The Kayotei, Yamanaka 2

April 25, 2010

On April 13, 2010, Linda and I spent a day and our second night at The Kayotei, in Yamanaka. The day began with breakfast in the same dining room where we had enjoyed a kaiseki dinner the evening before.

There were hot charcoal coals in the grill with fish and tofu ready to go on it

Our places were set with five good little dishes.


A bowl of taro root with pea pods and sesame seeds was set down.

Amy brought some miso soup.

Plain tofu and grated daikon.

Steamed tofu with tofu skin and garnishes.

There were a few small hot coals in this box to warm the nori (seaweed.) One could crumble it on top of the rice or roll it around a little rice ball and dip it in soy sauce.

Tofu wedges are being grilled.

Then the fish, hata hata, or sandfish, was grilled and boned. The bones were put back on the grill for further cooking as one ate them too.

Finally there was fruit in soy milk and a cup of tea.


We walked back through the ryokan admiring the flower arrangements in the hallways.


After serving our breakfast, Amy had fixed up our room, Higashiyama,  removing the futons spread out in the middle and replacing the table there.


The General Manager, Jiro Takeuchi, then took us to the house, workshop and gallery of Yamanaka master wood turner Yasuhiro Satake.  He was absent in Tokyo so his sons, Satsumi and Katsushi, showed us the workshop and gallery.

Satsumi poses with the beautiful piece of turned and lacquered wood we bought. 

We also visited a master ceramist, shopped at the crafts stores in town, walked along the beautiful river gorge and went back to the hot springs bath at The Kayotei.

In the evening we had another kaiseki meal following the same formula as the night before, but with entirely different dishes. Four of the highlights were: a lovely mixed plate of appetizers; a gratinéed rock lobster, wagyu beef with fluffy potato croquettes and marinated grilled fish.


The following morning we had another elaborate Japanese breakfast, returned to buy a few smaller objets from Satsumi Satake, and went on to Kanazawa. Our stay at The Kayotei had been an excellent introduction to the world of the Japanese ryokan. Its staff was extraordinarily friendly and helpful. Its standards of traditional beauty and cuisine were exceptional. Bravo.

5 Responses to “The Kayotei, Yamanaka 2”

  1. S Lloyd Says:

    Thanks for those highly informative and detailed reports on Japan’s tables. Your reviews do genuinely show up the rigorous focus of the Japanese on great ingredients.

  2. Timothy P Ojile Says:

    I wonder if they use the wood shavings for anything. Maybe fuel. Lovely pics and food special. T

  3. Jerry Vance Says:

    Thanks Mike for the great reviews in Japan, feels like you are there.

  4. David Woodward Says:

    You both had a wonderful experience. My wife and I stayed with Yashuiro and is Family In thier beautiful home in Yamanaka. He also visited us when he came to the UK. He truly is one of Japans Great craftsmen. Looking through your pictures brought back many memories of our time there, the sites, food and most of all the wonderful Family and people of Yamanaka.

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