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Kaiseki Dining

Kaiseki Dining

Kaiseki dining is one of the highlights of a stay in a traditional Japanese Inn. Devout foodies and Japanese cuisine curious folk alike should plan to have at least one kaiseki meal - whether at an inn, or in a restaurant - on their trip to Japan.

Kaiseki is a multi-course dining experience. Traditionally, there were 9 courses, but today, that number can vary from 6 to 15. The courses are defined by the cooking method as follows:

Sakizuke: This first course is usually something pickled, designed to whet the diners’ appetite for the courses to follow
Hassun: This course celebrates the seasonality of the meal. Seasonality, and eating food at the height of its freshness, is a concept very important to Japanese people.
Suimono: This is a soup course made with a dashi (seaweed and bonito) broth base. Although outwardly simple, the quality and flavor of broth is considered the mark of a chef’s skill.
Tsukuri: The sashimi course; fresh fish and shellfish.
Yakimono: A grilled course, which can be meat or fish.
Takiawase: A simmered dish, typically vegetables and meat in a light broth.
Shokuji: The rice course, served with miso soup and pickles.
Mizumono: A platter of Japanese sweets or fruits. Japanese do not eat large pudding-like desserts; this is a very light course.

The kaiseki dinner can take 2 hours to complete. Wine, sake and beer are available for purchase, and it is not unusual for the meal to end on a very jolly note. Which makes enjoying a kaiseki meal in an inn such a good idea.



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