The Most Beautiful Restaurant in Japan - Kyoto Kitcho
I have witten down the script from the video, here it is:
"There is a special feeling in the air which is distinct to Kyoto.
The mountains, the rivers, and nature are the distinctive features of the landscape, as well as the townscape are all united in this valley.
When it comes to traditional Japanese entrance ways, people in Japan used to have swords. The entrance is made small so that it is hard to get inside with the sword. Still now in front of the entrance to the tea room there's a place to leave your words.
Put away your sword, throw away your hostility, and be naked inside yourself. Also, you must bow your head to get inside the room. You cannot get inside without lowering your head to the people inside. And that's why that space was created that way. For people and their feelings. From deep within, it becomes possible to be closer to others. I think that's why it was created that way.
We build our gardens to blend with nature and the garden doesn't end at the fence. We can look past the fence, and continue over it to see the mountains and sky, you can get that kind of view only here.
But there's another reason why we have the restaurant located here, and it's not solely based on the beautiful view. The air here helps us feel the importance of living with nature as a human being.
When food producers come to me with an amazing ingredient, I need to decide what to do. Should I use the root, or the stalk, the leaf, the flower, the fruit...
These are all different things. Then I need to think of how to prepare it, the timing and the balance to match. For example, when I am cooking red snapper, the way you cook it will change depending on which part of the fish you are using. If I use salt, there is no infinite amount to choose from. And then I need to think about the exact timing of when to season the fish. Do I season it a day before ? Or should I salt when I clean the fish ? Perhaps one hour before I cook ? Among these countless possibilities, I have some new ideas. I need to decide if I will cook it with electricity, gas, or charcoal even with charcoal, there are many varieties of it. Combining it and balancing it in different ways, will make the food taste completely different.
I just do it because I want customers to be pleased so I am trying to find ways to make people happy, it inspires me to find new ways to cook. The tea room is a place to make friends. To share your feelings, to consider the feelings of others. It's interactive, and feelings are shared. That's what I think about the tea room space. In a tea ceremony... In almost all ceremonies we have the Zen principle of Ichiza Konryu. Ichiza means "one person sits down". It's written with the symbols "one" and "seat". Konryu is written with " build" and "stand". Together they form Ichiza Konryu. The two symbols put together, represent one space the Japanese style Tatami room and it establishes that environment.
It's like building up the whole environment inside it. Not just the people, but all the things inside the room have to be balanced. Otherwise, it won't be possible to build. So it is possible to build for a short while, but it won't last for a long period of time. Wherever there is life, people feel like something is missing. What we want most is someone to open our hearts and talk to a real friend with whom we can share our true feelings and desires. How to behave inside the room, through the food, through the service, we try to be pleasant and to make everyone comfortable. That's why we need balance. That is the meaning of Ichiza Konryu."
"The Okami (madam, manager) Has different roles depending on the restaurant. At Kyoto Kitcho the Okami Has the role of seeking out what the customers are looking for when they make a reservation with us. What purpose are they coming for; such as a celebration, or a client dinner. Moving according to the customer's intention is the role of the Okami when welcoming the client dinner guests, I come out and fill their glasses. In these cases, I will take a seat with them and in some cases, when there's a celebration, and a certain customer is the main focus we support them from behind the scenes. From the shadows, I make sure all is going according to plan. That's the role of Okami for me.
Well ...I think that life in Japan has become really westernized. There aren't many people that live in houses like this anymore it may be a little inconvenient but traditional Japanese style buildings like this it make people feel like they are in another world, because this place looks like places from ages ago. In this place, it's very quiet everyday. With only natural sounds. I want customers to enjoy it; I want them to enjoy it with food."
"You see, I am not only focused on making tasty food. I am also focused on how my guests enjoy it. I want you to experience deliciousness, as well as enjoyment with the food that keeps us alive. Everyone working at Kitcho thinks like this. We use years of experience, watch the changing times, and we use our ideas, we study the changes and why they happen, and we try to think about and suggest the next steps we can take."