Because Kyoto city is far from the sea, it used to be very difficult to bring fresh fish in. It was after the WWII that Kyoto people were able to enjoy eating fresh raw fish, thanks to the development of transportation systems. Up to then, they could only eat dried fish. Nishinsoba noodle is the way that Kyoto people enjoyed eating dried fish. However, it has become one of the best local specialities in Kyoto.
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Fish was brought into the city of Kyoto from the Japan Sea coast, mostly the area called WAKASA. However, it was difficult to bring fresh fish into Kyoto in olden times because of the distance between Kyoto and Wakasa. So how did old people bring fish into Kyoto? The secret is in present Fukui Prefecture, used to be called WAKASA.
There are various theories regarding the origin of the word Sukiyaki. According to one of the theories, the word suki of Sukiyaki is derived from a farming tool called suki (spade). In this theory it is said that samurai during the Kamakura Period enjoyed hunting and took a rest at a farm house on their way back. They wanted to eat their prey but couldn’t find a suitable pot. So they had to make use of suki, and enjoyed a quick barbeque.
Dengaku originally referred to Tofu Dengaku. Tofu cut into rectangular pieces were skewered and topped with miso and then grilled. It is said that it got its name because the shape looked similar to Dengaku priests who did Dengaku ritual dances to pray for good harvest during rice-planting.