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Posts tagged tokonoma (床の間)

Iwaso (岩惣) tokonoma (床の間)

Iwaso 岩惣 tokonoma miyajima

Kurochaya 黒茶屋

gate at kurochaya tokyo japan

A couple weeks ago we met a most kind Japanese man who wanted us to experience an authentic Japanese meal with him. A week, and several emails, later and we were being picked up by him and his wife at the Fussa Station. From there we went to Kurochaya, an amazing restaurant along the banks of the Akigawa River (River Aki actually). The grounds, atmosphere, and food were all fantastic.

kurochaya akigawa japanese baskets

This is the view of the handmade baskets in the gift shop with the river in the background through the window.

kurochaya akiruno tokyo japan

Our private room included a tokonoma (床の間) and ikebana (生け花) to go along with the walls of windows with views. ごちそうさまでした.

Should you ever be in Tokyo, and really want to experience a traditional Japanese meal (kaisekiryori or 懐石料理) and environment, then this is the place for you.

The address is 東京都あきる野市小中野167, info-e@kurochaya.net for reservations.

From central Tokyo take the Chuo Line (with transfer at Tachikawa onto the Ome Line) or Seibu Shinjuku Line west. Transfer at Haijima Station onto the Itsukaichi Line. Ride the line to the end, Musashiitsukaichi Station. You can walk or take a short cab ride from there.

Fushimi Inari Taisha (伏見稲荷大社), Part IV of V

I finished sorting through my Fushimi Inari pictures and, although difficult to do so, cut the remaining pictures I will share with you down to seven. You’ll get three today and the last four tomorrow. (Remember that these pictures look far better if you click on them. Also, if you have a monitor with screen resolution settings of something higher than 1024 x 768 and your browser maximized you’ll have better results.)

restaurant Fushimi Inari Taisha 伏見稲荷大社

After walking (generally upwards) through a few hundred yards worth of torii we came upon an empty restaurant. We hadn’t eaten breakfast yet so this was perfect. The setting for the eating place was spectacular. We could look out over the groves of trees, bamboo, and torii gates while eating in this peaceful setting. We were perched slightly above everything so the views were wonderful.

In the above photograph you can see the tokonoma (床の間 or decorative alcove usually featuring a scroll) with ikebana (生け花 or flower arrangement) and also some reserved tables (予約席). The floor is made of tatami (畳) mats.

eating at Fushimi Inari Taisha 伏見稲荷大社

inarizushiThe lighting in the above picture is not so good, but you can sort of see how marvelous the views are from this restaurant.

What does one eat at the main Inari shrine dedicated to kitsune? We ordered inarizushi and kitsune udon of course.

kitsune udonThe food was good and my daughter (pictured above with me) now considers inarizushi to be her favorite food. I enjoyed talking in Japanese with the old lady from across the road. It was from her house that the food came. I said this was a restaurant, but it wasn’t in the typical sense as no food preparations went on there. All of the food was cooked and brought over from the house across the dirt path. This place was simply for eating.

Japanese Lantern Fushimi Inari Taisha 伏見稲荷大社

After eating we headed down the path instead of farther up. We didn’t actually make it to the main shrine at the top of the hill, but that just means we have to go back someday to explore in more detail. 😉 We were departing the country in a few hours so we didn’t have time to take all of the paths.

The way down was a different path than the way up and featured many shrines (even a Buddhist one or two). The Shinto one pictured above has a plaque that says 玉姫大社 (jewel princess big shrine or tamahimetaisha). 玉姫 has to do with wedding places so I’m guessing this shrine has something to do with weddings; perhaps offerings are left here to wish for a successful marriage. Tamahime Taisha featured the first of the many Japanese lanterns we were about to see along this exit path.

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