did not taste good at all, says Kensei.
“Thinking back, I was trying to brew sake by just following the steps. I didn’t want to be disappointed with the result again in the second year, so I began taking a careful look at the characteristics of rice and made changes in the process, changes such as lowering the percentage of alcohol or making it sweeter, always conscious of the image of the finished sake. I still don’t know when the sake is complete. Every year, both the rice and climate are different. If I don’t give it my all, customers will not be satisfied. Maybe there is no end to my work.”


A gourmet journey during summer in Fukushima

― Fukushima Prefecture

(Month information was collected:August 2015)

“Taking an active role in conveying the attractions of Fukushima produce, and marketing them… I felt that I had to take the initiative to send out information on Fukushima produce, especially after 2011’s earthquake and tsunami. The reason why I opened a guesthouse after the earthquake was because I thought it would be good for people from outside the prefecture to come here and eat food grown in Fukushima, and experience our atmosphere. A lot of different people come to this farm, and the farm is built upon our connections with people. That’s why the Japanese character we use for the ‘en’ in Nouen (farm) is not the usual one that is used. Ours means ‘connection,’” says Terayama.
The connections of Abe Nouen are sure to grow even further through the efforts of Sachiko Terayama.


The local morning market is back and it’s a great place to have breakfast by the water

― Morning market at Yuriage Port in Natori, Miyagi prefecture

(Month information was collected:November 2014)

“We had to get people coming back to Yuriage,” recalls Sakurai. “We thought that was the least we could do, given all the kindness and support that was pouring in from all over Japan. We couldn’t possibly hope to repay all the donations and contributions towards the rebuilding effort, not in our lifetime. But what we could do was to keep our morning market alive, since it was a source of happiness to so many. And we also believed that the market would help to inject some life into Yuriage and encourage people to return here to live.” This bold initiative was not without its critics, of course.


MOVIE「Ofunato Iwate Japan」

MOVIE「Fukushima Japan」