Yamazato Restaurant brings a range of art forms to Amsterdam

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Press release: Yamazato Restaurant brings a range of art forms to Amsterdam

Amsterdam, 18 September 2018 – Yamazato, Hotel Okura Amsterdam’s traditional Japanese restaurant, which has one Michelin star, will host a range of art forms this October. Yamazato is bringing the traditional wood carving art of the Hida Takayama prefecture to Amsterdam for a temporary exhibition. From Wednesday 17 October through Monday 22 October, woodcarver Mokujin will display his artistry in the Dutch capital. Meanwhile, a representative of sake brewery Funasaka, from the same region, will talk about the art of sake making during a brief sake tasting session.

Mokujin is swapping his studio in the Hida Takayama region west of Tokyo for the Hotel Okura Amsterdam. The entrance to the hotel’s Japanese restaurant Yamazato will be redesigned as a temporary exhibition space to display the works of this Japanese woodcarving artist. Diners will be able to admire his carving artistry and the most beautiful woodcarvings and lacquerware before enjoying their meal. Mokujin also makes hand-carved artworks to order. He specialises in hida shunkei, lacquerware with a deep red colour, and ichii ittoh bori, a carving technique artists use to transform untreated wood into mythological figures.

At the same time, Yamazato will be devoting attention to the delicate art behind the production of Japan’s most famous beverage, sake or rice wine. Sake brewery Funasaka will offer guests the opportunity to taste some of the very special sakes when they arrive and will explain the various flavour palettes they can experience. They have also created a sake arrangement to accompany the special menu based on ingredients from the Hida Takayama prefecture. This arrangement includes genshu sake, which has a very strong aromatic flavour because no water is added, and tobindori sake, which is rarely made because of the time-consuming production method. 

Hida Takayama menu

Chef Masanori Tomikawa is serving a special menu with ingredients from the Hida Takayama region. This eight-course menu costs € 125 per person. The special accompaniment of selected sakes is available for € 95 per person. This menu, including the sake pairing, is available throughout the month of October, also when artist Mokujin and sake maker Funasaka are not present. 

About Yamazato Restaurant

In 2002, Yamazato Restaurant was the first authentic Japanese restaurant in Europe to be awarded a Michelin star. Chef Tomikawa arrived in Amsterdam in 1984 to present Japanese haute cuisine to the Dutch, together with the founder of the Japanese kitchen in the Netherlands, Akira Oshima. In 2002, he returned to Japan to deepen his knowledge and monitor culinary developments in Japan. Since 2005, he has been back in Amsterdam’s Yamazato Restaurant, and in 2010 he was put in charge of both the authentic Japanese Yamazato Restaurant and Teppanyaki Restaurant Sazanka. In November 2014, Sazanka was also awarded a Michelin star.