Nagasaki (長崎) has long been a cultural and historical region one would like to visit in Japan. It is home to many restaurants that serve unique and tasty food – be it traditional Japanese cuisine or international – Nagasaki has got you covered. It also has some of the most famous restaurants in the entire region, one of which is Shiseki Ryotei Kagetsu (史跡料亭花月), a restaurant steeped in history, where you can satiate your hunger and please your taste buds.
Shiseki Ryotei Kagetsu is an uptown restaurant offering a sumptuous dining menu which includes a mix of local and international cuisines. It is one of the oldest restaurants in Japan dating back to the Edo (江戸) era when it was still a brothel. With almost 373 years of experience in hospitality, Kagetsu is definitely one of the best restaurants in the Nagasaki region.
Kagetsu is located in the area of Maruyama (丸山), which was once a red-light district in the 17th century. Although it has such an infamous past, it is considered a must-visit historical place by the local prefecture. It was remodeled in the ’60s as a ryoutei (料亭), or a high-class traditional Japanese restaurant.
Nagasaki is famous for its unique informal dining called “Shippoku Ryori,” which is a blend of Western and Japanese styles. If you didn’t already know, Nagasaki has long been a crossroad for Western, Chinese, and Japanese cultures. You can find Dutch, Portuguese, and Chinese influence on local Japanese cuisine in the area.
The way to enjoy Shippoku is pretty simple. There will be a round table with different dishes in big plates. Guests sit around it and pick any dish from the big plates onto their small plates.
The first step of Shippoku Ryori would be ohire (御鰭), a soup made of tai (鯛) or sea bream fin. The second step is to have a toast, and the final step is to finish the food by having informal conversations around the table. This style of dining is less stressful and more interactive than other Japanese dining styles.
A full Shippoku course menu consists of different varieties of food, usually 15 at Kagetsu. You can take a look at their full menu on their website here.
Note, however, that you have to book a table in advance if you are planning an event as the restaurant might get filled with locals and foreigners. Although the food at Kagetsu is a bit pricey, they are definitely a must-try!
You can also try Shippoku Ryori in the form of a bento box called “Hana Gozen (花御膳),” which is perfect for a relaxed workday lunch.
There is also a seasonal dining option available at Kagetsu called the “Kaiseki Ryori (懐石料理).” The menu usually consists of fresh natural products and seasonal items served in banquet style.
Kagetsu is easily accessible and is a must-visit when you are in Nagasaki. If you want to have a big celebration, this is the place to contact as it has a banquet room that can host nearly 100 guests. There are also rooms for smaller groups with a blend of Japanese, Chinese, and Western-style atmosphere. In fact, Kagetsu has the oldest Western-style room in the entire country. They also have a famous lush green garden where you can relax after your luxurious meal.