Designer Shinichiro Ogata's serene mod-Edo dream is part-restaurant, part-tea room, part-gallery and part-wagashi sweet shop, all wrapped up in a pretty plum tree garden. At Tokyo’s Yakumo Saryo, you can dodge big-city stress and escape reality in a dining space that offers an innovative modern take on Japanese tradition.
Guests can enjoy a traddy brek, lunch or afternoon cha. Cuisine is intended to delight the five senses, drawing on heritage techniques. Classic Japanese Asacha breakfast sets include tea with rice or porridge, seasonal side dishes, sun-dried fish, pickles, miso soup and wagashi. At lunch seasonal Hiru Kaiseki multi-course tasting menus come in standard or special options (reservations recommended). In the Sabo teahouse you can savour various teas, sweets and liqueurs, plus fresh Japanese confectionery. Breakfast is served here too (book ahead), but tea is for walk-ins.
For sweets to go pop into Baishinka wagashi confectionery shop, which stocks treats for celebrations and festivals. Craft fans can also snap up the gorgeous handcrafted tableware used at the teahouse and restaurant at the Salon to take home, or catch a cultural craft exhibition.
Sadly evenings are invite only, but you can enjoy delicious dinner at Ogata's other eatery Higashi-yama Tokyo, with a counter seat-surrounded open kitchen, high-ceilinged main room and tatami-floored private diner. His everyday, seasonal wagashi shop Higashiya Ginza also appeals to sweet tooths, with a teahouse and teaware for sale.
Yakumo Saryo / 3-4-7 Yakumo / Meguro-ku / +81 3 5731 1620 / 9am-5pm Mon-Sat / yakumosaryo.jp
Higashi-yama Tokyo / 1-21-25 Higashiyama / Meguro-ku / +81 3 5720 1300 / 6pm-1am Mon, 11.30am-3pm & 6pm-1am Tue-Sat / higashiyama-tokyo.jp
Higashiya Ginza / 2/F / Pola Ginza Bldg / 1-7-7 Ginza / Chuo-ku / +81 3 3538 3230 / 11am-10pm Tue-Sat, 11am-7pm Sun / higashiya.com