Nikiya: My Favorite Ryotei Restaurant in Saitama
Last spring I went on a sightseeing trip to Saitama, a neighboring prefecture of Tokyo, to see cherry blossoms.
Cherry blossom viewing, or “Hanami(花見)” is a traditional Japanese custom where we enjoy the beautiful scenery of cherry blossoms, drinking and eating snacks offered by “Yatai (屋台)” street food stalls in the festival.
We visited “Gongendo-Tsutsumi(権現堂堤)”, a park located in the city of Satte, one of Saitama’s most popular cherry blossom viewing spots, and in fact, when we arrived there, there were a lot of people enjoying Hanami.
Nikiya (仁木屋): An Old Ryotei Restaurant in Saitama
After the Hanami, we headed to a “Ryotei (料亭)” traditional Japanese restaurant to enjoy its traditional Japanese course dinner.
The name of the Ryotei restaurant located in the city of Saitama that we reserved is “Nikiya (仁木屋)” (Google Map), which is also a registered tangible cultural property.
The establishment, Nikiya is a semi-Western style old house built in the Taisho period (Taisho: 1912 – 1926), where you can soak in the wonderful harmony of Japanese traditions and Western practicality.
Hina Ningyo Dolls in Nikiya
This time when we visited Nikiya, the traditional Japanese Girl’s Festival, “Hina Matsuri (ひな祭り)” was held in the restaurant.
Hina Matsuri is annually held on March 3 to wish for the health and happiness of young girls, when the families with young girls display “Hina Ningyo (雛人形)” dolls in their houses.
Actually, at Nikiya, a seasonal event takes place every month, and for each event, seasonal things relating to that are prepared and displayed in and outside the restaurant.
So in addition to enjoying the course dinner, you can also feel the change of the seasons through those traditional Japanese events when you dine at Nikiya.
Nikiya’s Traditional Japanese Course Dinner
All the dishes of the Ryotei restaurant are really delicious. Especially the white rice cooked in the heating state brought by the fire of “Kamado (竃)”, an old-style Japanese kitchen range, tastes great, making the most of the original natural sweetness of rice.
If you have a plan to visit the city of Saitama for sightseeing, I highly recommend the Ryotei restaurant Nikiya for your dinner, for not only are the dishes exquisite, but the ambiance is also very nice and fantastic.