The Detail of Kaiseki Cuisine

Ryokan meals across Japan with a focus on presentation

By Kim B    - 2 min read

One thing that I've noticed during my time in Japan is the attention to detail encountered here in a multitude of forms. One such way is in the presentation of food, particularly when it comes to kaiseki cuisine. This type of dining is served up in multiple courses and is often elaborately served and decorated.

The dishware used is always something that catches my eye, especially in regards to the seasonal focus. Plates and bowls will often have motifs or shapes that reflect elements of nature, including leaves and flowers in bloom. Many courses may also be adorned with real leaves and flowers depending on the time of year that you're dining.

On one particular ryokan (traditional Japanese inn) stay during fall, we noticed our meals had many autumnal elements, including Japanese maple leaves on some of our dishes. On another stay when our ryokan was situated near Mt. Fuji, our dessert course included a mini matcha cheesecake in the shape of the iconic mountain itself.

You may feel silly for taking your camera along to dinner with you, but many dishes truly are like works of art!

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Kim B

Kim B @kim.b

I'm an Australian who has lived abroad for almost a decade, including 7 years in Japan - specifically Tokyo and Niigata. I've  visited 44 of 47 prefectures, with only Kagoshima, Miyazaki and Kumamoto left to check out. I'm particularly fond of exploring off the beaten path destinations, gardens, and tea houses, and have a real interest in Japan's growing vegan scene.