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)
Tapioca Boom! Why Taiwanese Tapioca Tea is Popular in Japan
Have you ever tasted tapioca tea, and do you know what it is? It is mainly popular in Asia, but these days it is even sold in North America as well. Of course, there are many tapioca tea shops in Japan as well, and Japanese people love it. This article will explain what tapioca tea is, and why it is popular in Japan. The Origin of Tapioca Tea Tapioca tea was born in Taiwan in 1980’s. Originally, it was consumed as a milk tea, and it became popular as it was recognized as a national drink in the 1990’s in...
Japanese Ice Cream: The Top 5 to Try!
Do you like ice cream? Many people love it, especially in the hot days of summer. It cools us down and cheers us up. In Japan, the total sales of ice creams for 2017 year was more than five hundred billion yen. There are various kinds of ice creams in Japan as well, and this article will introduce five must-try ice creams you should try in summer if you come to Japan. 1. Yukimi-Daifuku This is at the top of the recommendations list because it is one of the most unique ice creams in Japan. `Yukimi` means to enjoy a snow scenery, and...
Some Unusual Japanese Foods That Are Actually Good for You
Japan has the lowest obesity in the world and I believe the secret for that is in the food. A traditional Japanese diet is well balanced; they eat more fish than red meat, also plenty of fermented foods and vegetables. The Japanese diet is low in calories but also extremely nutritious. Even though all of these foods below are often called “weird” by most internationals and expats in Japan, they are super healthy and worth a try. 1. Natto Natto has been known by Japanese as a healthy food for more than 1000 years. Natto is fermented steamed soybeans mixed...
Best Bars for Foreigners in Sendai
Introduction It’s Friday night. You’re walking through the streets of Sendai, Japan. You‘ve just finished up another long day of sightseeing (or working, if you live there… or studying if you’re a student…) You could really use a break to unwind from the day so you call up your friends for a night out. Then they ask the obvious question: “Where should we go?” Before you start to fret trying to remember the names of your boss’s favorite bars and izakayas, and importantly, wondering which have the best service towards foreigners, read this! Here is a quick list of all...
Best Bars for Foreigners in Osaka
After having spent a day touring and sightseeing around various cities in Japan, there is no better way of ending the day than laying on your back as you sip a cold beer or two. If you happen to be a foreigner who is traveling around Osaka, one of the popular cities of Japan, you would surely be visiting a lot of sightseeing attractions. From the famed Osaka castle to the Dotonbori district, the city of Osaka would surely have you tired at the end of the day. For foreigners who want to spend the rest of the evening relaxing...
Izakaya Hopping in Kichijoji Harmonica Alley
Kichijoji has long been a famous tourist destination in Tokyo. Up until recently, Kichijoji has been ranked as the #1 most desirable place to live by Japanese and foreigners alike, and has a reputation for being a lovely and enjoyable place to live as well as visit. In the heart of Kichijoji, located less then minutes away from Kichijoji station’s bustling north exit, is the Harmonica Alley. Harmonica Alley (also known as “Harmonica Yokocho”), was originally a post-war black market; it now boosts over one-hundred bars, shops, and izakayas which are packed into it’s narrow streets. It continues to be...