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Writer:Yuta Sakaguchi

Hi, I’m Yuta. I grew up and live in Yokohama, a port city near Tokyo. I once lived in Kichijoji, located in the western part of Tokyo. I love walking around a street and taking pictures. On my article I introduce attractions mainly of Tokyo with many wonderful pictures. Please enjoy them!

Kikko: enjoy Japanese shamisen music and Japanese food in a comfortable, restored Japanese house

July 30, 2015

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Shamisen in the private dining room

Outline

Kikko is a Japanese restaurant serving Kaiseki ryori (a traditional Japanese multi-course meal) in Asakusa, Tokyo where you can enjoy shamisen performances in a relaxed atmosphere (Shamisen is a long three stringed Japanese guitar played with a plectrum). The restaurant allows you to enjoy the beauty of Japan in all sorts of manners, through things such as the architecture, food and various performances. In fact, it is such a wonderful restaurant that it has been named the top restaurant in Taito ward (includes Asakusa) by TripAdvisor! It is located two blocks to the east of Nakamise Street, by Sensoji temple, and is in front of Bentendo Hall. The information in this article is accurate as of July 2015.


The appearance


The inside (low table is over an opening in the floor now so you can put your feet in)


Dishes of Kaiseki ryori

Feature


Shamisen and the stage

Mr. Kodai FUKUI, the owner of the restaurant, is himself a Tsugaru shamisen (shamisen based out of Western Aomori Prefecture) performer. He still performs to this day; he performed at a concert of Mr. Ikuzo YOSHI, a representative enka (Japanese ballad) singer fairly recently. The name of the restaurant “吉幸 (Kikko)”, comes from the combination of the Chinese characters “吉” of “吉幾三 (Ikuzo YOSHI)” and “幸” of 福居幸大(Kodai FUKUI)”. Additionally, the hanging scroll in the private dining room was written by Ikuzo Yoshi.
The owner had wanted to open a restaurant so he made the restaurant for customers to leisurely listen to Tsugaru shamisen. To this end, seats have a little more space between them than usual and the restaurant serves Kaiseki ryori so that customers can dine comfortably and slowly. The inside of the restaurant was constructed by restoring an old Japanese house and adds a unique flair to the place. The house was moved to the current location about 50 years ago, and is a wooden building, which is rare in Asakusa today. Eating Kaiseki ryori and listening to tones of Tsugaru shamisen in this warm space makes for a very leisurely, one-of-a-kind experience.


Comfortable space (low table is over an opening in the floor now so you can put your feet in)

The menu


Dishes of Kaiseki ryori

A thing to note: the lunch menu (11:30 14:00, last order 13:30) is different from the dinner menu (17:00 22:00, last order 21:00).
During lunch, menu options called “Waen Gozen” (includes 9 dishes) are served and some dishes are even served in a bento box! There are two kinds of options according to volume and content.
During dinner, Kaiseki ryori and Fugu (Blow Fish) Kaiseki are served. There are three kinds of Kaiseki ryori and two kinds of Fugu Kaiseki. The contents of Kaiseki ryori are changed every month so the restaurant can serve fresh seasonal food.

Performance

Tsugaru shamisen performances are performed four times a day (twice during lunch and twice during dinner). You can listen to live Tsugaru shamisen performances and sometime folksongs are sung as well.

During lunch (Day time)
12:15~
13:30~

During dinner (Night time)
18:30~
20:00~

Seat


Counter seats

As for seats: tables, chairs, or a "horigotatsu" (low table over an opening in the floor to put your feet in) are prepared so that you can choose the seating option that is right for you.
There are about 40 seats, including 8 counter seats and 5 seats in a private room. The distance between seats is more spacious than usual so you can enjoy your food in a relaxed atmosphere.

Things to note

- Information on the restaurant's website can also be accessed in English.
- It is possible to make reservations in advance by email. This is the preferred method of many customers.
- They give a description of their dishes in English.
- The staff can communicate in English to a certain extent.
- During the Tsugaru shamisen performance an explanation will be given in English.





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