West Japan "washoku" Japanese cuisine

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The true spirit of Japan through its traditional washoku cuisine

The true spirit of Japan through its traditional washoku cuisine

One of the first words the Japanese learn from their parents is “itadakimasu” (literally “I humbly receive"), said before meals in order to express gratitude for the food they are about to have. There seem to be two reasons for this. One is to express thanks to all those who participated in preparation of the food and the other is to acknowledge that living creatures had to sacrifice their lives so that we can partake in a meal.

Diversity of Japanese Cuisine, or “Washoku”

The Japanese archipelago stretches for approximately 3000km and is divided into distinct geographical regions. The Japanese have long learnt how to best use the bounty of their land, adopt it to the world around them and through it develop their own unique culinary traditions. One example of this could be the difference between the food in Kanto and Kansai regions. Since Kanto was once dominated by samurai, the food tends to have a stronger taste. Meanwhile in Kansai, traditionally a region of nobility and merchants, attention is paid to bringing out the inherent flavour of the ingredients, keeping seasonings to an elegant minimum.

Diversity of Japanese Cuisine, or “Washoku”

West Japan "washoku" Japanese cuisine

* Photos show example items.Wheat-flour based food

Wheat-flour based food

Wheat was more affordable than rice about a hundred years ago in western Japan, which gave rise to the popularity of a dish called “Issen Yoshoku” mainly made of wheat.
Takoyaki are octopus dumplings made of wheat-flour batter, octopus and pickles, using a hotplate with holes which mould the ingredients into small balls. Crispy outside yet soft inside, takoyaki are not only delicious but also easy to eat any time.
Okonomiyaki in Kansai-style, ingredients are mixed in the batter and grilled on hotplates. While Hiroshima's style, cabbage, eggs, soba and udon noodles are layered. Sauces used as topping are slightly different depending on where you are in Japan.

Hotel Granvia Osaka:Teppanyaki KiryuWagyu


Wagyu, or Japanese beef, is pedigree beef carefully produced all around Japan through controlled breeding, in an effort to protect cattle bloodlines. There are currently several famous Wagyu brands such as Kyoto Beef, Kobe Beef, Ohmi Beef (from Shiga prefecture), Yamato Beef (from Nara prefecture), Chiya Beef (from Okayama prefecture), and Hiroshima Beef among others. These can be only enjoyed in the regions they were produced in. To get the most of your Wagyu dining experience, have it grilled in front of your very eyes on a hot iron griddle.

* Photos show example items.Oyster


In Japan, oysters are often referred to as “the milk of the sea” because of their nutritional value. Hiroshima is particularly famous for good oysters. Pop one in your mouth and you will soon be overwhelmed by its juicy sweetness and sea-like, rich salty liquor.

You should also treat yourself to Kyoto’s pike eel, which is eaten in the summer, or the Seto Inland Sea’s seasonal wild-caught fish.

* Photos show example items.Tofu


Yudofu (hot tofu) is very popular in cold winter months, particularly so in Kyoto, where Buddhist monks once consumed it as an important source of protein while abstaining from animal products. Koya Dofu (freezed-dried tofu) originated in Wakayama and was developed by the monks at Mount Koya. Soaked in Japanese dashi soup, it is altogether different from regular tofu and has a richer, deeper taste.

In addition, recently soy-based products such as soy milk or sweets made with tofu are becoming popular.

* Photos show example items.Fruit


Okayama has its peaches, grapes, and pears. Wakayama and Hiroshima have their mandarin oranges and other citrus fruits. Thanks to its mild climate, West Japan, is famous as a fruit-producing region. In season you can enjoy fruits that you pick yourself and devour them at your heart's content.

Seasonal fruits of West Japan

【Spring and Summer】 Strawberries, Melons, Cherries, Peaches, Watermelons
【Autumn and Winter】 Pears, Persimmons, Apples, Mandarin oranges

Hotel Granvia Kyoto: Private Dining Shiokoji RakusuiSake


West Japan boasts Japan’s three biggest sake-producing areas: Nada in Hyogo prefecture, Fushimi in Kyoto, and Saijou in Hiroshima.

Sake or Nihonshu as it is indeed known in Japan, comes in different varieties depending on where the rice comes from and what kind of water is used. For example soft water yields different sake to hard water. Also, depending on the sake variety, sometimes is it better to consume it hot (atsukan), at room temperature (jouon) or chilled (reishu). Recently it is gaining popularity as a perfect companion to French food.



At our hotels, we see it as our mission to guide you on your culinary discovery of West Japan.
The seasonal bounty of different regions and their unique flavours will certainly stay with you for years to come.
Let us help you choose the best restaurants to experience the culinary delights of West Japan.

Japanese-style breakfast

We make sure that guests at all our hotels have a chance to try a Japanese-style breakfast.
Visit one of our restaurants for a Japanese set meal or try our Japanese-Western fusion buffet-style restaurants.

  • Japanese set meal

    Perfectly balanced and nutritious Japanese set meal. Come and try the seasonal bounty of different regions reflected in our exquisite cuisine.

  • Japanese-Western fusion buffet

    Dishes you like, as much as you like - enjoy them all in our buffet-style restaurant. Western food alongside Japanese, for those who have yet to try authentic Japanese cuisine.

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