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Image 1: This is one of the most famous mountain restaurants for tea ceremony and meal.
Image 2: If you treat it as a half day sightseeing excursion, then you will enjoy it. But if you expect a superb dining experience, you will be disappointed, very disappointed!
Image 3: It is an impressive place! On the mountain with a huge open terrace offering a panoramic view.
Image 4: The minimalist decor. Calligraphy written on scrolls. It's quite a special place indeed.
Image 5: The experience began with a "tea master" introducing the types of tea they have in house. The idea is to relax on the tatami floor and slowly enjoy each sip of tea while listening to the sound of the nature with fragrance coming from the cedar trees.
Image 6: The "tea master" is very friendly, but he completely lacked training in basic tea ceremony etiquette to the point that was almost laughable. He struggled to even precisely pour a cup of tea without making a mess! If you have experienced proper tea ceremony in Japan, this place will be a joke for you.
Image 7: This 1.5hrs optional tea ceremony experience prior to the meal will set you back at US$35 per head, almost same price as the meal itself.
Image 8: They will then lead you downstairs for an 8-course meal which is very well priced at only US$40.
Image 9: Warning, this place serves only one menu and it is a very health-conscious cuisine. Of course healthy food does not mean it has to be bland, however, it is the case here. Beautifully plated 8-course but most dishes were like boiled food without any seasoning, So bland that you will need to eat it with a bowl of soy sauce!
Image 10: Peanut tofu with apple and shaved almond / Chilled sweet corn soup
Image 11: Tomato jelly with white miso cream / Seared scallop with mushroom sauce and pine nut
Image 12: Shrimp with minced peas on carrot / Smoked eel roll with vegetable / Wild mushroom with beetroot and cauliflower
Image 13: Abalone with tofu skin / Honeycomb mushroom with water chestnut and pumpkin
Image 14: Soup of onion, cabbage and courgette
Image 15: Rice ball of truffle
Image 16: Soup of whole lotus with root vegetables
Image 18: Pineapple, passion fruit, Java apple
Image 19: Traditional dessert of mashed taro and syrup / Apple of Sodom (nipplefruit)
Image 20: I enjoyed the scenic. I loved the ambience. But the food was simply disaster to the point that was almost inedible. If you have a late afternoon to spare, do make a visit and have an early meal just for the experience. However, do plan for another restaurant to have a proper meal when you are back in town.