Anyone who speaks English probably knows the proverb, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” In Japanese we also have a very similar saying: 郷に入れば郷に従え（go ni ireba go ni shitagae). It means that if you enter a foreign country or region, it is wise to follow the customs and ways there.
I believe that travelling is about not only seeing new sights, but also learning more about another country and culture.
However, during a long journey you will naturally miss the customs of your home country. We Japanese sometimes visit Japanese restaurants abroad. I think this is because many of us become homesick while travelling. Of course, I also believe it is a benefit for international travellers to step out of their comfort zone and learn about other cultures. That’s why I highly recommend staying at a Japanese ryokan.
The accommodation of Shima Onsen Kashiwaya Ryokan usually includes dinner and breakfast (one night stay and two meals per day).
You can enjoy your stay in a traditional Japanese Ryokan that has Japanese features such as tatami rooms, an Onsen (hot spring), and Japanese cuisine.
We are happy to have received a lot of good comments and reviews, especially about the cuisine.
The dinner in the evening is truly the best bit though… A 12 course meal with so many different things to try from Japanese cuisine…
The food was amazing, they happily accommodated my vegetarian request and the in-room dinner and breakfast made the stay feel like a real traditional Japanese experience.
Breakfast is served downstairs, but dinner is served in your own room – both are a delicious parade of more than ten different dishes!
Recently the number of guests at our Ryokan from overseas has been increasing.
In the last four months alone (January to April) this year, we have welcomed guests from more than 30 countries and regions.
So, we have also had variety of requests for special menus (especially vegetarian and vegan).
Therefore, Shima Onsen Kashiwaya Ryokan has created five special menus.
Regular dishes that we usually serve and many of our guests enjoy.
2. Menu with no meat
Substitute other ingredients for all meat in the regular menu.
Seafood, egg, dairy products are still used.
3. Vegetarian A menu
No meat and seafood, but a basic element of Japanese cuisine, ‘Katsuo Dashi’ (Japanese-style broth with dried bonito(fish) ) is used. Egg and dairy products are also used.
4. Vegetarian B menu
This meal does not contain meat, seafood, egg or dairy products, although ‘Katsuo Dashi'(Japanese-style broth with dried bonito) is used.
As it was mentioned above, ‘Katsuo Dashi’ is a basic element of Japanese cuisine.
5. Vegan menu
This menu does not contain meat, seafood, egg or dairy products. Special broth with edible kelp, mushrooms, and vegetables is used instead of ‘Katsuo Dashi’ (Japanese-style broth with dried bonito). There is an extra charge of 2,000yen per night per person.
We are afraid that we cannot accommodate fully for food allergies.
We will try to do our best. However, some ingredients may contain allergens, and allergens are handled and prepared in the same environment with all other food items, so trace amounts of these allergens may be found in all dishes.
We appreciate your understanding in this matter.
We are sorry to say that we cannot currently prepare halal food.
It is difficult for us to divide our cookware and utensils to prepare a halal menu.
In addition, some seasonings contain a little alcohol.
Please choose one of the five menus above, if possible.
We appreciate your understanding in this matter.
Likes and dislikes
We highly recommend that you try Washoku (Japanese cuisine). It is a great opportunity to enjoy it. There may be some dishes and ingredients that you are unfamiliar with, but they are worth trying.
Please let us know any of your menu requests in advance.
We may not able to accommodate you if ordered on the same day.
When I first became a member of Kashiwaya Ryokan, what I was surprised the most was that the staff had meeting and discussed everyday how they can please customers.
So I also, as a chef of this Ryokan, am enthusiastically engaged in researching cooking and developing new menus every night to deliver joy and surprise to our customers.
My recent theme is mainly dishes, using plenty of vegetables. Meat and fish are not mail role but vegetables are, so that customers can eat meat and fish a little more delicious. This is what I am challenging.
Speaking of challenge, I once have walked from Kagoshima to Tokyo.
I wanna achieve extremely chef road with such inborn strong will.
Although born in Tokyo, he had been trained not only in Kanto but also Kansai when he was young. He is a craftsman of this road.
Although initially, all staff thought that he was a silent person, he was just a little shy.
Actually he is really a friendly guy with nice smile.
JAZZ appreciation, Rakugo storyteller appreciation, old art tour.
His favorite Rakugo storyteller is, Kokontei Shinsho, Katsura Beicho, and Kokontei Shincho.
He taught me that there is a description that a storyteller Sanyutei Encho, called as a god of storytelling, walked to Shima Onsen in Meiji period in a book, “Encho Zammai,” which he read because it’s about storytelling.
Indeed, he is a chef.
He loves materials, which likely go well with Washoku!
Bamboo shoots, radish, redness of tuna, tasty dried fish ..
What He is Good at Other than Cooking
As he told in the self-introduction, he had walked from Kagoshima to Tokyo for 40 days when he was young.
It is exactly the “master of the walk.”
Short Message to the Readers
I (Inoue) feel like what I have done has come to match with the trend of the times, the health boom.
If you get tired in a city, please refresh at Shima Onsen.
I look forward your visiting, cooking body-friendly cuisine.
As I previously wrote, most ryokan, especially local ryokan, serve as “one night with two meals.” In other words, meal and accommodation are provided as one set, and meals are usually Washoku.
We, at Shima Onsen Kashiwaya Ryokan also serve dinner as Washoku course cuisine and serve about 10 dishes starting from aperitif. You can choose breakfast from Washoku, Western style, or branch at Kashiwaya cafe located at onsen town.
Japan, surrounded by the sea, is a treasure trove of delicious seafood. In addition, there are many delicious freshwater fish unique in Japan, such as Ayu (sweet fish) and char. Maybe for this reason, most Washoku served at ryokan is a well balanced dish with a combination of vegetables, fish, and meat.
“Katsuo Dashi (Bonito Soup)”, the Basic of Wahoku
Dashi (soup) is also one of the cultures that Japanese Washoku boasts. Among them, Katsuo Dashi is the basic of Washoku and contains rich “Umami (taste).” Katsuo Dashi has been used in many dishes offered in Washoku course meal. Katsuobushi (dried bonito), the origin of Katsuo Dashi, is said to be the hardest food ingredient in the world. It is a food ingredient like an art made with lots of process, time, and intelligence, such as stewing bonito caught in the Pacific Ocean, fumigating, drying, molding, and so on.
About Meals for Vegetarians
We, Shima Onsen Kashiwaya Ryokan , are currently happily inviting customers around the world. Due to a variety of circumstances of customers, many customers request meals of mainly vegetables without meat and fish. So we are contriving to meet customers’ requests as much as possible.
We may not be able to always respond to all requests due to congestion situation of the day, and so on. But first, please feel free to contact us.
★For People who cannot Eat Meat
For people who cannot eat meat, we correspond with vegetables and fish. In this case, we can always correspond almost 100%.
★People who cannot Eat Neither Meat nor Fish
Also, for vegetarians who cannot eat neither meat nor fish, we try to correspond as much as possible. But please understand we might ask additional fee as we require extra time (process) for cooking.
To say vegetarians in a bundle, each person has different food to be eatable. Thus, we appreciate it very much if you could tell us the details beforehand with e-mails and so on. Especially eggs, dairy products, and Dashi (soup) are unique to every customer.
Among them, it is very important for us whether we may use Dashi (soup) extracted from bonito (or seafood). As I wrote earlier, because Katsuo Dashi (bonito soup) is the very basic in Japanese food, we have to make other soups and cook meals completely separately with other customers, if we cannot use Katsuo Dashi (bonito soup).
In this case, we mainly use Shojin Dashi (vegetarian soup, extracted from plants, such as kelp and shiitake) and soups extracted from flavoring vegetables.
I remarried last January. Because my husband is from Gunma, he invited me to go because there are good onsens there, and at the same time it would be our honeymoon so the trip became our first after getting married.
My husband took care of the reservation and other things, and I didn’t know any of the plans so it was kind of a surprise for me. Upon arrival, I was impressed with the stylish facade of the building.
Our room was so large for the two of us, almost too large that we were dumbfounded when entered the room.
We had Japanese food for dinner and it looked almost too pretty to eat. While being impressed with the food, I was also thinking that I should cook food this delicious for my husband.
After dinner, we had a bath in the onsen. We had a very romantic time with just the two of us – we didn’t even have to reserve the open air bath and we had it all to ourselves. We talked a lot too.
After our bath we took it easy, and we were able to relax as if we were in our own house. It was our first time in that place but we were able to relax, and I think it was because of our room.
Our breakfast was a Western-style breakfast. I was surprised at the freshly-baked bread – it was really indescribably delicious. The other dishes were tasty too of course, but the deliciousness of the bread was so surprising that I was happy to be impressed so early in the morning.
Kashiwaya Ryokan is a very good ryokan. It was impressive from the moment we arrived, and up until the very end it did not disappoint. We have very good memories of it.
Age：44 years old
★Response from Kashiwaya Ryokan
We are very thankful that you stayed with us at Shima Onsen Kashiwaya Ryokan for your honeymoon, a trip for making wonderful memories.
It appears that your bond together has deepened after having a relaxing time in your husband’s hometown.
We are also grateful for your compliments on our facilities, food and onsens that you had all to yourselves.
The freshly-baked bread served during breakfast that you were very pleased with is a secret specialty of Kashiwaya Ryokan that many of our guests order to take home as gifts.
You live in faraway Fukuoka but we hope that you will visit us again when your husband returns home to visit family. We, the whole staff, look forward to your next visit.
In general, ryokan rates includes meals fee, too. If you stay over a night, ryokan prepares the dinner on the day and the breakfast on the next day. Thus you can save your time to prepare food by yourself.
It cannot be an exaggeration if I say that meals at ryokan are one of the best parts of travel. You can fully enjoy a wide variety of delicious cuisine washoku with abundant seasonal local ingredients to Western with fruits and main meat dishes.
You can enjoy the service only at ryokan that taking onsen with a plenty of time, warming up your body, and enjoy delicious meal. Your feeling must be raised in front of lavish meals, such as you cannot eat everyday. You will be released from the stress of everyday life and spend the bliss of time.
Every Ryokan Serves its Unique Meals
It should be noted, menus and catering ways served at ryokan vary greatly by each ryokan. If you are interested in tuna, saury, chestnut, nuts, and foods of mountains, ryokan in mountainous areas is recommended. In order to fully enjoy onsen travel, you can be more enjoyable if checking what kinds of meals are served as well as onsen.
In addition, although Kaiseki Ryori tends to serve lots of amount, we are committed to serve reasonable amount. For menu that changes about 5 times a year, we cook them in gentle taste.
Kaiseki Ryori is hospitality dishes to enjoy drink. The basic menu is one soup and three dishes (soup, sashimi, grilled, and boiled), side dishes for sake are added, such as Otoshi (appetize), steamed food, marinated, vinegared dish, and finally rice, miso soup, pickled, and fruits are served.
Except ryokan in urban areas of Tokyo and Kyoto, the basic Japan ryokan accommodation system is one night two meals (Half Board) with dinner and breakfast.
In recent years, including our Kashiwaya ryokan, more and more ryokan are accepting other styles, such as B&B, accommodation and breakfast, and just sleep over.
Ryokan the Perfect Place to Taste Washoku
However, if you’re staying in long-awaited Japan, I recommend that you eat both dinner and breakfast at ryokan at least once. This is because ryokan is the perfect place to taste “Washoku; the Japanese Traditional Food Culture” registered as the UNESCO intangible cultural heritage.
However, a lot of ryokan provide in buffet style at relatively large-scale ryokan, so you need to be careful. Of course, I do not deny buffet style, but this is from a point of view in order to taste “Washoku; the Japanese Traditional Food Culture” registered as the UNESCO intangible cultural heritage.
What is Kaiseki Ryori (traditional Japanese meal brought in courses) ?
Most ryokan have their base of dinner as washoku, and many of them have the flow of “Kaiseki Ryori.” Kaiseki Ryori was originally dishes to enjoy drink and consists of various side dishes for sake, such as soup, sashimi, grilled, boiled, fried, steamed, marinated, and vinegared. Then it has a style of rice and soup (Tomewan; finish bowl) coming up at last. There are versatile ryokan; some ryokan serve traditional style of Kaiseki, some provide a little simplified, and some arrange in Western-style.
In addition, there are also ryokan, which serve “Kaiseki Ryori” that has same the reading but different kanji and has its roots in Teaism to enjoy tea and “Shojin Ryori (vegetarian food)” that does not use meat and fish.
Breakfast has more wide variety depend on each ryokan. Some ryokan serve feast more than enough to eat all even at dinner, some serve simple and basic one soup and three dishes, and some serve Western style as selected like our Kashiwaya ryokan. There are also many ryokan, which serve in buffet style only for breakfast.
For breakfast, you can choose from Washoku, which has lots of local ingredients, such as local miso and tofu, and Japanese rice gruel, Washoku with freshly baked bread and coffee, or brunch at Kashiwaya café at onsen town.
“Food” is one of the great funs of travel, so please fully enjoy.