Satoyama Jujo is lo­cated in Mi­nami-uon­uma in the south­ern Ni­igata Pre­fec­ture. It is con­ve­nient to get to from cen­tral Tokyo. Mi­nami Uon­uma City is well known for its ski re­sorts, on­sen hot springs and Uon­uma rice, widely recog­nised as the best in Ja­pan

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styles through­out the build­ing. The 150-year-old Ja­panese house was fully ren­o­vated to in­tro­duce mod­ern com­forts, but main­tains the strik­ing fea­tures of the orig­i­nal house, which was built to with­stand some of the heav­i­est snow in Ja­pan. The in­te­rior fea­tures nu­mer­ous art­works by Ja­panese con­tem­po­rary artists.

But where Satoyama Jujo is par­tic­u­larly unique is in its in-house restau­rant: At Sanaburi, food is the best ex­pres­sion of their phi­los­o­phy to rede­fine lux­ury. They serve fully or­ganic meals where the chefs let the nat­u­ral in­gre­di­ents speak for them­selves. Trad­ing the rich broths typ­i­cally as­so­ci­ated with Ja­panese food for fresh lo­cal in­gre­di­ents, the chefs place em­pha­sis on cu­rat­ing a culi­nary reper­toire of nat­u­ral flavours.

After spring has thawed the win­ter snow, Satoyama Jujo’s staff head into the moun­tains to col­lect a wide va­ri­ety of moun­tain veg­eta­bles, in­clud­ing wild ferns and but­ter­bur shoots. Some of the har­vest is served fresh, whereas other pro­duce is pre­served us­ing tra­di­tional meth­ods, to be used in the win­ter. An­other unique as­pect of their cui­sine is that they serve rice as the main dish. Mi­nami-uon­uma is known through­out Ja­pan for pro­duc­ing the best Koshi­hikari brand of rice, much in the same way that the Ro­manée-conti re­gion in France pro­duces the best wines.

The unique culi­nary cre­ations at Satoyama Jujo are born from a col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween their tal­ented food cre­ators, Yu­taka Ki­tazaki, Keiko Kuwakino and cre­ative di­rec­tor Toru Iwasa. Food di­rec­tor Ki­tazaki says: “The in­gre­di­ents are my guide; I let them show me the way.” ag

At Sanaburi, food is the best ex­pres­sion of their phi­los­o­phy to rede­fine lux­ury WHERE WHEN HOW

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