“Ryotei” stands quietly in Minamiazabu in Tokyo
There is a stone gate, which is close to The Arisugawa no Miya Memorial Park.Have you ever seen
the sophisticated sign board of “Arisugawa Shimizu” on the stone gate? And there is a mysterious ramp beyond the gate…..I’m feeling nervous just looking at the gate, because of the exclusive atmosphere.
Luckily, I was invited there the other day.I could pass through the gate at last!
When I turned a corner of the ramp, the Japanese landscape garden came in sight,which was surrounded by a tranquil space. And there it was. Ryotei
“Arisugawa Shimizu 有栖川清水”.The longing for Japanese-style cuisine as a traditional culture ,welcomed me. This elegant restaurant uses copper roofing and each Washitsu(Japanese style room using Tatami) shows a different taste.
While I was looking at the fascinating garden through the window, I fully enjoyed the authentic “Kaiseki Ryori”a traditional Japanese multiple course meal,which makes best out of the available seasonable ingredients. Each dish was served one by one with the seasonable art of plate presentation and the taste of all plates was sophisticated.They were all delicious and beautiful from the beginning to the final noodle dish for the course meal, “Inaniwa Udon noodles” with a hot soup made with vegetables.
“Arisugawa Shimizu” is also a famous restaurant that the VIP government members use. There are three types of private washitsu(Japanese-style room) , which have sufficient space and are equipped with a long table,
painted by a luxury “Wajima-nuri”lacquer ware. The private rooms have these tables and offer Horigotatsu style"easy to sit in- sunken seats-”.
So,you don’t have to Seiza(sitting erect with your legs folded beneath on Tatami floor) even in a washitsu. You can relax in a Japanese world.
Japanese calligraphy, paintings,Kimono and traditional crafts are displayed here and there in this one-storied “Ryotei" restaurant. “Arisugawa Shimizu” also has a genuine tea room, a ballroom where you can have a wedding party and a lounge room where you can enjoy Karaoke. I was so surprised because it was more spacious than I imagined.
I spent an extraordinary moment there,which made me forget about my daily life. When I stepped out of the gate, I felt like a stranger in
an ordinary life.And I couldn’t get back to reality soon….
I would love to visit there again to treat myself to something special! I’d also like to recommend the wonderful Japanese-style restaurant to people from overseas.
This place is definitely a secret hideaway for mature people.