You walk through a threshold, as if passing the gate of a Shinto shrine between tacky edifices as if magically welcoming you into a middle space. In between old worn-out buildings of this tourist trap.
The middle space.
After passing the threshold you rise, almost symbolically up the stairs. And you’re met by a partition. A body of water safeguards the entrance. You cross a bridge that represents your welcoming into this garden. The bridge rises first inclined as if it were your penance and sacrifice, peaks, then you’re almost pushed by the descend, you’re going downhill, your step becomes light, you flow forward as if pushed by a current as you finally step into the garden itself.
The garden is surrounded by trees, flowing water, bamboo, and cascades. Koi fish frolic and dance majestically. To the left there’s an elevated wood structure with a private table, its for rectangular wood pillars hold the pagoda roof. In the middle, there are two tables with a glass top, beneath the glass water flows and fountains down the end of the wood table. You get to eat atop fountain.
The restaurant stands above ground level, about 3ft. It stands on legs of wood and has an unobstructed view overlooking the garden. As you walk in to your right there’s an ornate kimono on exposition, to your left the bar houses a great big glass wall within which the Sake collection is placed on display. A series of fine wood tables evenly distanced one from another begins to accompany you as you walk to your table of preference.
The next section of the restaurant extends into a long hallway with tables on both sides. At the end a circular window and beneath, glass floor highlights the karesansui garden.
The wood tables evoke distinguishably traditional woodworking. The walls are as if pleated, and provide depth, and a deep warmth as evenly spaced alternating slabs of wood reflect a soft golden light back whilst trapping in shadow any excess.
Homemade steamed ramen noodles, Shio flavored, accompanied with salmon, Blanco, shrimp, Octopus, Squid, and Vegetables. The recipes come all the way from Japan. The stock is made of a white base, of chicken bones. The seafood is sauteed in butter that combined with the ramen and Shio it becomes a new flavor. The mix between Shio and butter is creamy, yet salty.
The Hinamatsuri Hina Dolls come from the doll festival celebrated on March 3rd. Families set up a special step-altar on which to arrange their Emperor and Empress dolls, called “Hina”. Hina dolls wish good health and happiness of the daughter of the family.
Temari Balls are a Japanese toy and Folk Art that originated in China and was introduced to Japan around the 7th century A.D. “Temari” means “handball” in Japanese.
Temari Sushi is inspired by this toy. A ball of rice is covered by protein and allows a large variety of creative ingredients.
Temari Sushi was originally a peasant dish, it began as a low-budget dish. A small ball of rice with protein a top.
Temari Sushi by Daikoku.
Fifteen perfect rice balls topped each with a different ingredient: Tuna, Hamachi, Salmon, Blanco, Macarela, Imported Squid, Shrimp, Tamago (egg), River Eel, Avocado, Ikura (Salmon egg), Chamoy, Magazo (Flying fish egg), Salmon skin, Quail egg.
Tsurushi-bina, hanging Hina is a handmade ornament made out of kimono cloth traditionally by Mom or Grandma. Each ornament has a meaning and a special wish for their daughter to grow healthy, wealthy, and full of happiness.
The food, candy, and fruit mean to be able to eat her whole life without any problems. The coat is to not suffer from cold and not get sick, the cushions is to be able to sit sooner, the sandals is to be able to walk sooner. The turtle is for long life, and the flowers is to grow sweet ad the pretty flower.
I’ve but portrayed only but a few of Daikoku’s mysterious, romantic, traditional, culturally rich charms.
I was welcomed into an underground wine cellar. A spiral staircase descends into a cold, soft-lit room, it’s a private area that I was unaware even existed. On the occasion of my visit, it had been prepared for a marriage proposal. So I was lucky to be introduced to this secret private parlor.
Anything else I could say would be best expressed by the experience itself.