For true lovers of the exquisite elegance that is Japanese culture, a traditional kaiseki meal is an experience that should not be passed up. Kaiseki is a traditional Japanese course meal, wherein each dish is an art piece made with the finest ingredients. Each dish is to be experienced with all five of your senses—the exquisite taste, the delectable aroma, the elegant appearance, the texture of the ingredients, and even the sounds of the preparation.
While many may think that traditional Japanese culture can only be found in Kyoto, there are still traces to be found even in modern day Tokyo. I went to Kappou Sanchou (割烹三長) in Shibuya, one of the few authentic kaiseki restaurants in Tokyo.
Kappou Sanchou: an Edo-Style Oasis in Shibuya
Kappou Sanchou is merely a 10-minute walk from Shibuya Station—a convenient stop for tourists to relax at after exploring the attractions of Shibuya. The restaurant is surrounded by a bamboo wall, as if creating a sanctuary away from the bustle of everyday Shibuya.
The wooden interior of the restaurant gives you a warm and rustic feeling of the old Edo period, with a view outside to a small Japanese garden, complete with a koi pond.
The Kaiseki Meal
I ordered the chef’s recommended kaiseki meal: the Miyabi set (20,000 yen). It is a 9-course meal that samples some of the finest ingredients to be found in Japan. I sat at the counter, where customers can watch the chef expertly prepare each dish.
The first course served was a chilled uni, or sea urchin, shrimp, and okra dish.
The appetizer was a four-piece assortment, each with a different type of meat or fish matched to meet its perfect vegetable counterpart.
The third dish was a chilled soup with fish, garnished with vegetables and sesame seeds.
Next, sashimi was presented in a cone made of a thinly-sliced cucumber, and wrapped in an iridescent foil.
The fifth course consisted of grilled fish and vegetables simmered with a delicious, savory miso sauce.
For the sixth dish, chilled freshly-cut seafood was presented over ice with a leaf for decoration.
The seventh course consisted of Ozaki beef, a famous type of Japanese beef (or wagyu) from the Miyzaki prefecture, enhanced with the colors and flavors of squash and artichoke.
The eighth dish was the climax of the meal, with a substantive helping of rice with rockfish (odoguro), the chef’s specialty.
Finally, the meal finished with an assorted dish of fruits with a small dial of sherbet for dessert.
If you are interested in experiencing the best of Japan, I would highly encourage you to try a kaiseki meal for yourself. The head chef of Kappou Sanchou, Naoki Murayama, takes pride in ensuring that you are getting the best ingredients, served at the optimal temperature. Dishes will usually vary according to the season, availability of ingredients, and the chef’s specialties, but no matter what the food, you will be served a tasteful and cultured experience only found in Japan.
Website: Japanese, English
Hours: 5:00-11:00 PM (closed Sundays and national holidays)
Address: 6-1, Maruyama-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Average Cost: 15,000 yen (credit cards accepted)
English Menu/Staff: Yes
For online reservations, visit our partner SAVOR JAPAN
Kappou Sanchou reservation (SAVOR JAPAN)
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