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