Tucked away in a fashionable Tokyo shopping district, chef Toshio Tanahashi's 20-seat restaurant, Gesshinkyo, serves haute Buddhist cuisine to a taste-making elite happy to pay hundreds of dollars for the privilege of eating painstakingly prepared vegetables. One Saturday every month, though, a handful of students pay a fraction of the price to prepare a ten-course meal alongside the master, and to imbibe a heaping portion of Zen wisdom along with the fruits of their labors. Reporter and Japan Society fellow Kelly Horan traveled to Tokyo to find out why Tanahashi's particular blend of ancient asceticism and 21st century hedonism is making his one of the most talked-about kitchens in the East.

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