Before we left for Japan, I read that Kaiseki dinners are the pinnacle of Japanese cuisine – of course I was hooked!
The best place to experience this special type of dinner is to stay in a Ryokan in Kyoto. Ryokans are traditional Japanese guesthouses, where the rooms have a tatami flooring and sliding doors. We chose to stay at a charming Ryokan called Gion Hatanka – a calm and friendly place where we stayed for two nights.
So a Kaiseki dinner is a multi-course Japanese feast. You can say it is the counterpart to Western haute cuisine.
Traditionally it was a vegetarian meal served during tea ceremony. Nowadays it also includes fresh local meat and fish. The single dishes are beautifully presented and garnished and resemble shapes found in nature. The decoration of the food also plays with flowers and leaves. Both the ingredients used for the dinner as well as the tableware change according to the season.