After observing Shinto rituals, I enjoyed my first Japanese meal, known as kaiseki ryori at Hirashin ryokan (Japanese traditional inn).
The kaiseki ryori is a traditional Japanese multi-course haute cuisine comprising starters, main courses, shokuji and dessert. Each dish served during different kaiseki course represents different cooking method. For example, the soup (suimono) is a clear broth garnished with vegetables, tofu or seafood. The sashimi is thin-sliced raw fish meat normally served with shredded daikon (Japanese radish) accompanied by soy sauce and wasabi. Then, there is this dish made by boiling, simmering or stewing vegetables and meat known as nimono.
Other dishes are grilled fish or meat (yakimono), deep-fried dish (agemono), steamed dish (mushimono) and vinegared dish (sunomono). The shokuji set consisting of rice, miso soup and pickles is often served at the end of the main course before dessert.
Besides catering to the halal market upon prior reservation, this establishment also offers the opportunity for diners to watch the maiko (apprentice geisha) elegantly performing the kyo-mai dance in ornate kimono while indulging in the Kyoto-style cuisine.
Don’t forget to take memorable pictures with the maiko and geiko-san (a full-fledged geisha).
The room at Hirashin Ryokan. A simple traditional inn. Yes, you sleep on the futon.
Address: Takoyakushidori, Takakura Nishiiru, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto 604-8141, Kyoto Prefecture
For halal courses, please book in advance.
The above is written in conjunction with a familiarization trip courtesy of Kansai Gastronomy Tourism Promotion Council Office, Japan Railway Company, Keihan Group, Don Quijote Group, Sakai Tourism and Convention Bureau, and Wendy Tour.