Herbal medicine dishes based on Chinese traditional medicine, kanpō, 漢方 is called "yakuzen 薬膳" in Japan.
As "macro-biotic", it is based on the Asian philosophy of “Ying Yang (陰陽 cool or warm)” theory, and "Five elements”; fire, water, wood, earth and metal. Our body condition is influenced by the changing environment. In Japan, there are five seasons; spring, summer, autumn, winter, and rainy season. Food is to adjust your "qi" 氣, blood 血, and water 水 in your body. Yakuzen is about knowing yourself, and your living environment.
Medicinal Herb village in Nara
Uda city, known as a historical herbal village is located in approximately 1.5 hours from Nara city, 2 hours from Kyoto. The origin of traditional medicine in Japan dates back to 7th century. It is reported that Empress Suiko visited Uda to hunt herbs in AD611.
There are several programs to learn about plants, visiting Japan's oldest medicinal herb garden with a local guide, learning medicinal cooking, foraging, making herbal liquor and so on.
Medicinal herb garden and workshop on processing
Medicinal cooking class and Medicinal herb dishes at a herbal temple
If you are interested in traditional plant medicine, it is good idea to visit and stay in Uda to learn wisdom to utilize natural resources from local people.