Hougetsu

Koma's secret kaiseki restaurant

By Sherilyn Siy    - 2 min read

Hidden away from the main tourist draws in the neighborhood is a small kaiseki restaurant run by a husband and wife. So secret is this restaurant I didn't know about it until five years after moving into the neighborhood. There are no signs pointing to the restaurant from the main road. It doesn't appear on any ads or billboards. If you walk down the road towards the restaurant, it's completely possible to miss it. The small wood block with the restaurant's name blends right into the bushes. Despite (or perhaps precisely due to) its lack of publicity, people still manage to find this restaurant and the place can get pretty full.

I went there for lunch with some neighborhood friends. All other tables were occupied by what looked like regulars. We were warmly welcomed by Yoshizawa-san (the wife) into what is really part of the Yoshizawa family's home. The name of the restaurant, 芳月, is derived from the family's name. 芳 can be pronounced yoshi but also hou and this character means "fragrant". The restaurant's seating area is the spacious living room of a typical Japanese country home with big see-through sliding doors that look out into a small well kept garden

There were only a handful of options for the lunch set menu. I ordered the fried pork and cheese cutlet set meal. One of my friends ordered the same fried pork cutlet but with shiso instead of cheese. Another friend ordered the fried chicken set meal, and another the classic washoku (Japanese cuisine) favorites set meal. The portions were huge and all meals came with red miso soup, assorted homemade pickles, and steaming bowls of high quality rice. The fried pork cutlet was delightfully crispy and delicious. All of us were unable to finish our meals and Yoshizawa-san kindly provided us with take home boxes to put our leftovers in to enjoy again later.

Hougetsu has more elaborate options for dinner. They can also customize meals (Hougetsu catered vegetarian lunch boxes for my company's end of the year celebration) and deliver them to your doorstep for free.

Getting there

Hougetsu is a short walk from the Old Koma Town House and Kinchakuda. Parking at Hougetsu is limited to 2 or 3 cars only. The nearest train station is Koma Station along the Seibu Chichibu Line. The restaurant is about a 20 minute walk from the station. It is best to make a stop at the restaurant as part of your day trip around the area.

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Sherilyn Siy

Sherilyn Siy @sherilyn.siy

For Sherilyn Siy, Asia is home. Born in Hong Kong, Sherilyn spent time in the Philippines, China, and now lives in Japan. She speaks English, Filipino, Chinese (or putonghua), and Hokkien, her family's local dialect. Running is one of her favorite ways to explore Japan. She proudly finished the 2015 Tokyo Marathon -- her first ever full marathon -- in 4 hours and 37 minutes. She was absolutely psyched when she got selected again to run the new Tokyo Marathon route in 2018. She hopes to complete other races in Japan. 

Join the discussion

Lynda Hogan a week ago
I love places like this.
Kim B a week ago
Such a beautifully presented meal!
Bonson Lam a week ago
What a delight to be invited to someone's home for an exquisite lunch!