Miyamaso (美山荘)

Miyamaso (Yaso Ichimian - literally, wild herbs one-taste 'Miyamaso') is a restaurant and inn that is located in the Hanase-no-sato community on a remote mountain in Kyoto and is famous for Tsumikusa ryori (cuisine using wild herbs and vegetables), which was loved many intellectuals like Masaaki TACHIHARA and Masako SHIRASU and has been said not allowed to be taken out of Kyoto.

It is said that Alain DUCASSE and Michel BRAS, each a French chef, visited this restaurant and showed considerable interest in the cuisine.


The first owner, the chief of a shake (family of Shinto priests serving a shrine on a hereditary basis) of Kasuga-taisha Shrine in Nara, sympathized with the reconstruction of Bujo-ji Temple on Mt. Daihi in Hanase, located in Daihizan far from Kurama of Kyoto, and it is said that Miyamaso originated in the lodge he built for worshippers visiting the Bujo-ji Temple in 1895.

In 1927, Yoshitsugu NAKAHIGASHI, the third owner, reformed and expanded the lodge to make it a restaurant and inn, and named it 'Miyamaso.'

Sotoji NAKAMURA, a craftsman specialized in sukiya-zukuri architecture, was in charge of its design and construction: Sotoji NAKAMURA was also known as a master craftsman engaged in building many Japanese style hotels, restaurants and tea-ceremony rooms, including Jingu chashitsu (tea-ceremony room) of Ise-jingu Shrine, the tea-ceremony room in the Japanese garden at the Japan World Exposition and the tea-ceremony room in the Rockefeller residence, in addition to 'Tawaraya' (a famous Japanese style hotel) (designed by Junzo YOSHIMURA) in Kyoto.

Now, it operates 'Miyamaso at Toya' and 'Tenkawa' in The Windsor Hotels Toya Resort & Spa, opened in June 2002, and 'Misen' at Kyoto and 'Misen' at Shinjuku, both produced by the present owner of Miyamaso, opened on February 3, 2006 and on December 1, 2006, respectively, "being unavailable outside Kyoto."

Yoshiaki NAKAMURA, who is the second son of Sotoji NAKAMURA and the representative of the Nakamura Sotoji Komuten (building firm), was in charge of building 'Miyamaso at Toya.'

Location: Daihizan, Hanaseharachi-cho, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto City
The third owner: Yoshitsugu NAKAHIGASHI (died in 1993)
The fourth owner: Hisato NAKAHIGASHI (the present owner, the eldest son of Yoshitsugu NAKAHIGASHI)
Hisao NAKAHIGASHI, the younger brother of Yoshitsugu NAKAHIGASHI, the owner of the 'Sojiki (literally, grass-eating) Nakahigashi' restaurant.
Location: 32-3 Jodoji Ishibashi-cho, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto City

Ushio TACHIHARA, born in Kamakura in 1948 in Kamakura as the eldest son of Masaaki TACHIHARA, learned cooking under Yoshitsugu NAKAHIGASHI at Miyamaso, and opened 'Tachihara' for kaiseki cuisine (originally dishes for tea-ceremony) in Ebisu in 1991 (now moved to Ginza).

'Tachihara' for kaiseki cuisine
Location: the second floor of the Ginza 8818 building, 8-8-18 Ginza, Chuo Ward, Tokyo Metropolis (along Konbaru-dori Street)

Novels where Miyamaso appears
"Haru no kane" (temple bells in spring) by Masaaki TACHIHARA: as 'Okuyamaso' (an inn in a remote mountain)
"Kaidowo-yuku 4: Gujo/Shirakawa streets, Sakai/Kishu streets, etc." (Walking along streets) by Ryotaro SHIBA: in 'Various Rakuhoku streets' (various streets in the north of Kyoto)
"Oishinbo" (Persons who like delicious dishes) by Tetsu KARIYA: in its 20th volume

[Original Japanese]