To mark Hina Matsuri — Girls Day, on March 3rd yesterday — Kanda Matsuya prepares a special celebratory soba called kusa-kiri. Pretty, isn't it!
The yellow chrysanthemum petals may make kusa-kiri look like the perfect noodles for a princess, but there is also a deeper meaning here: it's a dish that signifies good health and strength for the young lady in question.
Kusa literally means grass or weed — but here it refers to yomogi (mugwort), a herb that is reputed for its medicinal qualities, albeit more commonly found in mochi than noodles.
It was pure coincidence — or just good timing — that I dropped in there this afternoon, as the kusa-kiri were only available on Saturday and today (they were closed on the actual Hina Matsuri day).
But really no excuse is needed for visiting Kanda Matsuya: it's an all-time anyday year-round classic.
A while back I wrote it up in my Japan Times column....