Shoku-Ishinho is an impressive, weighty name for a restaurant, especially one that at first glance looks little more than a simple, modern Ginza teishoku (set meal) lunch counter. Translating literally as “Food Healing,” it is more than just a moniker: It’s a manifesto, a declaration of intent.

It is also a way of telling you before you even arrive that Shoku-Ishinho serves yakuzen cuisine, a traditional approach to cooking that incorporates elements of kanpō, the ancient Chinese system of herbal medicine. It also draws on the principles of yin yang and the Theory of Five Elements, which are explained (although only in Japanese) on a slip of paper you receive along with the menu.

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