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Japanese Haute Cuisine: Kaiseki Ryori | 精緻的日本傳統美食:懷石料理

For many visitors to Japan, food is undoubtedly one of the most fascinating aspects of this friendly and beautiful country. Japanese cuisine is much more than just sushi, tempura and miso soup, and no matter the region or season, you can always find something fresh and delicious to satisfy your tastebuds. 

Best of all, the current weak yen is also making eating out - and eating well - a much more affordable experience than in the past. 

Last spring, I visited Kyoto and stayed at a quaint little ryokan on Nene no Michi in the temple-filled Higashiyama district, where I had my first experience of kaiseki ryori -- the Japanese version of haute cuisine. Being waited on by our graceful, kimono-clad hostess while enjoying the most visually pleasing (and seemingly endless) dishes of the chef's creation was an endearing highlight of that trip. 

This winter, I chose Motonago again for our family trip to Kyoto and reserved dinner and breakfast during our stay. It was exciting to share the experience with my parents who have had much more exposure to Japanese cuisine living in Taiwan, and get their verdict on the meal that drew me back.

Kaiseki ryori originated centuries ago in Kyoto (then Japan's capital) as a simple meal served at the tea ceremony and later evolved into an elaborate dining ritual favored by aristocrats. Today's it's widely considered Japan's finest style of cooking. 

Our elaborate dinner menu. 這是我們懷石料理的菜單。

The multi-course dinner comprises a series of meticulously presented small dishes inspired by the season, with colors, textures, and tableware to match. Fresh flowers are often used as decoration, injecting freshness and vibrancy to each course. 

Our dinner was everything we'd hoped for. Delicious meal, stunning presentation, along with the best company one can ask for in the world, Motonago had certainly delivered another triumph. 

對許多探訪日本的旅客來說,品嘗正宗「和料理」無疑是最有吸引力的玩點之一。這個友善的國家歷史悠久,風景優美,還擁有多元化的美食文化。吃的選擇不僅限於壽司,天婦羅和味噌湯而已,無論在任何地區或季節,總能找到許多新鮮美味的菜色,來滿足你的味蕾。近來日圓走跌,更是讓吃得好,吃的精緻,成為一個比過去更經濟實惠的經驗。

Motonago ryokan occupies a hundred-year-old wooden building in Kyoto's historic Higashiyama district. 元奈古旅館位於京都有許多代表性寺院、神社的東山區。© Eileen Hsieh

去年春天,我在京都一家古樸的旅館裡首次體驗到名為「懷石料理」的日式高級菜餚。端坐在有上百年歷史老屋裡的榻榻米,看著身著和服的女士優雅的呈現一道道賞心悅目的佳餚,是我那次日本行的亮點。

今年冬天我們全家前往京都,我再次選擇了位於東山高台寺下「寧寧之路元奈古旅館,預訂了早晚餐,期待與家人一起品嘗正宗的傳統和料理。

「懷石料理」源於好幾世紀前的京都(前日本首都),剛開始只是茶道中的簡單膳食,後來演變成為受貴族青睞的精美餐飲,今日它被廣泛認為是日本最優秀的烹飪風格。

我們的晚餐包括了一系列受季節啟發的菜色,結合食材與鮮花,每道菜都擁有與眾不同但融洽的顏色,質地和容貌,精心呈現於小碟上。大家這頓精緻美味的晚餐感到非常滿意,我也覺得自己好幸運有機會舊地重遊,與心愛的家人一同編織新的回憶。


Our Kaiseki Ryori Menu

 

STARTERS

Aperitif 食前酒

First appetizer 先附

Main appetizer 前菜

Fresh slices of raw fish 向附

MAIN COURSES

Boiled and seasoned food 蓋物

One pot dish 台物

Broiled fish 燒皿

Hot food 溫物

Fried food 揚汁物

Vinegary delicacies 酢鉢

SHOKUJI

Miso soup 止椀

Rice 御飯

Pickled vegetables 香物

DESSERT 水物


Prepping for tea. #matcha #kyoto #ryokan

A photo posted by Follow That Bug (@followthatbug) on

MOTONAGO 元奈古

Kyoto Ryokan 京都旅館

 

〒605-0072 京都府京都市東山区 高台寺道鷲尾町51

511 Washio-cho, Higashiyama-ku

Nene no Michi, Kyoto 605-0072

Kyoto Prefecture, Japan

Printable Map

Behind the Gates: Kyoto Imperial Palace | 與皇宮有約 : 春遊天皇故居 - 京都御所

京都御所的木造建築,風格素樸沈穩。© Eileen Hsieh

文:筱晴, Eileen Hsieh | 圖:Eileen Hsieh

One dilemma shared by many tourists in Japan is that there are too many beautiful places to visit but never enough time. Therefore to make the most of our upcoming trip, we scroll through numerous blogs and guidebooks and come up with an itinerary based on a list of mutually agreed, must-visit destinations.

Two of the sights on our list are the Imperial Palaces in Kyoto and Tokyo, which offer free guided tours but require advanced online application. (Please see the end of the article for guidelines.)

到日本深度旅遊就會發現,有太多想看的地方,但永遠不夠時間。所以這次出發前,我們很認真地做功課,參考了無數部落格和旅遊指南,挑選出一長串不能錯過的景點後,才開始編製行程表。

大部分的名勝古跡只需買票就能進場參觀,但是日本王室所擁有的皇宮平常不對外開放,所以旅客們必須先到王室官方網站上預位,才有機會免費跟隨著專業嚮導遊覽宮殿內部。

我們選擇了兩座皇宮,一是有千年歷史的京都御所,一是現在天皇居住的東京皇宮。(預票方法請看文章下方。)

「新御車寄」為京都御所內唯一的20世紀建築,是天皇車輛停駐的地方。© Eileen Hsieh

導遊用英文介紹「新御車寄」的歷史。© Eileen Hsieh

KYOTO IMPERIAL PALACE

In 794 A.D., the capital of Japan was relocated from Nara to Heian-kyo (later renamed Kyoto) by Emperior Kanmu.

Heian-kyo was laid out in a grid pattern similar to that of the previous capital, approximately 5.3km in distance from north to south, and 4.5km from east to west.

京都御所

西元794年,日本桓武天皇將都城從奈良的平城京遷至京都的平安京

平安京是一座南北長約5.3 公里,東西長約 4.5公里的方形區域。在東西的正中央,有一條貫通南北的朱雀大路(現在叫千本通),將京城分為左京(東方)和右京(西方)兩部分。像圍棋的棋盤格一樣,大街小巷貫穿其間,進行嚴整的規劃。

御所建築屋簷上代表皇室的十六枚菊花紋章。© Eileen Hsieh

從前收藏天皇寶藏的「春興殿」。© Eileen Hsieh

Kyoto Imperial Palace had remained the official residence of the Japanese royal family for over one thousand years until 1869, when the imperial court was transferred to Edo (today's Tokyo).

Although the imperial residence is walled and not normally open to the public, the vast leafy surrounding is a popular playground for the local residents.

The guided tour takes us through Shodaibunoma (reception room for dignitaries), Shinmikurumayose (where the imperial vehicles are stored), before entering the grounds of the main hall, Shishinden.

 

京都御所曾是天皇或皇室主要成員的居所,歷經千年之久,位於京都市中心。宮內幅員廣闊,林木蓊鬱,外圍土城牆,南北約450米,東西約250米,呈方形,面積約11萬平方米。在平安時代被稱為「內里」,經多次整修,現今的內里為1855年安政時代仿造平安樣式重建,稱之為「安政內里」,外圍修建成公園,卵石散步道,現已成為京都市民的最佳休憩處。

我們從參觀者出入口的「清所門」進入皇宮,開始京都御所的導覽。首先到「新御車寄」,這裡是獲准觐見者正式進宮謁見時的正門。接著到「諸大夫之間」,觐見者在此等候天皇召見。然後參觀「內里」最主要的建築 -- 紫宸殿。

進入御所正殿「紫宸殿」。© Eileen Hsieh

Shishinden, featuring a traditional hip-and-gable roof and a white gravel garden, is the most important ceremonial building within the palace grounds and had hosted a number of enthronement ceremonies of Emperors throughout its time. 

「紫宸殿」為正殿,是天皇即位和接受朝賀的地方,大正天皇和昭和天皇都在此登基。這是京都御所象徵性的代表建築物,以「入母屋檜皮葺」形式的高床式皇家特色的宮殿建築。殿旁台階,東面植左近之櫻,西面植右近之橘,前面是白沙鋪地的南庭。

「紫宸殿」為正殿,是天皇即位和接受朝賀的地方。© Eileen Hsieh

Behind the main hall you'll find Seiryoden -- the “Habitual Residence” -- which has a roof primarily made of layered Japanese cypress bark. This is where the Emperor would conduct daily personal affairs or receive visiting nobles.

Rites reading would take place in the nearby study hall Ogakumonjo, and its courtyard would serve as the field where the Emperor would play cuju -- an ancient ball game similar to modern day football.

「清涼殿」位於紫宸殿後部,也是採用「入母屋檜皮葺」的構造,但地板比紫宸殿低很多,建築內部隔間也較多,充分說明這裡原來是天皇日常生活起居的地方。庭園白沙鋪地,兩側種有吳竹,漢竹。

「小御所」面對著御池庭,也是「入母屋檜皮葺」的建築樣式,這裡用來舉辦各種儀式,也是天皇與將軍及諸侯會面的地方。「御學問所」位於小御所的北面,有書院風格,用來做學問之地。在小御所和御學問所之間的四角庭院,用來做蹴鞠活動的地方,就是「蹴鞠庭」。

御所屋頂所用的檜皮葺。 © Eileen Hsieh

建禮門」是正殿紫宸殿的正面入口,迎接國賓或重要儀式時才會使用。 © Eileen Hsieh

諸大夫之間「鶴之間」和室裡的壁畫。© Eileen Hsieh

Across from the study hall is the picturesque Oikeniwa Garden. Landscaped in traditional Japanese style, it features a spacious pond with strolling pathway, a footbridge and a shoreline covered with pebble stones.

「御池庭」是以大池塘為中心的回游式庭院。池中有三個小島,為一池三山格局。中島為蓬萊島,建成龜島模樣,並植有松樹,比喻松龜祝壽。南北島比中島大,南島有優美弧線的櫸橋,北島則有古樸的石橋。對岸有茂密的樹林,四季可欣賞到不同的景色。

位於小御所正前方的「御池庭」。© Eileen Hsieh

「御池庭」迴游式庭園。© Eileen Hsieh

The final stop of the tour is Otsunegoten -- the "Everyday Palace". This was the Emperor's residence, and also the largest structure of the palace with 15 spacious rooms featuring high ceiling, sliding doors and tatami flooring.

最後行至「御常御殿」,作為天皇日常生活起居的御殿,曾幾次搬動,在平安遷都當時使用仁壽殿,後來遷往清涼殿,不久因清涼殿居住條件不足,豐成秀吉就建了別棟「御常御殿」,內部有15房間,書院式風格,這是京都御所最大的御殿。

「御常御殿」內挑高寬敞的榻榻米房間。© Eileen Hsieh

「御常御殿」書院式風格的榻榻米房間。© Eileen Hsieh

As we approach the edge of the palace, we are again mesmerized by the lushness of the grounds and the beauty of the architecture. Unlike many royal palaces around the world, there's no eye-catching grandeur here, only the texture, smell and colors of nature that can be felt as you immerse yourself in this tranquil, elegant space.

It was good to be the Emperor.

參觀完各處宮殿後,深深感受到日本人對文物保護的意識非常強烈,所有建築都原汁原味的保存良好。因為採取預約制,可以控管進出人數,提昇參觀品質。又因導覽者是專業人士,對歷史古蹟非常瞭解,一堂課聽下來,讓我認識不少日本的古代歷史。

解散後,大家各自在庭園拍照。滿園松綠,典雅古樸的皇宮,在冷冽的二月中,為千年風華的歲月,做一番忠實的見證。

御常御殿」外胭脂色的花苞。© Eileen Hsieh


京都御所 Kyoto Imperial Palace

日本國 京都府 京都市 上京區 京都御苑 3

3 Kyotogyoen, Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto, Japan MAP


預約參觀時間程序 Tour Reservation Guidelines

1. 請到日本宮內廳事務所(日/英版)。

Visit the website of Imperial Household Agency (available in Japanese and English).

http://sankan.kunaicho.go.jp/english

2. 請按位於頁面右上方的「Application For Visit」(參觀申請)。

Click on the "Application For Visit" button on top right of the page

3. 請選擇第一個框框 -「參觀申請」。

Click on the first box on the page - "Application For Visit"

4. 請選擇「京都御所」。

Select "Kyoto Imperial Palace"

5. 請選擇導遊解說語言與遊覽時間長度。

Choose preferred language and length of the tour.

6. 請選擇首選參觀月份。

Choose the preferred month for your visit.

7. 請選擇首選日期與時間(藍色代表還有空位)。

Choose the preferred Date & Time for your visit (only the times in BLUE are available)

8. 請填寫申請人訊息表格。

Fill out the applicant details form.

9. 請選擇是要現在就填寫訪問成員的個人訊息,還是以後再填寫。

You can choose to enter visiting member's details now ("Type Member's Information") or upload them later ("Edit Member's Information and Upload Later")

10. 申請完成!去京都御所前記得要把申請證明email打印出來,還要帶護照喔!

Application complete! Don't forget to print out the confirmation email and BRING YOUR PASSPORT!



Behind the Gates: Tokyo Imperial Palace | 與皇宮有約 : 春遊東京皇居

Fujimi-yagura guard building within the inner grounds of the Imperial Palace. 「富士見櫓」是江戶城的遺跡中最為古老的三層櫓樓。© Eileen Hsieh

Fujimi-yagura guard building within the inner grounds of the Imperial Palace. 「富士見櫓」是江戶城的遺跡中最為古老的三層櫓樓。© Eileen Hsieh

文:筱晴, Eileen Hsieh / 圖:Eileen Hsieh

Planning is essential for anyone who wants to travel efficiently and economically in Japan, from purchasing the JR Rail Pass before leaving your home country, to reserving a spot online for the free guided tours of the Imperial Palaces in Kyoto and Tokyo. (See the end of the article for guidelines.)

遊玩日本,大部分的名勝古跡只需買票就能進場參觀,但是王室所擁有的皇宮平常不對外開放,所以旅客們必須先到王室官方網站上預位,才有機會免費跟隨著專業嚮導遊覽宮殿內部。

我們選擇了兩座皇宮,一是有千年歷史的京都御所,一是現在天皇居住的東京皇宮。(預票方法請看文章下方。)

環繞著東京御苑的寬敞馬路。The ring road surrounding the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. © Eileen Hsieh

從皇居瞭望對外開放的外苑。View of the public palace grounds from the Imperial Residence. © Eileen Hsieh

The Imperial Palace in Tokyo

Last year we thoroughly enjoyed our visit to the East Garden of the Imperial Palace, which is open the the public. This year we wanted a closer view of the residence of the Emperor, so we went on the Imperial Household Agency website and reserved a guided tour.

東京皇居

在東京,我們選擇住 Palace Hotel,為的是接近皇居。從房間大片落地窗看出去,護城河,宮殿飛簷,綠意盎然的庭園,呈現眼前,原來皇宮就在咫尺。

我們預約早上十點的那一場,有專人導覽。

Another view of the Palace moat. 皇居護城河。© Eileen Hsieh

The Hundred Guard Station in the East Garden. 百人蕃所。© Eileen Hsieh

The Imperial Palace in Tokyo is built on the site of the old Edo Castle dating back to the 15th century, which originally covered a much larger area stretching as far as the present day Tokyo Station. It has served as the main residence of the Imperial Family since 1869.

Today, the lush castle grounds featuring Edo Period stone walls and moat occupy approximately 390 acres of prime real estate, making the Imperial Palace a popular outdoor space in the city.

東京皇宮是江戶時代,德川歷代將軍的居城,周圍環繞著護城河,四周建有八個門。明治維新後,明治天皇把京都御所遷都到這裡,從此以後,便成了天皇居住的所在。昭和20年(1945),明治宮殿被燒毀,昭和43年(1968),現在的宮殿落成啟用,算是歷史短暫的皇居。

眾所周知,東京地下鐵網路綿密,但位在東京都市中心的皇宮,卻沒有一條鐵道穿過皇居底下。皇宮面積約115萬平方米,一大片綠地,猶如都市之肺,是市民最佳的休閒去處。

Ninomaru Garden. 二之丸庭園。 © Eileen Hsieh

The East Garden. 東御苑花園。© Eileen Hsieh

The East Garden. 東御苑花園。© Eileen Hsieh

The East Garden is open to the public almost all year round, but the inner grounds of the palace are only open to visitors on January 2 (New Year's greeting) and December 23, when the Emperor celebrates his birthday.

皇居的大部份地方均不對外開放,只有皇居東御苑及外苑公園開放給遊客參觀。皇居內部每年只開放兩次,分別在天皇誕生日及新年次日(1月2日),屆時民眾攜老扶幼,來為天皇拜壽。

東京皇居的護城河和角樓倒影。Reflection of the Imperial Palace's guard tower by the East Gate. © Eileen Hsieh

The tour route covers the main buildings of the palace including: 

Fujimi-yagura Keep: Reconstructed in 1959 after a fire, this three-story keep is perched high on a stone wall with view of Mount Fuji.

The Imperial Household Agency building: Constructed in 1935, the building was used as the temporary Imperial Palace for some years after World War II.

參觀路線可看到主要的建築物有:

「富士見櫓」: 是江戶城的遺跡中最為古老的三層櫓樓。被火燒毀後於1659年重建,石牆高度14.5米,櫓樓高度 15.5 米,聳立在皇宮高處,數百年來,守護著江戶城。

「宮內廳廳舍」: 建於1935年,戰後(1952-1969),作為臨時宮殿使用。

 Chōwaden Reception Hall. 「長和殿」。 © Eileen Hsieh

A guard in front of the Imperial Household Agency building. 宮內廳廳舍前的警衛。 © Eileen Hsieh

A guard in front of the Imperial Household Agency building. 宮內廳廳舍前的警衛。 © Eileen Hsieh

The Palace Complex: Several steel-framed reinforced concrete structures built in 1968.

Chōwaden Reception HallWhere the Emperor and Empress delivers new year and birthday greetings to  the public.

Fujimi-tamon defence house & Hasuikebori lotus moat: Surrounded by the moat, the stunning Fujimi-tamon serves both defensive and decorative purposes. 

Nijubashi: Formally known as Seimon Ishibashi, the picturesque double arch bridge is the official entrance to the palace. 

Fushimi-yagura: The two-story keep once stood on the grounds of Fushimi Castle in Kyoto and had been dismantled and reassembled here.

「宮殿」:1968年建成,由天皇辦公的表御座所,豐明殿,長和殿所構成的鋼筋混凝土建築物,也是舉辦各種儀式與慶典活動的正殿。 

 「長和殿」:新年及天皇誕辰時,以天皇與皇后為首的皇族,在此接受眾人的祝賀,並由天皇致辭。

「富士見多聞」,「蓮池濠」: 建在石牆上面的多聞,兼具防禦和裝飾功能,也是櫓樓的一種,還有實際用途,如作為倉庫或武器庫等。石牆下便是蓮池濠,夏天可賞蓮荷。

「正門鐵橋」(二重橋)與「伏見櫓」: 正門鐵橋被通稱為二重橋,半圓弧的橋拱,倒映水中,形成一圈完美的圓,是熱門的拍照地點。伏見櫓據說是在三代將軍家光時期,從京都,伏見城遷移過來的。

以上幾處,是需要預約參觀的。但皇宮東御苑內的建築物,則可自由參觀。

Tokyo's most famous bridge - Nijubashi. 東京赫赫有名的二重橋。© Eileen Hsieh

Fushimi-yagura. 伏見櫓。 © Eileen Hsieh

Edo Castle Ruin: All we see now is the foundation of the former castle tower, which had been the tallest in Japan upon completion in 1638. Sadly it was destroyed by fires in 1657 and never rebuilt.

Tokagakudo: The "peach blossom" music hall was completed in 1966 in commemoration of Empress Kojun's 60th birthday.

「江戶城天守閣遺跡」:江戶城的天守閣完建於1638年,當時城牆高度約14米,上面聳立著日本最大的天守閣。在1657年,一場大火燒毀後,就不再重建,只留下作為基的石牆。上去石牆最高處,整個空蕩蕩的,可瞭望東京的摩天大樓。

「桃華樂堂」: 1966年,為了紀念香淳皇后六十大壽而建的音樂堂。

Edo Castle Ruin. 江戶城天守閣遺跡。© Eileen Hsieh

Tokagakudo music hall. 桃華樂堂。© Eileen Hsieh

Ninomaru Garden: Japanese garden found in the secondary circle of defence of the Palace.

Museum of the Imperial Collections: Showcasing some of the Imperial Household's treasures. Admission free.

「二之丸庭園」:還原江戶時代的回游式庭園風貌,花團錦簇,春意濃郁。

「三之丸尚藏館」:皇室捐出的美術工藝品,已收藏近萬件。

Ninomaru Garden. 二之丸庭園。© Eileen Hsieh

The East Garden. 東御苑花園。© Eileen Hsieh

Vibrant colors in the East Garden. 東御苑花園紅葉。© Eileen Hsieh

The East Garden. 東御苑花園。© Eileen Hsieh


Imperial Palace moat's resident swan.  護城河逍遙的天鵝。© Eileen Hsieh

東京皇居 The Imperial Palace in Tokyo

Japan, 〒100-8111 Tokyo, Chiyoda, 千代田1−1

MAP


預約參觀時間程序 Tour Reservation Guidelines

1. 請到日本宮內廳事務所(日/英版)。

Visit the website of Imperial Household Agency (available in Japanese and English).

http://sankan.kunaicho.go.jp/english

2. 請按位於頁面右上方的「Application For Visit」(參觀申請)。

Click on the "Application For Visit" button on top right of the page

3. 請選擇第一個框框 -「參觀申請」。

Click on the first box on the page - "Application For Visit"

4. 請選擇「皇居」。

Select "The Imperial Palace in Tokyo"

5. 請選擇導遊解說語言與遊覽時間長度。

Choose preferred language and length of the tour.

6. 請選擇首選參觀月份。

Choose the preferred month for your visit.

7. 請選擇首選日期與時間(藍色代表還有空位)。

Choose the preferred Date & Time for your visit (only the times in BLUE are available)

8. 請填寫申請人訊息表格。

Fill out the applicant details form.

9. 請選擇是要現在就填寫訪問成員的個人訊息,還是以後再填寫。

You can choose to enter visiting member's details now ("Type Member's Information") or upload them later ("Edit Member's Information and Upload Later")

10. 申請完成!去京都御所前記得要把申請證明email打印出來,還要帶護照喔!

Application complete! Don't forget to print out the confirmation email and BRING YOUR PASSPORT!