Try it once! 5 Recommended Ryotei in Kanazawa
Kanazawa is situated at the heart of Ishikawa that faces the Sea of Japan. Developed with the castle as its center, Kanazawa is a place with lingering traces of the atmosphere of the castle town that will give you a feel of its history and traditional culture. Here are five “ryotei” (traditional high-class Japanese restaurant) where you can enjoy local cuisine such as the traditional “Kaga ryori” (Kaga cuisine).
Tsubajin is a well-established ryotei with a history spanning more than 260 years. Even its current building was constructed 100 years ago. The 350-sq.m. grand reception hall that was built in the construction style that does not use pillars for support is truly overwhelming. This place still has the rooms that were used by a lot of famous people, including the first prime minister of Japan. Here, the dishes and food is mostly “kaiseki ryori” (traditional course meal) (15,000 JPY – 30,000 JPY (excl. tax)) that use ingredients that are in season and are served in courses. You can also try the local dishes jibuni (duck meat stew) and grilled luxury nodoguro (blackthroat seaperch).
2. Kanazawa Yamanoo
Kanazawa Yamanoo is a ryotei located on the hilly section of town with a panoramic view of the cityscape of Kanazawa. The sunset as seen from its 6,600-sq.m. garden that is dotted with several private rooms is simply superb. The food here is served in course-style kaiseki ryori fashion, comprising the Hiru no Ryori (lunch meal) (prices start at 10,000 JPY (excl. tax and service charge)) and Yoru no Ryori (dinner meal) (prices start at 13,000 JPY (excl. tax and service charge)). Guests can also order the Obento (box lunch) (2,700 JPY – 3,780 JPY (incl. tax)) that will let them enjoy the flavors of a ryotei wherever they want. This restaurant requires reservations at least a day in advance for groups of two or more people.
Tsujike-Teien is a ryotei that has reproduced a Japanese-style house and garden that was built around 100 years ago. It is also famous as a place for wedding ceremonies. Here, the food is comprised of the Chushoku (lunch) (6,000 JPY – 15,000 JPY (incl. tax and service charge)) and Yushoku (dinner) (10,000 JPY – 15,000 JPY (incl. tax and service charge)). They also serve the limited Gokujo Kaiseki Ryori (premium tea-ceremony dishes) (prices start at 18,000 JPY (excl. tax and service charge)) for two groups (of four to eight guests) per day only at the Gunjo no Ma (ultramarine room), the finest guestroom in this building with such luxurious walls and columns. This ryotei is by reservation only, and guests are required to book at least three days in advance. Further, guests can also tour this restaurant’s garden (admission fee: 500 JPY).
Benkay is a restaurant that is located on the 6th floor of a skyscraper hotel in front of Kanazawa Station. Here, you can enjoy dining in a seat that suits your preference and purpose of visit, as they have hall seats, tatami room seats, sushi counter seats and tearoom-style private rooms available. The dishes that they serve are Japanese dishes that are centered on sushi. Try their lunch meals such as bento boxes and mini-kaiseki ryori (2,980 JPY – 10,000 JPY) that use ingredients from the region’s land and sea, and their dinner sets (10,000 JPY – 20,000 JPY) that lavishly use high-grade toppings. This is a famous ryotei, so it would be best make a reservation if you decide to try it out.
5. Oryori Kifune
In the castle town of Kanazawa, there are still old houses called “machiya” that serve as both a home and a shop. Oryori Kifune is a Japanese restaurant that is housed in a renovated machiya. It is famous as a place where guests get to enjoy dining at an easy pace because here, only four groups each are accommodated for lunch and for dinner. Here, you can savoy kaiseki cuisine or original Japanese course meals with seasonal ingredients. Lunches come in three classes that are priced at 2,500 JPY, 3,500 JPY and 5,000 JPY. There are also three kinds of dinner sets, priced at 5,000 JPY, 6,000 JPY and 8,000 JPY. This restaurant adopts a reservation-only system and it takes in reservations every first of the month, but it is apparently booked solid for the next six months at present.
Kaga cuisine is characterized by its gorgeous appearance. Now to create that beauty, chefs plate their food using bowls and dishes with bright designs. They often use Kutaniyaki ware, which are porcelain dishes that came from Kanazawa. So, you can enjoy the beautiful china after you are done eating.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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