Thursday, September 15, 2011

白樺荘 (Shirakabaso Ryokan in Kamikochi)

白樺荘

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Welcome to Hotel Shirakabaso, located in the middle of scenic Kamikochi. Kamikochi is one of the last unspoilt places in Japan. The road into this magical valley has been banned of private vehicles for the past few decades, and only a handful of accomodations are available. Welcome to paradise.

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Of course, a hotel of this caliber has food to match. Kaiseki ryori (懐石料理) is a traditional multi-course Japanese dinner. The menu changes with the seasons. The techniques require years of training. The presentation is immaculate. Do yourself a favor and skip ramen once or twice to try something different. Just once or twice though... this stuff is expensive!

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Bite size snacks that go great with a beer or some local Japanese sake.

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Fresh sashimi of river trout.

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Seasonal pickles in a light konbu sauce.

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Roasted ayu, a river fish from Japan.

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Marbled shinshu beef, grilled with butter.

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And ramen.

You should not expect ramen when eating a course menu on this level, but the small bowl of cold hiyashi chuka was a nice little surprise.