Located about a ten-minute drive from Mizusawa Esashi Station on the Tohoku Shinkansen line, Japanese Restaurant SHINCHAYA was established in 1850 at the center of Oshu City in Iwate Prefecture. Inheriting the traditions of the long-established restaurant, the seventh-generation chef, Yasutaka Waga, brings a fresh perspective with a vision ahead of the times.
Born as the seventh generation of the family running Japanese Restaurant SHINCHAYA, Yasutaka attended Osaka Abeno Tsuji Culinary Institute and honed his culinary skills at Hyotei and Hiiragiya Ryokan in Kyoto before returning to Iwate. He joined Japanese Restaurant SHINCHAYA in 2015 and took over as chef in 2018.
The new chef brought new ideas to the restaurant run by his predecessor, making slow but steady changes to the design and menus of the restaurant. Located in Iwate Prefecture, a large prefecture blessed with food resources, the restaurant is particular about its ingredients, such as fish and shellfish sourced directly from rich fishing grounds off Ofunato Fishing Port in Iwate and Shiogama Fishing Port in the neighboring prefecture of Miyagi, among others, as well as edible wild plants and mushrooms picked for the spring and autumn menus, respectively, by the chef himself.
The restaurant’s 12-course meal always includes at least one meat dish, featuring a special product of Iwate, which is noted not only for its seafood but also for its meat products, such as Iwate Short-horned Wagyu Beef, Yanagawa Lamb and Mutton from Esashi, and guinea fowl from Hanamaki. The beef, lamb, and mutton are first grilled in a pan made of Nambu Ironware, another specialty of Iwate, and then cooked on charcoal. The matsutake mushrooms are also steamed in a Nambu Ironware teapot instead of an earthen teapot to reduce cooking time. The appetizers and soups featuring seasonal ingredients are particularly popular due to the dashi stock made from Japanese kelp from Shirokuchihama, Hokkaido, dried bonito and tuna flakes from Ishinomaki, Miyagi.
The sake list offers five to six selected labels from Iwate, including AKABU, as well as the chef’s favorites from all over the Tohoku Region, including Aramasa from Akita. The drink menu also consists of a wide selection of choices, including red and white wines mainly from Bourgogne, beers from Germany, and non-alcoholic drinks.
Walking through a narrow alley, you will be greeted by the elegant façade of Japanese Restaurant SHINCHAYA. Then, stepping across its threshold, you will immediately be greeted by seasonal decorations. The flowers are hand-picked daily by the chef from his garden or nearby mountain meadows. The main dining room with an area of 100 tatami mats (seating up to 50 guests) and the private dining rooms (seating up to two guests) are all equipped with tables and chairs. The chef always seeks to create Japanese dishes that showcase the flavors of Iwate Prefecture. These elaborate dishes and the stylish atmosphere make the long-established Japanese restaurant worth a visit to Iwate, no matter how far away you may live.
* 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.
12 minutes by car from Mizusawa Esashi Station on the Tohoku Shinkansen Line