• Venice Aka


If you’re looking for an authentic traditional Japanese food experience, there are a lot of nice places all over Japan. But the moment you go out of the big cities, it’s quite hard to find the good ones aside from the mainstream restaurants. That’s why in this article, I wanna share with you my amazing, not to mention mouth-watering, authentic traditional Japanese food experience in Utsunomiya, a city just 50 minutes train ride from Tokyo.

Ishisaki 割烹 伊志佐岐

The restaurant serves authentic traditional Japanese food, as well as Tochigi prefecture local dishes. Its interior has a design of a typical traditional Japanese Sushi restaurant with a sitting bar where you can watch the chef cook food or make fresh Sushi from across the table.

The restaurant reminds me of dining areas in traditional Japanese Ryokans where they have private dining rooms. Which is really nice if you prefer a bit of privacy when you’re having dinner with family, friends, or groups.

They also have a big hall where you can sit on the tatami floor which I think is a typical venue for Japanese parties.


The place has this relaxing and cozy vibe which makes you feel very homey. But at the same time it’s more sophisticated compared to normal restaurants in general, so expect prices to be a little higher than average, but still affordable. Cost per person for dinner is approximately 2,000 yen to 3,000 yen. It may look a bit pricey but you definitely get what you pay for because food quality is really one of the best I’ve had during my stay here in Japan.

I came here with a local friend who recommended the place. We ordered a Banshyaku Set (晩酌セット), which comes with two(2) alcoholic or non alcoholic drinks and Three(3) single dishes for each person.


Banshyaku Set

There are 3 kinds of fresh fish in the plate, Saba, Tuna, and Japanese Snapper.

My favorite was the Snapper.

Buta hire niku no amiyaki

豚ヒレ肉の網焼きBanshyaku Set

Japanese grilled pork with vinegar, Japanese radish, and shredded Naga Negi on top.

This dish really goes well with beer.

TempuraBanshyaku Set

Deep fried battered baby cabbage, eggplant, mushroom(Maitake), and pumpkin.

This vegetable Tempura was served hot and fresh with salt and lemon.


We also ordered a“Shimotsukare”which is a local traditional dish in Tochigi prefecture. It’s made of shredded Japanese radish orDaikon,salmon head, carrots, roasted soybeans, Sakekasu,and deep-fried tofu or Aburaage.It’s a dish unlike anything I’ve tried before, but I actually liked it. So if you want to experience a bit of that local authenticity then you must definitely try this dish.

Of all the food we had, my favorite was theUnagior Eel dish, which comes together with clear soup orOsuimono(with Sakura flower-in the photo below), and a small salad on the side. To be honest, I’m not fond of eating Eel because it has so much bones. But since my friend highly recommended it, I gave it a shot. To my surprise, I loved it! It was the softest and tastiest Eel dish I’ve ever had in my life and I’m not exaggerating. It just melts in your mouth and the sweet and salty sauce glaze was a perfect match with the fish and white rice. The dish was a bit costly but it was so much worth it and I highly recommend it.

The restaurant also serves Suppon or soft-shelled turtle. A dish considered as a Health Food amongst Japanese.

Overall my experience at Ishisaki was amazing. I was extremely satisfied with the meal and the service. And I even had the chance to meet the people who run the restaurant. They were very nice and accommodating even though they speak just a little English. The only challenging part when it comes to dining at a traditional Japanese restaurant is that most of them don’t have English menus. But the people will always try their best to help you out. Which is one of the many things like about Japan. I hope you find this information helpful and if you’ve ever been to the restaurant let us know about your experience by commenting on the section below.

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