By JJ Walsh
If you are looking for a traditional Japanese restaurant for a special occasion, the floating restaurant boat Kakifune Kanawa specializes in gourmet oyster dishes and beautiful Japanese set courses.
There are reasonable lunch set courses from 3,000 yen as well as ala carte dishes in the day and stunning dinner courses worth saving up for from 6,000 yen at night.
Japanese oysters are at their best in late winter and early spring when you will find many events and festivals in Hiroshima celebrating these prized delicacies. Kanawa, however, has its own supplies fresh all year from a top-secret, private reserve location.
Dining while on the water creates a calm atmosphere both day and night as you enjoy the wonderful food and good service while taking in the riverside views.
The interior is traditional Japanese with tatami straw mat floors and low tables. There are Noren curtains separating the private rooms and some very pleasing Kakejiku scroll paintings hanging in the main dining rooms.
The lower private rooms are very comfortable but a bit darker than the upper floors because they are under water with small port holes for light. The largest of these rooms can seat 10 and has a Horigotatasu low table with leg-room cut into the floor underneath into which you can stretch out.
- Lunch: ¥3100~¥5500. The difference in price reflects the variety and quantity of dishes. For those who prefer seafood to oysters, a seafood set of 8 dishes is ¥5000. It is also possible to get meat courses if requested in advance.
- Dinner: ¥6,000-¥15,000 These course prices again reflect the variety and number of dishes in a course as well as the calibre of ingredients.
Although more expensive, the benefit of ordering a set instead of ala carte is to guarantee a balance of flavors and foods to round out your meal and give you an overall satisfying experience. All the dishes in a set are presented so artistically, with such flair, a beautiful way to enjoy good food.
In the set meals, of course there are many oyster dishes cooked in different fashions, but there are also fish and vegetable dishes chosen for their complementary flavors. The sashimi, raw fish, is fresh and tender and the anago barbequed eel dishes have a smoky savory flavor. Other interesting and unique dishes in the sets include the apple oyster gratin- a hot, very cheesy oyster gratin cooked and served in an apple. The popular Dotte Nabe is a rich blend of oysters and 4 different types of miso. This dish is cooked for you at your table- a real winter favorite as it is a little salty but very rich and warming.
Be aware that none of the set prices include drinks and although their recommended dishes are oysters and seafood, sets of non-oyster seafood or meat dishes is also available on request. There is also a 10% service charge added to the bill if you book a private room.
Ala carte dishes range in prices starting from just under 1,000 yen. The fried oysters are an all-time favorite ala carte dish as many people can't get enough of the crunchy, moist and flavorful nuggets of oyster; served with fresh lemon and a shoyu dipping sauce. The grilled oysters served in their shell are also deliciously juicy with a subtle taste of the sea- this is an oysters lovers favorite style. There are also cheesy gratin dishes and donburi rice dishes to choose from.
- Reservations suggested -online reservations (in Japanese) also available.
- English and Japanese menus available, no English speaking staff
- 6 Private rooms available upstairs and downstairs (10% service charge added for use of all private rooms)
- No non-smoking areas, but private rooms suggested for non-smokers (specify during reservation)
- Seating for 50-80
- Parking redemption available if you use the "otemachi parking" building across the street (standard sized cars only)
- All credit cards accepted
- Waitstaff wear kimonos and pour drinks and cook some dishes at your table
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I've been living in Hiroshima since the mid 90's & still discovering new things to enjoy. I'm a big fan of both the old "wabi sabi" as well as modern and new designs, Japan offers both of these type of places to explore and enjoy. Even after many years here, I am still discovering surprising, fantastic and wacky things about this strange and wonderful land. I hope you enjoy your adventures around Japan- feel free to contact me with any questions you may have about traveling with kids, vegetarian dining or anything specific to Hiroshima.