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Kikunoi is known as a “ryotei” - a particular type of high-class Japanese restaurant. When people ask me to explain exactly what this means, I tell them that it is fundamentally just another kind of eatery. A ryotei is no different from a set-meal dining hall or any other Japanese eating house, insofar as the aim is to serve up good-tasting dishes to customers. The difference, however, lies in the fact that the food is just one part of the ryotei experience. Guests come to a ryotei to enjoy a combination of different experiences, including the establishment’s fine architecture, the luxury and elegance of its facilities, and the warm hospitality of its hostess. I consider a ryotei to be an “amusement park for adults.”
People tend to view ryotei as exclusive and slightly out-of-reach, but this is not a valid characterization at all. In Kyoto, ryotei are frequented by ordinary folk looking to enjoy a little luxury slightly removed from their everyday lives.
Taking pleasure in Japanese cuisine and appreciating the delights of the ryotei experience – this is what Kikunoi is all about. I hope that more people will come and experience all that Kikunoi has to offer.