Miyamasou (美山荘)

Miyamasou is one of the most famed Ryokans in Japan, it is also famously known for its Tsumigusa (摘み草) cuisine. Tsumigusa literally means 'freshly picked' in Japanese, it is derived from Kyo-ryori and has gradually evolved over the years. Here at Miyasansou, only the seasonal ingredients can be found locally and naturally are used, such as wild mountain vegetables and herbs, fish from the streams in the mountain, and fresh fish from the sea.

Miyamasou was originally a lodging in front of the Bujouji Temple. It located in the mountain where takes an hour's drive from Tokyo along a mountain path, it was a really ultimate experience to escape from the city. 

Staycation is not required for guests who only wish to have a feast of palate at Miyamasou. My companion and i went there for lunch, we were so lucky to greeted by the first snow in winter 2016! It was so pretty.

Our private room with a mind-blowing view

Our private room with a mind-blowing view

View from our private room

View from our private room

Welcome tea

Welcome tea

1. Grilled Gingko Nuts with Red Miso Paste (銀杏味噌朴葉焼き、蕪のお漬物)

1. Grilled Gingko Nuts with Red Miso Paste (銀杏味噌朴葉焼き、蕪のお漬物)

The meal started with a small cup of sake followed by grilled gingko nuts with red miso paste. The miso's savory taste works well with the chewy gingko nuts, while it was a bit too salty after several bites, that's why some pickled radish and carrot was served by the side.

Sake

2.1 White miso soup and Goma-tofu (香茸豆腐水からし白味噌仕立て)

2.1 White miso soup and Goma-tofu (香茸豆腐水からし白味噌仕立て)

The second dish include white miso soup and smoked buri. I really loved the creamy but light white miso soup with a lovely bite of goma-tofu inside. The tofu was deep in sesame flavors, sandwiched with red beans to added more sweetness. One of my favorite dishes of the meal. Buri was quite strong in smoked flavors, its skin was crunchy while the flesh was really tender and creamy.

2.2 Smoked Buri

2.2 Smoked Buri

3. 八寸

3. 八寸

Next was Hassun, a dish of assorted appetizers. Our plate includes sweet potato (left top), marinated egg yolk (right top), boiled peanuts in salt (left bottom), grilled dry mackerel (right bottom). 

4. Simmered wild boar  

4. Simmered wild boar  

My favorite dish of the meal - simmered wild boar in soy sauce. The boar was amazingly succulent and fragrant by itself,  the soy sauce brings a mildly sweet aftertaste. On the side, smashed taro from the moutain was severed, its creamily delicious flavors was fabulous with the boar.

5. Pickled turnip rolled with rice

5. Pickled turnip rolled with rice

Next to arrived was a dish of lovely turnip pickles 'sushi' to cleanse the palate. Then we were served the 'owan' (soup) which was daikon soup with mushrooms and mountain vegetables, and a beautiful fillet of grilled kinmedai in the center. Wonderful for the chilly snow day in the mountain.

6. Tai soup with mountain vegetables 

6. Tai soup with mountain vegetables 

7. Grilled Koi fish from the stream

7. Grilled Koi fish from the stream

Grilled dish was Koi from the local stream, wrapped with bamboo leaf to be grilled. I didn't really like the dry texture of this fish but it is definitely not a fault of the restaurant. The truth is that we had too many luxerious, modern kaiseki meals in big cities, and cannot get used to those simple, countryside cookings. 

8. Cooked turnip with red miso

8. Cooked turnip with red miso

The last dish to arrive before the rice dish was cooked turnip with red miso, simply clean and naturally sweet flavors. 

Probably the most 'rustic' rice pot i have ever had so far - claypot rice with gobo (burdock) and mountain mushrooms, severed with baked white sesame to top our rice bowls, as well as pickles on the side. The rice was surpringly good and has some mild sweetness. I am not sure whether all the previous dishes didn't really stuffed us since vegetables play a large part of it, or the rice itself was so good, both my companion and i couldn't stop refilling our bowls.

9. Gobo rice with baked sesame, served with soup and pickles (やまごぼうの炊き込みご飯)

9. Gobo rice with baked sesame, served with soup and pickles (やまごぼうの炊き込みご飯)

10. Dried persimmon and ice cream

10. Dried persimmon and ice cream

Desserts were made up of two parts. First arrived dired persimmon and hojicha ice cream. Followed by a fabulous grilled mochi called 'Tochi-mochi'. It was quite similar to the one we had at 2* Maeda in Kyoto the night before, lovely grilled skin with a hot, creamy red bean center. So nice with matcha!

11. Tochi-mochi filled with red bean puree, side by matcha

11. Tochi-mochi filled with red bean puree, side by matcha

The food was just okay for me, but the overall experience was great. My companion and I found it enjoyable to escape from the modern city and have a relax time in the mountain. The amazing service strongly lifted the experience. We loved all the dishes that prepared with purely local produce, and the quality was no doubt fantastic.

My favorite dishes includes the white miso soup, smoked buri, the braised wild boar was out-of-the -world, and a final piece of tochi-mochi to wrap up.

 I am not sure whether the tastes really work for everyone because it is vegetable-driven, but i am quite sure it will be a very unique dining experience everyone should try.


Miyamasou (美山荘)

Address: 京都府京都市左京区花脊原地町大悲山 (375 Hanase Harachi-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto)

Hours: 12:00~19:00

Visited: Dec.2016