What is kaiseki (fine Japanese cuisine) to be enjoyed in a traditional style?
In 2013, "Washoku/Japanese food" was designated as UNESCO intangible cultural heritage. The most vivid experience of "the respect of diverse and fresh ingredients" and "expressing the beauty of nature and the change of the season with vessel or presentation," which are the unique aspects of Washoku, can be found in “kaiseki cuisine,” where you can leisurely savor a wide variety of dishes. Not only your taste buds but your eyes can enjoy the dishes along with the time going by. You may encounter with another "kaiseki" that reads the same but in different Japanese notation. This was originally a menu which was offered as a simple meal at the tea ceremony, and it was different from the "kaiseki cuisine" as banquet dishes to enjoy with sake; however, some restaurants use the same expression of "kaiseki cuisine" (for tea ceremony) to explain the luxurious course.
"Many kaiseki cuisine offer a variety of cooking method such as “boil,” “bake,” “fry,” and “steam” so that the customer can enjoy the ingredients in the optimal way to the end without becoming weary; the dishes are respectively called “nimono,” “yakimono,” “mushimono,” and “agemono.”
Kaiseki cuisine can be experienced at a Japanese restaurant or as a dinner at an inn. There are casual style kaiseki such as the ones offered at Japanese cuisine family restaurant; however, these are merely simplified versions."
What are the manners of kaiseki cuisine?
"One of the biggest differences from Western cuisine is the rule peculiar to kaiseki of “Which dish may/may not be held up.” In Japanese cuisine, it is said that in order to not to drop things pinched with chopsticks, and to avoid spilling liquid etc., children are strictly trained from young ages the rule ""You might want/ought to lift the dishes which are palm-sized at most."" Specifically, you lift up a rice bowl or miso soup bowl when eating. However, as for platters such as those presenting fish, just like in Western cuisine, you eat it placed on the table.
As a matter of fact, if you delve in, you will find many detailed manners in kaiseki cuisine. This is because the kaiseki cuisine was originally a cuisine at the official events. However, there are actually many Japanese who do not know these rules. Therefore, the account below is only for those who want to experience and delve into Japanese culture and learn “for fun” the Washoku manners beyond the general Japanese. On this premise, we will explain a manner regarding the soup-bowl, which is fun to learn."
"A lid is attached to the bowl containing soup, so when opening it, pinch the handle on the edge of the bowl with the right hand, pinch the handle called ""itozoko (bottom of the thread-cutter)"" and rotate the lid clockwise. As the lid opens up, the lid has dews attached, so let them fall into the bowl. This is a motion called “tsuyu-kiri” (dew draining). The lid is to be placed on the right side of the bowl, and if there is a tray, outside the tray. Also, when drinking soup, it is considered to be civilized to hide your chopsticks in the bowl instead of putting them out, and press down the ingredients inside. After finishing the soup, it is an etiquette not to pile up the lid upside down, since there may be the risk of scratching the containers that have special finish such as lacquer.
Again, do not dig your own grave regarding these manners. If you feel it is difficult to try after reading this passage, savor the meal in a way that each of you feel is delicious."