- Main lore areas
All over the prefecture
- Main ingredients used
Rice, soybeans, hojicha green tea, water
- History/origin/related events
The "Omizutori" ceremony held every March at Todaiji Temple has a history of more than 1,200 years, and the original chahan (rice with green tea), called "gecha," is served along with tea porridge in the menu for the procession of participants.
Chahan originated in Nara, but did not spread widely among the common people. Travelers who liked chahan brought it back to Edo (present-day Tokyo), and many Nara chahan stores were established near Sensoji Temple in Edo (present-day Tokyo), serving "Nara-cha" markers to attract customers. It became even more famous when it appeared in Jippensha Ikku's "Tokaido Chu Hizakurige" (The Middle Knee-High Tale of the Tokaido Highway). Chahan became widely known throughout Japan because of its well-balanced nutritional diet of rice and soybeans, and because it was easy on the stomach. It is said that it began to spread again in Nara after the Meiji period .
- Opportunities and times of eating habits
It has long been eaten at monks' monasteries as a meal for the parade of monks at Todaiji Temple, but there is no specific time of year for eating it nowadays.
- How to eat
When making this dish at home, you can use soft roasted soybeans that are available during Setsubun to avoid the time and trouble of roasting soybeans. The beans can be easily cooked by placing rice in a rice cooker, pouring hojicha (roasted green tea) into the rice cooker up to the level of the rice, and then adding the beans.
- Efforts for Preservation and Succession
It is made at home and passed down from parents to children. It is also featured in school lunches.