We made our way to Hakone today and it totally did not disappoint!! This town was recommended both by our great friends Lisa and Guild and our travel guides.
I really wanted to stay at a ryokan – a traditional building with rice paper doors, tatami mats, and people in kimonos – and visit an onsen. So we splurged on this hotel and are staying at the Yumoto Kansuiro, a registered prized cultural property of Japan! Our room has a dining room, a sitting room, bedroom, private bath and a private outdoor hot spring!!!
Kansuiro ryokan is also well known and visited by many celebrities. Well boy do we feel like celebrities with the seasonal private kaiseki dinner they served us in our room.
The feast looks something like this…
Every course was beautifully presented… And they paid attention to our food allergies and dislikes.
The raw courses:sashimi We weren’t quite sure that was in the blue cup but it was a delicious broth with twig/flower combo in some sort of jelly. (If anyone knows what it is, let me know!) There’s also squid and ginger stalk garnished with Japanese maple leaf.
Marinated octopus, shredded daikon, and mystery green jelly cube.For some reason, Anthony got eel and I didn’t. I got the blue jelly soup.
Soup: They knew that Anthony doesn’t like cooked fish so they brought him a different soup than me. Mine had steamed white fish above a block of white fish paste and edamame with clear seaweed(?) and cucumber. Anthony was shiitake above a block of mochi like square.
Next course: I got mackerel on braised daikon with a side of shishito peppers. Mackerel blah but everything else was perfect. This is another dish that they replaced Anthony’s because of the cooked fish but I guess smoked crab legs aren’t technically fish so that’s what he got.
OMG!! THIS WAS THE BEST!!! Grilled steak with sautéed wasabi leaves with a side of cabbage. The beef was exceptional quality… Anthony said it was probably Kobe but since our server didn’t speak English that well, we aren’t 100% positive. But all I know is… GIVE ME MORE!!!!!
The next is braised fuzzy melon with amaebi and snow peas in a pork broth.
Then tempura! It is not the typical mix batter tempura. This is a rice ball with a filling crusted in puffed rice. We were instructed to mix the orange spice paste in the sauce, squeeze lime over the tempura and enjoy.
Since I am allergic to eggplant, I got the shiitake instead.
I swear… We are almost done. Three dinner courses left: the soup, the pickles, and rice (not shown), and then on to…
Dessert!! Amazing tree ripened white peaches, juiciest kiwis and a sweetened gelatin!
We highly recommend anyone who visits Hakone to give this wonderful ryokan, onsen, and their dinner (and breakfast… More on that tomorrow) a try!