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Yamato for all your scents
When the Yamato ensemble visited the Hungarian capital, even before going on stage, they popped into one of the most traditional Japanese restaurants of the city, bearing the same name as the ensemble.
Dóra Mező
Best of Budapest online | November 14, 2016
At the front table of Yamato restaurant, there were ten musicians, all young looking, with the spark of enthusiasm and devotion in their eyes. Performing in more than 51 countries all over the globe, the Yamato drummers returned to Budapest to give another breath-taking concert.
Most of the year you tour around the world. How difficult it is to get used to this?
From Japan to Europe, there is a time difference, of course. We have to get used to the jet lag, that’s the very first thing. Then there is the cultural setting that is absolutely unique in each country. We are open to the special customs, gastronomy and all that, though we usually don’t have enough time to enjoy the cities. But we go for a 10 km run together each morning, that’s our kind of sightseeing tour!
Yamato has a huge legacy as it was founded in 1993. How are you able to add something new to the show and yet preserve the traditions at the same time?
The instrument we use is called taiko, it’s a traditional Japanese drum. However, the music we play is completely composed and created by us. How do we put it all together? Well, there are many taiko groups in Japan, but we always try to create something special: we want to keep going, explore new possibilities, find the best way to perform for our audience.
How do you prepare for the shows? Do you have any special habits or “superstitions” before going on stage? 
As members of the Yamato group, we don’t only play together, we also live together like a family. We basically do everything together: we get up in the morning and go running, then we do a kind of training with our instruments. From the afternoon, we practice till about midnight. We all have responsibilities, cooking or other kinds of chores. As we spend most of our time together, there are conflicts that occur just because of small everyday misunderstandings. We must always deal with these, even the smallest arguments, as we have to be in complete harmony when we’re on stage, otherwise we wouldn’t be able to do our best and deliver the shows the way we’d like. There is one thing that we always do before the concert: we eat! We need to have enough energy to go through the performance.
You mentioned that you spend most of your time together. How do you manage to maintain your relationships outside the group? How do you keep in touch with family and friends while you’re on tour?
Sometimes we write letters to our family instead of e-mails. It is much more personal than a simple call or message. We travel home once a year to spend a few days with them. It’s not easy, we obviously need a lot of understanding from our families, but there’s a reason why we do this and they respect that.
They smiled, cheerfully replied to our questions and noted the famous Hungarian goulash to make sure they wouldn’t forget to try it before travelling to the next European city to perform their new show. Don’t worry if you missed them, they will surely return to Hungary! 
Yamato restaurant
Yamato restaurant, located in the heart of Budapest near Oktogon, takes you to the most wonderful places of Asia. The specialties of their fusion cuisine makes you feel as if you really are in Japan and Korea at the same time. Yamato is also the first place in Budapest where gastronomy lovers can try the table grill, a special grill cooker built into the table. It’s not only comfortable but smokeless as well: The cooker is operated with a fume extractor so that you can prepare your fresh dinner without making your clothes smoky. There are two options to choose from: Japanese yakiniku and Korean BBQ. 
Yakiniku means freshly grilled meat, fish, and selected vegetables prepared without spices. It is flavored with special dips and dressings. On the other hand, Korean BBQ is served marinated, for the joy of those who prefer piquant tastes and highly seasoned meat. Freshly grilled slices can be rolled into lettuce and prepared with side dishes.
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