[English Example Sentences] Basic Knowledge for Foreigners to Enjoy Kaiseki Cuisine


Kaiseki cuisine is the essence of Japanese cooking.

However, when asked by a foreigner if even Japanese people know much about kaiseki ryori in detail, there are many things they don’t know. When asked by a foreigner, “Do you know much about kaiseki cuisine?

So what exactly is kaiseki cuisine?

How do I explain kaiseki cuisine to a foreigner?

Is there any etiquette to be aware of when enjoying kaiseki cuisine?

What is important to savor when savoring?

Such as,

In this article, we will introduce the basics of kaiseki cuisine, some English words that may not immediately come to mind when explaining kaiseki cuisine, and some English example sentences that can be used when explaining kaiseki cuisine!

What is Kaiseki Cuisine?

Kaiseki ryori refers to the meal served before tea, such as thin or strong tea, is served at a tea ceremony.

Suddenly drinking very thick, hot matcha tea on an empty stomach can be very hard on the stomach.

Therefore, depending on the school of tea ceremony, a light meal is served to enhance the taste of the tea and not spoil its flavor as part of the etiquette.

Like a warm stone to be placed in the bosom, it warms the body and eases hunger.

The name “kaiseki” came from the meaning of a meal that is so light that it is called a “light meal”.

Although the detailed flow of the tea ceremony differs according to the school of tea ceremony, etc., the basic rule is that the tea ceremony kaiseki is held at noon.

Basically, the dishes are served in the form of one soup, three dishes, and are served without hesitation.

From the wabi-sabi spirit, “seasonal ingredients,” “cooking methods that bring out the best of the ingredients,” and “entertaining guests” are emphasized.

Today, in order to distinguish between such kaiseki ryori at a tea ceremony and kaiseki ryori served at a Japanese restaurant, the former is called chakaiseki and the latter kaiseki ryori.

Kaiseki and Chakaiseki as Kaiseki Cuisine

Kaiseki ryori and kaiseki ryori are both found on the menus of Japanese restaurants, but what is the difference between the two?

Kaiseki ryori is a light meal served before a tea ceremony, consisting of rice, soup, and mukozuke.

Kaiseki ryori, on the other hand, is considered a dish to be enjoyed with sake at ryotei (Japanese-style restaurants), ryokan (Japanese-style inns), wedding receptions, ceremonial occasions, and so on.

The biggest difference between kaiseki and chakaiseki is that kaiseki consists of a menu for enjoying sake.

The menu is served in the order of appetizers, simmered dishes, sashimi, and grilled dishes to be served with sake, and finally rice, soup, and pickles are served to close the meal.

Many of today’s kaiseki dishes as full-course Japanese meals are said to be arrangements of honzen ryori and kaiseki dishes.

Kaiseki ryori and kaiseki ryori are often confused because they are pronounced the same, but today an increasing number of restaurants describe kaiseki ryori as traditional kaiseki cuisine as well.

And to make a distinction, the original tea ceremony kaiseki dishes are increasingly referred to as chakaiseki.

Today, the term “kaiseki ryori” has come to be used by itself, and dishes that are small in quantity and served as a course are called Western-style kaiseki, European-style kaiseki, Chinese kaiseki, and so on.

If you are interested in hospitality with sake, please refer to this article.

Reference Article:Sake Experience for Hospitality! Why it is popular among foreigners and how to enjoy it

Basic Knowledge of Kaiseki Cuisine

Then, Kaiseki cuisine that looks complicated.

Generally speaking, kaiseki cuisine is usually served at Japanese restaurants (kaiseki ryori), not at tea ceremonies (chakaiseki).

Kaiseki dishes at restaurants are arranged by the chef in terms of order, number of items, ingredients, etc., so there are no detailed rules like those for chakaiseki.

However, the etiquette you should learn when having kaiseki cuisine at a Japanese restaurant you want to know.

Manners can be enjoyed more if you have knowledge of them at any time.

Here we introduce the general flow of a basic kaiseki meal (kaiseki cuisine) at a Japanese restaurant, etiquette in a Japanese-style room, and English vocabulary for the menu.

(sakizuke) Appetizers

Appetizers are basically a colorful array of dishes on a flat plate.

Let’s have it first with sake.

Flat plates are not lifted, but bowls and small bowls are lifted, and skewered items are removed one by one while being held down with chopsticks.

The skewers you pull out go to the other side of the plate.

Suimono a clear soup made from dashi broth with few accompaniments

Soups such as Sumashi soup and Dobe-mushi (steamed in an earthen pot).

When a bowl with a lid is served, the superior takes the lid off the bowl, and then you eat the bowl as well.

The lid should be placed behind the side on which the bowl is placed.

After finishing the meal, put the lid on the bowl at your own time.

Do not slant it as it will scratch the lacquer coating.

Mukouzuke a mixed sashimi plate

Assorted sashimi.

The order is white meat, shellfish, and fatty fish from the front, with the fish on the left side or lighter fish first so as not to spoil the arrangement.

Instead of dipping the wasabi in soy sauce, place a small amount on top of the sashimi before dipping it in soy sauce.

Yakimono a mixed grill plate

This grilled dish is the main part of a kaiseki meal.

Basically, it will be seasonal seafood yakimono.

It is not easy to eat grilled fish well, but it is one of the manners that you should keep in mind.

At this time, it is very convenient to have a piece of kaishi paper.

Shrimp and shellfish can be eaten by hand.

Nimono Mushimono Taki-Awase vegetable served with meat, fish or Tofu

It can be cooked or stewed with seasonal vegetables, chawanmushi (steamed egg custard), turnip steamed rice, or sake steamed rice.

Nimono is also served in bowls with lids, so it is served in the same manner as soup.

Also, since most bowls are large, the lid can be used as a small plate.

Sunomono vegetables with vinegar based dressing

Before the last serving of rice, a small bowl of vinegared vegetables, salad, or other small dishes are served as a chopstick rest.

Although they are small, avoid eating them in one bite.

Even if ume plum paste or vinegared miso is poured on top, do not mix it in, but eat it while putting it on one bite at a time.

Gohan, Tome-wan, Ko no Mono

a rice dish, a miso soup, season pickles vegetable

Rice and soup will be last.

The meal comes to an end here.

When these three items are served, you can finish ordering additional alcoholic beverages.

Rice and soup can be refilled, but should be served with a bite of rice left over.

Instead of eating it as you receive it, put it on the table and eat it again.

Mizugasi Kanmi a platter of japanese sweets or fruits

At the end of the meal, a seasonal fruit morsel, ice cream, sherbet, or Japanese sweets are served.

Wagashi may come with a small stick called a “kuromoji,” which is placed on a piece of kaishi paper and cut into pieces as you eat it.

Reference site: Hitosara Japanese Food Manners

Manners in Fine Japanese Restaurants

Although there are no rules as detailed as tea ceremony etiquette in Japanese restaurants, there are certain manners in Japanese restaurants that are not inappropriate for a Japanese person.

– attire

Choose clothing that matches the dignity of the restaurant.

Men should wear a suit or jacket.

Of course, Japanese attire

Women should wear clothing that does not expose too much skin or Japanese-style clothing.

Stockings or socks.

Bare feet are strictly prohibited.

Avoid perfume and other strong scents that may distract from the food, as this is bad manners.

Remove excessively decorated nail polish and rings to avoid damaging expensive tableware.

– operation

When entering a Japanese-style room, as in a tea ceremony room, walk so as not to step on the edge or threshold of the tatami mats.

And move the cushions so that they are not straddled or stepped on.

The alcove is the upper seat, and the seat closer to the doorway is the lower seat.

– Be careful how you eat.

As a rule of thumb for the difference between dishes that can be lifted and those that are eaten without being lifted, rice bowls and bowls are basically held in the hand, but if they are smaller than the palm of the hand, they should be lifted; if they are larger, they should be left alone.

The basic principle is to

If the bowl is large and contains soup, do not eat it directly, but rather put it on a serving plate before eating.

It is bad manners to bring chopsticks to the mouth with one’s left hand under the chopsticks.

If you do not have a small plate, use a napkin or kaishi paper.

Also, when eating sashimi or sashimi, instead of dipping the wasabi in soy sauce, put a little bit of wasabi on top of the ingredients and dip it in soy sauce.

When eating rice, do not eat it all at once, but alternate between rice, soup, and savory dishes.

Chopsticks have a fine etiquette, and as a Japanese, it would be nice if we could gently teach it to foreigners.

And if you are not sure how to eat, ask the waiter.

Points to keep in mind when explaining kaiseki cuisine to foreigners and example sentences in English.

Kaiseki cuisine is what many foreign visitors to Japan want to try when they visit Japan.

Here are some example sentences you can use to describe kaiseki.

– Kaiseki is a style of traditional Japanese cuisine served in a series of very small, intricate dishes.

Kaiseki is a traditional Japanese cooking style, a very small and profound course meal.

– The term Chakaiseki was derived from a formal Japanese tea ceremony experience practiced during the 16th century, and was used to refer to the Japanese tea ceremony experience in the 16th century.

Chakaiseki is a term derived from the formal kaiseki of the tea ceremony, which has been handed down since the 16th century.

– Chakaiseki is a special light meal taken before the tea ceremonies.

Chakaiseki is a special light meal taken before the tea ceremony.

– Kaiseki literally means “Stones in the bosom,” and references the stones that monks would fold into their Kaiseki literally means “Stones in the bosom” and references the stones that monks would fold into their robes and close to their belly, to keep hunger at bay.

Kaiseki literally means “a stone in the bosom,” and is derived from the fact that monks used to keep a warmed stone in their bosom to appease their hunger.

– Kaiseki expression from Wabi-Sabi has three important elements 1. seasonal ingredients,. 2. simple seasoning and 3. present it with care.

Kaiseki expresses 1) seasonal ingredients, 2) flavors that make the most of the ingredients, and 3) careful hospitality from the heart of wabi and sabi.


Kaiseki cuisine is something you want to try at least once when you visit Japan.

Many foreigners come to Japan with such dreams.

Delicacies nurtured by delicate Japanese techniques and the colorful four seasons.

The traditional kaiseki cuisine, prepared with the heart and soul of a chef, will delight travelers as if they were savoring a fine story.

It would be great if we could introduce the spirit of Japan to foreigners through kaiseki cuisine.