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Japan

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1 800 735 2478

Indicate the code : SHIBUYA

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Discover
the Routes
du Bonheur of...

Yoshinori Shibuya
View all the Routes du Bonheur

Proprietor and Grand Chef, La Bécasse
My Route du Bonheur … from Kobe to Kaga-shi

My life is a great journey between Japan and France. I am originally from Osaka, the city lying at the mouth of the Yodo River and dubbed the "Crossroads of Commerce". My father worked there as a caterer and my mother was a cook, so I grew up loving products from that region. My earliest memories from the age of 4 or 5 are of the flavours of grated radish and crushed red pepper ("momiji oroshi"). When I left school, I spent ten years in France, including three with Grand Chef Alain Chapel. When I returned to Japan, I had the chance to open my own restaurant in Osaka. A homecoming to my beautiful, great island.

Relais & Châteaux proposes its Routes du Bonheur for your inspiration: they are suggestions of itineraries that you can adapt to your preferences and desired experiences. Our advisors are at your disposal to individualise your routes and help you make reservations at our properties.
Example for a three-night stay from 71740 JPY*
* Minimum indicative rate per person, subject to availability, on the basis of a double room with double occupancy, including accommodation, breakfast and dinner (menu, without beverages) in the properties suggested for the itinerary.
Activities on site and nearby must be reserved by you.

My Route du Bonheur
Stage 1: 1 day, 1 night

Kobe Kitano Hotel

French elegance in the Land of the Rising Sun
Kobe Kitano Hotel
I’ve known Hiroshi Yamaguchi for over 20 years; he is a generous and delicate chef and quite a character. He set up stove, high above Kobe, in a fashionable neighbourhood with many 19th century ex-pat residences. The hotel’s lovely red brick conceals a kitchen inspired by the prestigious Relais Bernard Loiseau, in Burgundy. Hiroshi Yamaguchi here continues the style of Saulieu’s former chef, offering delectable French cuisine.

Close to the property...

Kobe Chinatown

Comprising just a few streets, Nankin-machi - Kobe’s Chinatown - is a major one in Japan. Founded at the end of the 19th Century, it is home to a great many restaurants and shops selling souvenirs and other Chinese goods. Once you pass by the dragon at the entrance, you discover a world whose habits, customs, flavours and pace are very different to the neighbouring districts.

Suma Beach

There is something of a paradox about being an island dweller and (hardly ever) going to the seaside. Western Japan has some rare, beautiful beaches. One of these is located at Suma on the outskirts of Kobe. This white sandy beach bordered by pine trees is one of the most popular in the country. In summer, you go there to swim, close to one of the country’s finest aquariums.

On the route...

Rokko, an outstanding panorama

In the midst of the Seto-nai-kai national park, I think the view from Mount Rokko is one of the three most beautiful panoramas in all Japan. From its summit at 931m, you can see the entire Kobe urban area. We call this one-of-a-kind view "The Million Dollar Night View". For many years, foreigners lived here in pretty cottages, and one of the country’s oldest golf courses can be found on the sides of the mountain. There is still a cable car to take you up to the summit of this mountain range. And finally, don’t leave without visiting the excellent Arima hot springs which Buddhist monks used in the 8th century.

We can advise you on booking your route. Contact central reservations :

1 800 735 2478

Indicate the code : SHIBUYA

Calling from another country ? Click here

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Stage 2:

La Bécasse

Constantly striving for perfection
La Bécasse
As a perfectionist, I am never content. My former collaborator, chef Alain Chapel, taught me to never be satisfied with my creations. Having spent years alongside the greatest chefs in France, I at last opened my own restaurant in Osaka in 1990 with a desire to team technique and taste. In an uncluttered setting, I offer French cuisine made using Japanese produce. Dishes that truly surprise …
Or

Kashiwaya, Osaka

My cuisine is a reflection of the seasons, served in traditional Japanese style
Kashiwaya, Osaka
I have been coming to this traditional restaurant for as long as I can remember. Back then, Hideaki Matsuo was still unknown. As the years progressed, he made his mark as a true Grand Chef and a very good friend. The eight dishes on his menu echo the “sukiya” style setting, which is traditionally devoted to the tea ceremony. It is a world of complete understatement, refinement and flavour.

Close to the property...

Kuromon Ichiba Market, Osaka

Early in the morning, I head to this beautiful covered market where the city folk have gathered for over a century and a half. I wander among the 170 shops and restaurants between the stalls selling fresh fish, market gardeners, cheesemongers and tofu sellers. Everyone from a grandmother to a Grand Chef has their ways and their favourite little spots. I’ll let you be the judge of which ones you like best…

Shinsekai neighbourhood, Osaka

This old Osaka neighbourhood reminds me of Montmartre in Paris. It has a family atmosphere but is also lively, which tells you a lot about the Osaka mindset. The dated charm of the neighbourhood draws in many street traders and tasty little restaurants selling fritters and breaded kebab skewers (kushi-katsu). Eating on your feet, you observe the elders playing Go and chess. It’s odd to think that "Shinsekai" in Japanese means "new world" …

Museum of Oriental Ceramics, Osaka

Formed in 1982 out of the outstanding Ataka Collection numbering some one thousand pieces, this museum is now one of the finest showcases of Oriental ceramics in the world. Its collections of ceramics and porcelain from Korea, China and Japan include many masterpieces. Two pieces are categorised as "National Treasures" and 13 others as Important Cultural Properties. Why not extend your trip with a visit to the lovely Nakanoshima Park …

We can advise you on booking your route. Contact central reservations :

1 800 735 2478

Indicate the code : SHIBUYA

Calling from another country ? Click here

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Stage 3: 1 day, 1 night

Beniya Mukayu

Divinely Zen
Beniya Mukayu
Imagine a place devoted to nature and quiet, where every room comes with an open-air private pool so you can bathe in the thermal waters. Known as Beniya Mukayu (mukayu in Japanese means in a natural state), it has been around since 1929. Kazunari Nakamichi, the proprietor holds tea ceremonies and his wife gives yoga classes. During crab season, its chef prepares dishes that are as sophisticated as they are delicious.

On the route...

Public baths, Kosoyu

The Japanese love public baths. Everyone - young or old, men and women - attends these recreational areas. Since the Meiji era (1868-1912), Yamashiro Onsen Kosoyu has been home to one of the region’s finest baths. In recent years, the building has been restored to its original state: Kutaniyaki style ceramics, lacquered walls, fine stained-glass windows etc. Here you bathe in the style of old: this site is one that has held onto its original use…

Suda Seika porcelain, Yamashiro

Suda Seika is a Kutani kiln that has produced many pieces of crockery for one of Japan’s most celebrated ceramicists: Kitaoji Rosanjin. Today, it is still in operation and is run by Suda Seiko, the fourth generation of this prestigious family. In this way, Seiko-san the painter is keeping up a traditional style of porcelain, of which I am a real fan and some of whose pieces I have acquired.

Shirakawa-go & Gokayama designated villages

For their unique architecture, these two mountain villages have been designated UNESCO World Heritage sites. Isolated Shirakawa-go and Gokayama have long made a living from mulberry cultivation and silkworm farming. The "Gassho" style architecture of the houses has been adjusted to the often harsh weather in these valleys. In winter, their peaked thatch roofs are particularly impressive when the landscape is covered in a blanket of snow.

We can advise you on booking your route. Contact central reservations :

1 800 735 2478

Indicate the code : SHIBUYA

Calling from another country ? Click here

Texts : © Guides Gallimard