Clearly, Mizai is an experience that involves all its patrons in the presentation and appreciation of fine Japanese cuisine. This is an interesting concept, to share such a culinary experience with a group of strangers?
- A reservation is necessary in advance (possibly as much as 6 months).
- Seats only 13 people in an evening's dining.
- Excellent environment amid one of Kyoto’s most beautiful locations.
- L-shape counter table with 13 seats only.
- Arriving there 30 minutes before is recommended.
Mizai is located amid the natural leafy splendor of Maruyama Koen (park) in Kyoto. Owner and Chef, Hitoshi Ishihara, who once served as a top chef at Kitcho in Kyoto, a restaurant famed for its fine Japanese cuisine, opened Mizai in 2004. Since then, he has sought to apply elements of the manner and contemplative nature of the tea-ceremony to Japanese cuisine. This is the essence at the heart of Mizai's course of dishes.
Maruyama Park is about 760 meters away from Higashiyama Station on the Tozai Subway Line. Your walk takes you through beautiful Maruyama Park and toward Hyotan pond, a particularly impressive spectacle in the Spring when the cherry blossoms are out. In fact, it is one of Japan's top cherry blossom sites.
A reservation is required to dine at Mizai and the dinner course starts from 6:00 pm, so you’ll need to be there 30 minutes beforehand. In keeping with Ishihara-san's philosophy, up to 13 diners only will be seated at a counter around his central preparation area and will be served each course at the same time.
Naturally, Ishihara-san is an artist, so not only will you be able to enjoy the wonderful arrangement and flavors of his creations, you will also be able to watch him work. The dinner goes on until 9:00 pm, during which time Ishihara-san will introduce each course with explanations of his philosophy, the various dishes and ingredients, zen, and the art of the tea ceremony. You can expect an enlightening, entertaining and uniquely flavorful dining experience at Mizai. However, you are not permitted to take photographs.
When it comes time to leave Mizai, the staff will escort patrons back through the park with lanterns to light the way.
The cost per person is usual over ¥35,000 (not including beverages), and cash only is acceptable, which seems quite reasonable considering the length of the meal and the variety of dishes that are served in that time.
Mizai is open every day except on Wednesdays.
Voyagin Service Fee:
The price of our service fee is $45 USD. The amount of our service fee reflects our continuous and persistent efforts to secure places in your preferred restaurant. It takes time and effort to make sure your reservation will go through.
***Please kindly note that top-notch restaurants charge a cancellation fee between $100 USD and $200 USD per person when guests make last minute cancellations as they would have given the limited seats to other customers if the seats were not allocated to you. Therefore, in the event that you cancel your reservation less than a calendar week prior to your scheduled date of visit and/or don't show up for your meal, we will have to invoice you for the cancellation fees incurred. We strongly recommend that you kindly visit the restaurant as scheduled. We promise it will be a great experience!
In front of Mizai. No pick up service.