enjoy fully organic meals
where the focus is on letting the natural ingredients speak for themselves.
One of the 10 stories we aim to conceptually communicate at Satoyama Jujo is food, as it is central to the experience of staying here and discovering what Minami-uonuma has to offer. Our restaurant, Sanaburi, showcases the seasonal mountain vegetables of the region while striving to keep alive traditional food preservation methods unique to Japan’s snow country. Enjoy fully organic meals where the focus is on letting the natural ingredients speak for themselves.
At Satoyama Jujo, we strive to offer a totally unique and unprecedented approach to Japanese food. We call this all-natural Japanese cuisine. Instead of the rich broths and seasonings associated with typical Japanese food, we emphasize the naturally occurring flavors of fresh, local ingredients. We use only organic ingredients, with no artificial additives. After the spring thaw, the staff head into the mountains en masse to collect a stunningly wide variety of vegetables, including wild ferns and butterbur shoots. Some of the harvest is served fresh, and some is preserved using traditional methods to be used in the winter. Another unique aspect of our meals is that we serve rice as the main dish. Minami-uonuma is known throughout Japan for growing the best Koshihikari brand rice, much like the Romanée-Conti region of France produces the best wines, so it is only fitting that our meals conclude with the finest rice you will find in Japan.
The unique culinary creations at Satoyama Jujo are born from the collaboration of our three Food Creators, each of whom brings a different approach and skill set to the table.
A love of Japanese tea ceremony is what first brought Food Director, Yutaka Kitazaki, into the world of Japanese cuisine. After training at Kichisen, a traditional Japanese restaurant in Kyoto with three Michelin stars, he opened his own restaurant in Kanazawa on the Sea of Japan before joining Satoyama Jujo. He was ready to take his career to a different level where he could use more vegetables and work closer to the source of his ingredients. With the abundance of traditional mountain vegetables in Minami-uonuma, Satoyama Jujo afforded him the perfect place to do just that. He deftly teases out the flavors of these local ingredients without relying on seasonings. The ingredients are my guide; I let them show me the way, says Kitazaki.
Kitazaki shares the kitchen with Keiko Kuwakino. After getting her Ayurveda certification in Australia, she visited India to learn about spices Ayurvedic cuisine. She previously worked as a chef at a vegan restaurant in Tokyo but was ready to leave the hustle and bustle of Tokyo behind. She passed on the chance to take over the Tokyo restaurant and moved to Minami-uonuma to work at Satoyama Jujo, where her speciality is vegetables seasoned with body-healing spices. She also teaches yoga, another interest she developed during her time in India.
In addition to serving as CEO and Creative Director, Toru Iwasa is also actively involved in the creation of Satoyama Jujo's cuisine from the design side. He harmonizes the two distinct styles of Kitazaki and Kuwakino, while selecting the plates, deciding arrangements, and designing the menus and the overall flow of the course.