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When chef Kazuhiro Inoue and his wife, Mariko, decided they’d had enough of running their busy neighborhood restaurant in the bustle of metropolitan Tokyo, they looked around for somewhere a bit quieter and closer to nature. They finally found the ideal location, though it meant moving 300 kilometers away to rural Niigata Prefecture.

The pair did more than just swap the concrete jungle for rice paddies and glimpses of snow-capped peaks: Starting afresh on the premises of the Japanese restaurant formerly run by his wife’s parents, Inoue overhauled his menu and rethought his cuisine.

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