Almost everyone asked to recommend a renowned Japanese restaurant in Shizuoka mentions Cha Kaiseki Onjaku, located in Yaizu.
The restaurant is quietly set in a residential area, about a 20-minute walk from JR Yaizu Station. Although the restaurant looks like an ordinary house from the outside, once guests pass through the gate with a nameplate that reads “Cha Kaiseki Onjaku” and a noren curtain, they will find themselves in a different world, with a garden path paved with steppingstones and an atmospheric Japanese-style house.
The second-generation owner, Daigo Sugiyama, took over the restaurant from his father, who transformed it from a soba noodle shop run by his father to a cha-kaiseki restaurant (to offer multi-dish meals followed by tea ceremonies). Seeing his father running the cha-kaiseki restaurant for years, Sugiyama learned the art of tea as a high school student and naturally chose to pursue a career in Japanese cuisine. He spent six years in training at Wako in Mejiro, Tokyo, where his father had also trained, and then took over the restaurant from his father around 2016.
The word “Onjaku” is allegedly the origin of the word “kaiseki cuisine” in Japanese, but when used as the name of this restaurant, it means “heartwarming, happy dishes without elaborate presentation.” The food menu consists of dishes that are not ceremonious like typical cha-kaiseki dishes, but reflect the spirit of cha-kaiseki cuisine, allowing diners to enjoy local fish from Suruga Bay in Yaizu, Shizuoka, to their heart’s content. The fish is sourced from the nationally renowned Sasue Maeda Fish Shop, which has supplied fish to the restaurant since it was run by Sugiyama’s grandfather. The shop owner, Naoki Maeda, worked with Sugiyama to explore the best ways to offer the fish of Yaizu, and their cooperative efforts led to the birth of a dish of Red Snapper Grilled with Scales On, a specialty unique to the restaurant and offered year-round. Onjaku also offers a selection of Japanese sake, among which the renowned Isojiman from Yaizu and other local sakes particularly work well with the restaurant’s cuisine.
The modern interior with warm wood accents was designed by Japanese architect Yukio Hashimoto, known for designing The Peninsula Tokyo. The restaurant used to only have private rooms, but it was renovated in 2019 to add a dining space with a counter seating up to nine guests (or reserved for a group of ten guests) to allow guests to sit and watch the chef grill fish and vegetables in front of them. In addition, there are two private rooms including a tea ceremony room. Guests are invited to enjoy a heartwarming experience at Cha Kaiseki Onjaku, a restaurant worth a special trip.
* The availability of this webpage does not guarantee that the restaurant presented provides services in English, unless otherwise stated. Please be aware that English services may also depend on staff availability at the restaurant.
A 20-minutes walk from Yaizu Station on the JR Tokaido Main Line