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Evacuees to sell a taste of Ukraine from food truck near west Japan castle

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

HIKONE, Shiga -- Ukrainians who fled from Russia's invasion and came to this western Japan city will start selling their national dishes from a food truck, they announced in a news conference at city hall on May 2.

    Iryna Yavorska, 50, and her mother Galyna Ivanova, 80, revealed their plan to serve "blinchiki" savory pancakes near a hotel in front of the national treasure Hikone Castle in Hikone, Shiga Prefecture, on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays starting May 28.

    The two evacuees came to 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 a delicious blinchiki meal for him, she and Galyna decided to interact with Japanese people through food and to rebuild their lives

    They plan to sell blinchiki with cream cheese and raisins for around 350 yen (approx. $2.70) and ones with chicken and onion for about 600 yen ($4.60) near Hikone Castle Resort & Spa. They will rent a food truck initially, but aim to buy their own in July through crowdfunding with the target amount at 3.6 million yen (about $28,000). Their shop name will be "Faina," a Ukrainian word meaning "fine."

    Iryna commented, "We sincerely appreciate the people of Japan who have been supporting us. We'd like to call on other evacuees from Ukraine to bravely go ahead without fear."

    (Japanese original by Shinji Ito, Hikone Local Bureau)

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