Asacha at Yakumo Saryo – The makings of a perfect day

By Ben Davis


Whether your looking to kickstart another bout of exploring or are simply looking to start your day in the best way possible, it’s comforting to know that there are hidden gems just waiting to welcome you inside. Retaining the perimeter walls and verdant surrounds of what was once a private residence, Yakumo Saryo remains hidden from the street and offers sanctuary to those whom venture up the stony path. Located between Komazawa and Toritsu Daigaku in the lesser-known neighbourhood of Yakumo, the restaurant offers a modern take on traditional Japanese cuisine; with an intimate dining space complemented by a confectionery shop called Baishinka, along with a tea salon and gallery.


Perched atop a small rise and surrounded by well-manicured garden, the Showa period-architecture was taken from residence to restaurant under the direction of Shinichiro Ogata, the founder of Simplicity. Drawing upon the philosophy and techniques of both traditional and modern Japanese design, each facet of the restaurant flows harmoniously into the next. Connected to the restaurant by a light-filled passage that wraps around a beautiful pine tree, the tea salon is the setting for the traditional Japanese breakfast, Asacha. Enjoyed in the most peaceful of settings, the ever-so-gently paced meal features a seasonal set menu complemented by several offerings of tea, before concluding with freshly-made wagashi.


Asacha begins with taking your seat in the softly lit salon, where an expansive feature window provides layered views of the adjacent garden. The service commences with a serving of seasonal tea and then houjicha, which is roasted barely moments before arriving by your side. The main course follows, with rice or okayu (rice porridge) paired with a tempting accompaniment of sides – my recent visit featured sun-dried sardines and daikon topped with yuzu miso. The meal gradually unfolds before the window, which remains a balancing force throughout the morning – like a soothing, living work of art. The service concludes with traditional confectionery and matcha, by which point your mind and body will be feeling well and truly at ease.


With a deliciously well-balanced menu presented in a beautiful private hideaway, Asacha is the perfect start to a day in Tokyo. The salon remains open throughout the day and is a place to appreciate and saviour the seasons and their produce: spring sees a flood of greenery sweep through the garden, while summer provides a chance to enjoy sweet kakigori drizzled with syrup made from ume or natsu-mikan from the garden. Wandering back down the path completes your journey and if you’re still not quite ready to return to reality, Komazawa Olympic Park is barely a hop, step and jump away.

-Asacha at Yakumo Saryo
-Where: 3-4-7 Yakumo, Meguro
-When: Tue-Sat, 9:00-12:00 (Last order 11:00)




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About Columnist

Ben Davis
Editor of Thousands Tokyo

Ben is an editor, consultant and photographer who has been based in Tokyo since 2010. Following a stint with local farmers in the Japanese countryside, he now works as Editor of Thousands Tokyo, which sees him happily spend most days (and nights) exploring the world’s biggest city from the ground up.