Share with your friends, sharing is caring!
LINEで送る
Pocket

Editor’s Notes

Hello, this is Pocket Concierge editing team.
We all have places we have heard about but have never been. “Ryotei,” the traditional Japanese restaurant is one of such places.

Contents

1. What is a ryotei?

2. Is the modern day ryotei open to the public?

3. How do you find a ryotei?


Uosaburo | Pocket Concierge

1. What is a ryotei?

Ryotei is a traditional Japanese restaurant that serves Japanese cuisine. In many cases, it serves kaiseki cuisine that consists of many small dishes and courses that reflects the season. It can be very expensive. It is a great treat to be able to go to a ryotei, since guests can enjoy a beautiful Japanese meal at a private room with a Japanese garden.

In a famous comic book, “Shima Kousaku,” important business meetings between people who are in important positions that influence society are always done at ryotei. In the entertainment industry, people have the impression that you can relax and have a conversation and the staff will keep the secrets heard. This has led many people have the image that it is a place where politicians plan for something evil, which may be depicted in dramas or comic books.

Why did ryotei come to have such an image? This was because ryotei was originally operated under the rule, “first-comers are not welcomed.” It was a hidden place that you could not even know its existence if you were not introduced by someone. An extremely expensive restaurant surrounded by high walls and someone who does not want his or her face to be seen is having a meeting… There were actually incidents that took place at ryotei in Japanese history. People’s image of ryotei may not be so different from the reality.


Kioicho Fukudaya | Pocket Concierge

2. Is the modern day ryotei open to the public?

However, modern day ryotei is slightly different. Most ryotei has now disclosed its existence, and even ordinary people can use it if you make a reservation. But this does not change the prestige ryotei has. Most ryotei are operated in a way that provides a gorgeous private room with a Japanese garden and serves high-class Japanese cuisine. Guests must wear formal attire and the expensive bill might take you for surprise. It is suitable to use when you want to have an important conversation with someone or a business meeting you want to leave a huge impact.

For example, “Kanetanaka,” a famous ryotei in Shinbashi, serves general lunches and banquets. It also provides “shibai chaya” that has made a meal and a theater viewing a set. It even provides catering at a Noh theater. As you can see, it is known as a restaurant that has surpassed the category of an ordinary restaurant where you have a cultural experience. Ryotei has been loved by people in the financial and cultural industry. It also bears the role to share culture.

At “Mizoi,” a ryotei in Kyoto I went before, there were no tatami floors. It only had counters, which was different from a general ryotei. All of the guests started the meal together, and photos were not allowed. The budget was also set at a higher level for providing a course. This did make me feel that I would need to bring carefully selected guests to this place. However, I was deeply satisfied with this place.
As you can see, there are all kinds of types, budgets, and grades for ryotei. It is absolutely necessary to do some research before using one.


Zeniya | Pocket Concierge

3. How do you find a ryotei?

As for how to actually find and reserve a ryotei, most of the ryotei that is opened to the public have their own website where you can make a reservation. There are also more ryotei that allows you to make a reservation from major gourmet websites. You can, of course, make a reservation from Pocket Concierge.

Ryotei serves carefully prepared and cooked dishes. This makes it a must to make a reservation. Sudden changes in the number of guests right before the reservation will cause significant trouble to the restaurant. Make a reservation AFTER you finalize your schedule and number of guests that you are sure will not change. Also, you would need to know how to behave appropriately at a Japanese room called washitsu. Although you may not need to know everything about it like when you experience tea ceremony, it might be better to do so research about the mannerisms before visiting a ryotei.

Hyotei Kyoto | Pocket Concierge

LINEで送る
Pocket

Share with your friends, sharing is caring!