Part 5 of the series introduces Hitomi Nagamatsu, the owner of “kou kyoto,” a store lining up western antique goods and works of contemporary writers. As a gift, Ms. Nagamatsu proposes inari and maki (roll) sushi, known as sukeroku in Japanese.

She frequents receptions and exhibits of writers and stores, and she is often seen in social settings. “I am sure that many people send flowers, sweets and wine as gifts. I usually send sushi as a gift so it does not overlap with anyone else.”

Ms. Nagamatsu’s family runs the Tessaido antique store. She opened her own store “tessaido annex kou” in 2008 along Furumonzen-dori. In 2012, she renamed the store and re-located to Gion-cho.

The sukeroku sushi store “Nakamuraya” recommended by Ms. Nagamatsu was founded in 1954. The sushi is popular as gifts for actors and dancers in Minami-za, Kyoto, because it is made smaller in size for them to eat it without getting their costumes dirty. It can also be eaten without soy-sauce, since the aromatic vinegar and seaweed produce mouth-watering taste.

“At parties and exhibits, everybody is bustling around, so the sushi is an ideal snack. I always buy it for guests and staff. The store is located near Hyakumanben and looks more like a traditional townhouse. If you visit the store for the first time, you might get lost. The only downside is that you have to pre-order, but I actually love taking the trouble to buy something nice in a time where things can be bought with such convenience.”

The picture here shows an assorted box of cucumber roll, white radish pickle roll and inari (retailed at 880 yen, 1 person size).

【Store Information】
Address: 145 Tanaka Oi-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto (10-minute walking distance from Keihan Demachi Yanagi station)
Hours: 10 am to 5 pm
*Closes on an irregular basis. Pre-order required at least one day in advance.