Hotels Brands Activities
Check Availability

KAI’s Winter Cuisine – Japanese Multi-course Kaiseki Dinner

At KAI, our hot spring ryokans, we offer traditional Japanese kaiseki dinner. We take pride in preparing these exquisite dishes using the finest local specialty ingredients and presenting them in meticulously crafted dishes inspired by regional cuisine and cooking techniques.


1KAI Tsugaru - Oma Tuna

Aomori Prefecture is blessed with abundant fishing grounds and a variety of luxurious seafood, but the Oma Tuna caught in the Tsugaru Strait is particularly exceptional. Known as the “Black Diamond,” it is considered the pinnacle of tuna quality. Indulge in a variety of preparations such as the exquisite sashimi and the delicious nigiri sushi that melts in your mouth. Our special dinner course in both autumn and winter also includes the “Negima Nabe,” a delicious hot pot to enjoy with local ingredients.

It is said that when tuna eats squid, its red meat flavor is intensified, and when it feeds on oily fish, the fatty parts become richer. The Tsugaru Strait, where Oma Tuna is located, is an area where ocean currents intersect, creating a habitat teeming with delicious fish. In the autumn and winter, tuna migrating northward follow their prey, such as squid, sardines, and Pacific saury, and feast heartily, accumulating high-quality fat in their bodies.

The typical fishing method for Oma Tuna is “one-hook fishing”. Traditional tuna fishing uses longlines or purse seines, which can cause the caught tuna to struggle and raise their internal temperature to 60-80 degrees Celsius, causing the meat to burn. Oma Tuna is caught with a single fishing rod, ensuring that the tuna experiences minimal stress, preserving its freshness and allowing you to enjoy its natural deliciousness. You will truly appreciate the exceptional taste that is unique to fish caught in Oma.

2KAI Izumo and KAI Kaga - Snow Crab

The snow crab fishing season is designated to be from November 6th to March 20th each year by a decree of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries. Fishing outside this period is not allowed, so dishes that require fresh snow crab can only be enjoyed during this period. In various fishing ports along the Sea of Japan, the sight of the crab fishing boats getting ready from the night of the 5th of November and setting sail all at once at midnight on the 6th is a sight to behold.

To fully savor the natural flavor of the crab, it is said that the best cooking method is to steam them whole, without cutting or filleting. We steam the crabs whole to retain their umami and juices, while each location then uses its unique cooking techniques.

At KAI Izumo, Daikoku-sama is enshrined in the Izumo Taisha Shrine and is revered as the god of good fortune and abundant harvests. Daikoku-sama is usually depicted with a large sack on his back, a wooden mallet in his hand, and riding on a bale of rice straw. Along that history, we offer a special dish that combines the luxury of crab cuisine with the motif of Daikoku-sama’s rice bale by using fresh, live Matsuba crabs that are wrapped in rice straw and then steamed whole.

At KAI Kaga, developed a cooking method in which fresh crabs are tied with ropes soaked in salt water before steaming. It is inspired by the technique mentioned in old literature on crab cooking called “Kani no Meyaki,” in which crabs were steamed using the residual heat of a hearth. It is said that they tied ropes around the crabs to prevent the ashes from sticking to them. Unlike direct steaming, indirect heating through the ropes allows the crab to retain its moisture, creating a more succulent meal.

3KAI Yufuin - Game Meat

At KAI Yufuin, we take advantage of the local culinary culture to offer special kaiseki dishes featuring wild boar and other bounties of the wilderness. The starter is “Wild Boar and Shiitake Mushroom Monaka Patty,” a combination of wild boar meat and shiitake mushrooms sandwiched between two crispy mochi wafers. The dish is accompanied by a refreshing cress salad with a dressing made from Oita’s famous Kabosu citrus fruit, which leaves a delicious aftertaste. This is followed by “Houraku Mori”, served on an exquisite plate with a bamboo motif, another of Oita’s specialties. The dish includes various delicacies such as vinegared dishes, eight kinds of appetizers, and fresh sashimi artfully arranged together. For the main course, we present “Mountain Momonji* Hot Pot”, which features four types of meat – beef, wild boar, deer and badger – stewed in a tasty and nutritious soft-shell turtle broth. This hot pot dish is enjoyed with four different sauces to complement each unique meat. We recommend trying it with grated kabosu, which enhances the flavor of the fatty meat.
*Momonji refers to wild game such as boar and deer.

KAI Tsugaru
KAI Izumo
KAI Kaga
KAI Yufuin