Kaiseki cuisine is a kind of very particular "dinner", perhaps the finest culinary expression of all Japanese cuisine.
Originally this term meant a vegetarian meal that accompanied the tea ceremony, but today also kaiseki-style lunches and above all dinners are served, and include vegetables but also fish and rarely meat, accompanied by sake.
A typical kaiseki course is characterized by being composed of many dishes served in small portions. They range from 6 up to 15 dishes, the most common dishes are miso soup, sashimi, broiled fish, pickled vegetables, a dessert.
The food served varies depending on the time and place where you are, the prerogative of a kaiseki-style meal is in fact the freshness of the ingredients used, so depending on the season and what the cook has found at the market.
Another peculiarity of Kaiseki-style cuisine is the importance of appearance: every detail is considered, from the embellishments of each dish to the arrangement of plates. It's really a great show just watching these dishes.
kaiseki-style dinner table in a ryokan
This style of cuisine is commonly served in many ryokan (especially in Kyoto) but also some in Tokyo (as I have written elsewhere, ryokan in Tokyo are usually scarce), perhaps served in-room by a lady dressed in a kimono.
There are also many restaurants that serve kaiseki cuisine, but are generally very expensive.
a kaiseki cuisine dish
Guided tours, activities and other things to do
If you are planning a trip to Japan and you want to add something special besides the visit of the different monuments and famous places, we suggest you to use the site Govoyagin
. This is a very useful site to enrich your travel experience, especially if you are going solo or it's your first time in Japan and, for language barriers and more, and you will not have many opportunities to interact with the locals and to enjoy something different from the famous places marked in the tourist guides.
What Govoyagin is
Govoyagin is a website where you can find many particular activities all over Japan (and not only in Japan).
You can buy tickets online for some famous attractions, but also book tours and really special experiences with locals ready to guide you and take you to places outside the tourist circuits that you would hardly ever find by yourself. Last but not least, you can reserve a table in hundreds of restaurants.
On Govoyagin you can buy tickets in advance to visit the Tokyo Tower
or the Tokyo Sky Tree
, but also book guided tours of Kyoto temples accompanied by a samurai
, or to go around the streets of Osaka on a go-kart dressed as Super Mario
, or even play videogames against an unbeatable Japanese otaku at his place
Last but not least, if you need to reserve your table in some restaurants, such as the legendary 3-star Michelin
, also in this case you can find this kind of service for sale on Govoyagin.
Take a look at Govoyagin
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