Chef武井の創作懐石料理・12月メニュー Chef Takei's Kaiseki-Style Dinner: December Menu

2022.12.16: 亀清旅館 Kamesei Ryokan, グルメFoodie

我がChef武井の創作懐石料理の最新メニュー: 12月「ホワイトクリスマス」版。最近は内容も少し変わりましたし、有田焼の器も一部新しくしましたので、今の11品を並べて久しぶりに写真を撮りました。板長は一品一品に手を組んでいて、好評なアイディア料理です。皆様に是非に試してみて頂きたいと思っております。

Our Chef Takei's December version of his Kaiseki-style dinner.  We're calling it our White Christmas menu.  It features some new dishes and our latest addition of Arita-yaki porcelain.

Chef Takei's "White Christmas" menu, December 2022

旬の物 射込み蕪 Roe-stuffed Turnip
酢の物 フルーツ膾 Fruit Vinegarette
サラダ 若鳥サラダの安曇野仕立て Azumino Salad with Chicken
蒸し物 びっくり茶碗 Surprise Chawan egg custard
つくり 三点盛り Sashimi Trio
焼き物 鮎の煮びたし Stewed Ayu (Sweet fish)
台の物 6種類茸鍋 Hot Pot with 6 types of local mushrooms
中皿  牡蠣の土手焼き Oysters with Nagano Miso
揚げ物 信州サーモン唐揚げ風 Shinshu Salmon Fried, Topped with Onion Sauce
お椀  もずくと豆腐の味噌汁 Mozuku Seaweed and Tofu Miso Soup
香の物 野沢菜 Nozawana and assorted Pickled Vegetables
水菓子 隠し味のアップルパイ Apple Pie with Secret Ingredient


さくらんぼ🍒おもてなし Hospitality with Cherries

2022.06.18: 季節 Seasons, 青い目のおもてなし This American’s Omotenashi, グルメFoodie

先日は常連のお客様の送迎でさくらんぼの出荷場に寄ってお土産に買ってあげました。The other day I was driving some longtime guests home and stopped at a cherry stand and bought them some as a gift.

朝採りさくらんぼ: 90代のお二人にぴったりのお土産
Fresh-picked cherries — the perfect gift for a pair of 90ish ladies.

お客様は90代の女性お二人です。前回に送迎した時はハゼ掛けの時期でしたのでせっかくだから姨捨棚田をサービスで通りました。お二人に凄く印象的だったのようで、今回の滞在で「素敵な思い出だった」と何回か言ってくださりました。(90代の割には頭がしっかり…) The guests were a pair of ladies in their nineties. Last time they came it was rice harvest season so on the drive here I took them through the Obasute Rice Terraces. Apparently the scenery made a big impact on them because they couldn’t stop talking about it. (Both of their minds are quite sharp for being in their nineties.)

今回の送迎でより大きな印象を、と思い、しかし、何が良いかと悩みました。そして、途中にさくらんぼの出荷場があると思い出しました。シーズンが短いんですが運が良く販売してました。On the drive this time I was hoping to do something that would make an even bigger impact. Then I remembered there’s a cherry stand along the way. Cherry season is so short but fortunately they were open.

お二人は朝採りのさくらんぼが初めてだった様で、大喜び。90代の方を喜ばせるのはなかなか難しいですが、おかげ様で大成功しました!It was their first time to have fresh-picked cherries so they were very pleased. It’s not everyday that you can make a pair of ninety year olds happy but this was an outstanding success!

次回はさらに大きな印象が出来る様に、青い目のおもてなしにおまかせください♪ Next time I’ve got to think of something to make an even bigger impact, but that’s what hospitality is about.

冬の最強組み合わせ: 温かい温泉と甘〜い苺 (いちご狩りご案内) Strawberry Picking and Onsen Soaking: Nagano’s Winter Pastime

2022.02.11: 季節 Seasons, 活動 Activities, グルメFoodie

信州の冬の人気な楽しみ方は温泉にのんびり入ってハウスでいちご狩りをする事です。外は寒いからこそ温泉は気持ち良いし、いちご狩りのハウスの中がぽかぽかです。何しろ、苺が甘くて美味しいです!  Here in Nagano one way that’s popular for enjoying winter is to soak in a hot spring bath and to go all-you-can-eat strawberry picking in a toasty warm greenhouse.


この亀清旅館・戸倉上山田温泉の同じ千曲市にアグリパークと言う有名ないちご狩り場所があります。約19kmで車で18分です。いちご狩りは時間制限無しで楽しめて、複数な種類があります。二段に分けてあるので小さいお子さん達は下の段がちょうど採りやすい高さです。隣接にパン屋さん、食堂、サボテンガーデン、みかん狩りハウス、植木や花の販売もあり、長く遊べます。 In the same Chikuma City that our Kamesei Ryokan and Onsen Town Togura Kamiyamada are located is Agri-Park, a famous strawberry picking spot. Located only 19km away, it is 18 minutes by car (or around 45 minutes by bicycle). There is no time limit For picking and eating the strawberries and several different varieties to try. Agri-Park also has a cactus garden, mikan orange picking, a bakery and cafeteria, and a flower and plant nursery so it is easy to spend half a day there.



アグリパークの入り口 Entrance to Agri-Park

アグリパークの甘〜い苺 Agri-Park’s sweet strawberries

時間制限無しの食べ放題 All-you-can-eat with no time limit
サボテンのハウスも Cactus Greenhouse
パン屋さんと食堂 Bakery and Cafeteria
彩りの花屋 colorful flower shop

アグリパークの詳しくAgri-Park details  

こもろ布引いちご園 Komoro Nunobiki Strawberry Park

東京方面からのお客様にいちご狩りのお勧め: 小諸市「布引いちご園」。ここの苺はまた甘〜い!ハウスも広くて中に食べれるテーブルと椅子もあります。隣接に立ち寄り湯もあります。For guests coming from the Tokyo area, another recommended strawberry picking place is Nunobiki Ichigo-en in Komoro City. The berries there are the sweetest, and the greenhouses are spacious and even have a designated eating area with tables and chairs.

布引いちご園の詳しく Nunobiki Ichigo-en details


まん延防止での営業について Operation During Quasi-Emergency

2022.01.27: 温泉タウン戸倉上山田 Onsen Town Togura-Kamiyamada, グルメFoodie





そして、戸倉上山田温泉周辺のの皆様にお知らせいたします。旅館気分をお家で楽しみたい方に我がChef武井の創作料理を仕出し弁当として提供しております。料金は2160円でございます。テークアウトはもちろん、そして千曲市・坂城町のどこでも配達も致します。(配達料が500円) ご要望があれば上山田温泉のお湯を5ℓの便でいっしょに運んで、お家の浴槽に入れたら夜のお風呂に硫黄の香りを楽しんで頂けます。 お弁当の注文は前日まで(10個以上は3日前まで)で電話 026-275-1032 又はメール まででお願い致します。






Nagano Prefecture has declared a Quasi State of Emergency from 27-Jan through 20-Feb. There are no restrictions on ryokans so our inn will be operating as normal albeit with reduced number of guest rooms for the well-being of our guests.

The Prefecture's Special Discount promotion is also being continued as normal through 10-March.  Our chef's bento (2160 yen) and our Seattle Cookies (1000 yen for baker's dozen) are also available.

夏休み2021年 姨捨正宗と亀清旅館のコラボ Summer '21: Obasute Sake + Kamesei Ryokan

2021.07.24: 温泉タウン戸倉上山田 Onsen Town Togura-Kamiyamada, 亀清旅館 Kamesei Ryokan, グルメFoodie


我が温泉宿に泊まって、酒蔵を訪問刷ればプレゼントをもらえます! 亀清旅館は100年以上の歴史の木造館実乃が中心となっていますが、造り酒屋の姨捨正宗のさらに歴があって、本館が重要文化財になっています。是非に行ってみて頂きたいと思っております。行かれたら姨捨正宗さんから素敵なプレゼントをもらえます。


This summer, the Obasute sake brewery and our inn, Kamesei Ryokan, are teaming up for a special promotion.  After staying at our inn, visit the brewery and receive a free gift.

Kamesei Ryokan boasts a main building with a history of over 100 years, but Obasute's brewery is even older -- the main building is on the national historical registry.  We encourage everyone to go see it.

The Obasute brewery is 9km from Kamesei Ryokan, approx. 15 minutes by car.  It is the only sake brewery in operation here in Chikuma city.

シアトルクッキーの販売が始まった♪ Our Seattle Cookies now available for purchase!

2020.06.01: 亀清旅館 Kamesei Ryokan, グルメFoodie


ご注文を受けておりますのでお問い合わせ下さい。Tel (026)275-1032; メール

Kamesei Ryokan's "Seattle Cookies" are now available for purchase.  We succeeded in finding a way to bake them for sale that meets the health department requirements.  We are still at the experimental stage, but the prices are

Half-Dozen: 500 yen; Baker's Dozen: 1000 yen.

These are my mom's recipe oatmeal cookies, the type I grew up on.  They are full of walnuts, raisins and chocolate chips, and are mildly sweet.  They go great with milk!

If interested, please contact us to order.  Tel# 026-275-1032; e-mail

母の日に亀清の弁当は注文にコサージュを♪ Free Corsage for Bento Orders for Mother's Day

2020.05.07: グルメFoodie
母の日の週末に亀清旅館の弁当を是非に! 9日・10日ご注文にお母さんたちに私の手製の花のコサージュをプレゼントします。Chef武井の創作懐石料理弁当は1620円で、テークアウトでもデリバリー(千曲市・坂城町)でもお届けいたします。
For Mother's Day celebration, how about our Kamesei Ryokan bento box? Free hand-made corsage for all mothers for orders on the 9th and 10th. Our chef's bento is 1620 yen and is available for take-out or delivery (Chikuma City, Sakaki Town).


亀清のゴールデンウィーク仕出しにTボーンステーキも♪ Kamesei's Take-out to include T-Bone Steak for Golden Week

2020.05.03: グルメFoodie





Can't leave the house during Golden Week, but at least want a special meal?

Try Kamesei Ryokan's T-Bone Steak!

During our Corona-closure, we have started offering our chef's cuisine in bento form for take-out or delivery, and have already served approximately 100 meals.  For Golden Week, we will also offer our popular T-Bone Steak.  For guests who also order a bento, the price will be 6000 yen including tax for a 2-person size steak.

The number of steaks is limited, so please order asap, either by phone (tel# 026-2751-032) or e-mail (  Price for bento is 1620 yen.

Love Letter to Food in Nagano 長野の食文化にエール

2020.03.08: 長野に来る理由 Reasons to Come to Nagano, グルメFoodie


An overseas journalist asked for our opinion on food in Nagano.  She wanted to know what the signature dishes are and the best restaurants, with a focus on international cuisine and dietary restrictions.

I’d like to share the list I put together, but please be forewarned I am biased for our onsen town Togura-Kamiyamada.

Nagano is famous for buckwheat noodles aka soba.  There are highly regarded soba restaurants throughout the Prefecture, including Kaya here in our town (historical thatched-roof building that used to be a sake brewery; served authentically with an actual wasabi root that you can grate yourself),

Kaya's historical thatched-roof building

Kaya's authentic soba with an actual wasabi root to grate yourself

Katana-ya in Ueda City (Over 300-year history -- longer than my country!  Whatever you do, don't order the super-size.  You'll be there for days trying to finish it.),

Katana-ya (Lining up to get in)

and the venerable Kusabue (various locations).  Recently some younger chefs are opening soba restaurants with some creative twists.  And some areas have regional specialties such as what they mix the buckwheat with or how the noodles are served. For example, Iiyama City's Tomikura district uses the root of a local plant instead of flour.  Pictured below is Kajika-tei in Tomikura.  Next to the soba is in the photo is Iiyama's distinctive 'sasa-sushi' -- sushi rice with wild mushrooms wrapped in a bamboo leaf.

But real soba fans like to drive up the highlands / plateaus (e.g. Togakushi or Kaida Kogen) where the buckwheat is actually grown.  There’s something extra special about eating soba near the buckwheat fields, made in the clear mountain air with clean mountain water.  We usually go to Yamaguchi-ya in Togakushi. Their dining room has a huge picture window so on a clear day you can enjoy a view of Togakushi Mountain with your soba.   (As a bonus, the owner is an actual Toguakure-ryu ninja.)

Soba-meister and Togakure-ryu ninja Yamaguchi-san (2nd from right)

Besides soba, Nagano’s soul food is a type of dumpling called oyaki.  It is vegetable filling surrounded by a flour shell and fried, steamed, or (traditionally) cooked in coals.  Pictured below is Ogawa-no-sho, famous for the latter.

Cooking oyaki dumplings in coals at Ogawa-no-sho by Zenkoji Temple

The best (yes, my bias) is Shichifuku in our town, .  While at many touristy places the oyaki is of questionable freshness, at Shichifuku she grills them after you order so they come piping hot (they go great with a cold beer!).  Common oyaki fillings are daikon radish, eggplant, and nozawana, a type of turnip green.  Shichifuku serves all three of those along with a dessert version filled with sweet purple adzuki beans.

Nagano's Shinshu-Shinmachi district is famous for raising sheep, so mutton is popular, too.  Known as Genghis Khan, it is usually grilled at your table.  In our town, Kimijima-en is the place to go.  Their apple-based dipping sauce is the best!

Manzo's original facade. (They recently remodeled and have a new, much fancier entrance.)

For other Nagano ‘delicacies’, this ocean-less prefecture gets creative with sources of protein.  Things can get pretty deep.  Gotoku-tei near Nagano Station can take care of your craving for bee larvae or stir-fried crickets, as well as the more common ‘basashi’ – horse meat sashimi.  Try their gibier dishes, too.  Gotoku-tei’s owner Miyashita-san is also a Togakure-ryu ninja.

Gibier hotpot at Gotoku-tei.

As for different types of cuisine, as with all of Japan ramen and tonkatsu are well-represented.  Eating good ramen is almost a religious experience in Japan.  Just in our town, we have an excellent variety of ramen shops.  Kame-ya has a good miso ramen, and one of their dishes is served with the toppings making a picture.

Kame-Ya's miso ramen

Issei’s signature ramen features a “W” (double) soup of both tonkotsu (pork bone) and fish.  Yoshiya’s has a soup base made of baby clams (great for people who don’t eat meat).

Yoshiya's baby clam ramen (bottom right) with their signature dish, grilled"horumon" (intestines, stomach, etc.)

A younger guy just moved back to town and opened up Ukigumo last October.  His specialty is tsukemen with a hot chili powder soup.  (If you're not familiar with 'tsukemen', it is basically deconstructed ramen with the soup and noodles served separately.  You dip the noodles in the soup to eat.)

Ukigumo's signature Tsukemen with hot chili powder dipping sauce

For Tonkatsu, the southern Nagano town of Komagane is famous for a version with a sweet sauce called “Sauce-katsu”.  One restaurant in our town has a version that is a local legend.  Daikokuya’s nin-tare katsu features a ‘tare’ (sauce) with ninniku (garlic).  If you like garlic, err, love garlic, this dish is epic.

Our area’s particular specialty is oshibori udon.  We take the fat udon noodles and a locally-grown, really, really, really spicy daikon radish and grate the radish and in the radish broth you have to add miso paste to tame it down, then dip udon and eat.  Kohaku is especially famous.


For international, I’m a snob when it comes to Thai, and our town’s My Thai is superb.  .  Our town also has a fancy French restaurant, Lapis Lazuli  but I have to plead ignorance – I’ve never had the money to go there.  We have some reputable Italian, but I recently went to one that I want to take my parents to next time they come (it’s that excellent).  It’s the restaurant named Vino della Gatta attached to the winery in our neighboring town, Sakaki.  So you get excellent Italian and can try out Nagano’s wine.

Our town has a new Indian restaurant but when I tried to go they happened to be closed so can’t comment yet.

When in Japan, having a formal kaiseki-style meal at least once is a must.  Our chef’s version is fairly creative and fairly reasonable,

Kaiseki-style dinner by Kamesei Ryokan's Chef Takei.

For vegans, the above-mentioned oyaki and oshibori udon are popular.  For gluten-free, some soba shops including the above-mentioned Kaya offer some soba made of 100% buckwheat flour (80/20 or 70/30 is more common) which works as long as you substitute salt for the dipping sauce.

Both our chef’s kaiseki and the above-mentioned Gotoku-tei can handle most dietary restrictions.  But when it comes to halal, pork and alcohol-free is possible, but not full halal.

For halal, if you’ve got the money, lapis lazuli,  If not, Kebab World in Ueda.

Nagano’s restaurant “scene” is what you make of it.  The ski resorts of Hakuba and Nozawa Onsen have increasingly global apres-ski scenes.  Matsumoto City has a great bar scene, including some new craft beer breweries (as well as some great bakeries).  There are an increasing number of coffee shops and bean roasters popping up for the caffeine crowd.

Here in our town Togura-Kamiyamada, there are 100+ restaurants and not a single national chain.  Each one is run by an owner-chef.  At many of them, you can sit at the counter and chat with the chef and regular customers (the yakitori restaurant Ushiwaka is especially great for that).

And some of the restaurants are as quirky as their owners, like Rokkatei decorated with European antiques and besides fondue, their signature dish is a tofu steak.

Rokkatei's iconic tofu steak with demi-glace sauce.

For my wife and I, our favorite food 'scene' is to go for a drive out to Nagano's rural by-ways, enjoying the mountain scenery along the way, and stopping at a quaint restaurant before heading to a day-use onsen bath house.  One such destination is Cafe Terrace Momo.  (As a bonus, their menu is entirely vegan.)

Mari eating dessert in Cafe Momo's garden


朝採りなおかつ初物のぶどうを! First grapes of the Season!

2019.09.07: 温泉タウン戸倉上山田 Onsen Town Togura-Kamiyamada, 季節 Seasons, 長野に来る理由 Reasons to Come to Nagano, 青い目のおもてなし This American’s Omotenashi, グルメFoodie



Grape Season in here!
I took our exchange student from Hungary to Nakajima Orchard to buy the new-crop grapes so serve as dessert to our guests tonight here at Kamesei Ryokan. We got 3 colors of grapes: the purple 'Kyoho', red 'Shinano Smile' and green 'Ouka'.
I also got some bunches of the popular 'Nagano Purple' variety to sell at our front desk. They are seedless, and you can eat the skin (for 'Kyoho' and many other Japanese varieties, you usually have to pop the skin off before eating). Fresh picked this morning and first of the season, and priced very reasonably.
The orchardist said all the rain and the lack of sun this summer meant this year's grape crop is maturing about a week later than usual. Apple trees on the other hand loved the extra rain and it looks like this year will be a bumper crop.
The grape harvest should continue through early October.
Apple season will start in earnest with the early autumn varieties in October, including the 3 Nagano Apple Siblings: the red and aptly-named 'Shinano Sweet', the crisp and green 'Shinano Gold', and deep-red colored 'Akibae'. Then the mainstay 'Fuji' apples are usually harvested in November.
We hope you come and enjoy Nagano's delicious autumn fruits!
中島農園 Nakajima Orchard