Evacuees sell a taste of Ukraine from a food truck near a castle in western Japan


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Counterclockwise from left, Iryna Yavorska, Galyna Ivanova, Kateryna Yavorska and Takashi Kikuchi show off a blinchiki at Hikone City Hall in Shiga Prefecture on May 2, 2022. (Mainichi /Shinji Ito)

HIKONE, Shiga – Ukrainians who fled the Russian invasion and came to this western Japanese city will start selling their national dishes from a food truck, they announced at a press conference at the town hall on May 2.

Iryna Yavorska, 50, and her mother Galyna Ivanova, 80, revealed plans to serve ‘blinchiki’ savory pancakes near a hotel in front of the Hikone Castle National Treasure in Hikone, Shiga Prefecture on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays from May 28. .

The two evacuees arrived in Japan in late March, relying on Iryna’s daughter, Kateryna Yavorska, 31, a resident of the city. After Kateryna’s husband, Takashi Kikuchi, 28, thanked Iryna for cooking her a delicious meal of blinchiki, she and Galyna decided to interact with Japanese people through food and rebuild their lives.

They plan to sell blinchiki with cream cheese and raisins for about 350 yen (about $2.70) and those with chicken and onions for about 600 yen ($4.60) near Hikone Castle Resort & Spa. They will lease a food truck initially, but aim to buy their own in July through crowdfunding with a target amount of 3.6 million yen (about $28,000). The name of their shop will be “Faina”, a Ukrainian word meaning “good”.

Iryna commented, “We sincerely appreciate the Japanese people who supported us. We would like to call on other evacuees from Ukraine to go forward with courage and without fear.”

(Japanese original by Shinji Ito, Hikone Local Bureau)

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