By John Friia
Nestled in Osaka, Japan’s second largest city, is a hidden gem for visitors to escape the chaos of city life and become one with nature. The tranquil garden is the home Taiko-en, which encompasses five restaurants and twelve banquet halls. It is owned and operated by the leading Japanese hospitality company, Fujita Kanko Inc., which operates 60 other iconic properties.
Prior to becoming one of Osaka’s premier dinning locations, Taiko-en has a rich and vibrant history as a place for royals. The land was once the home of Baron Denzaburo Fujita, the largest business tycoon in Japan and was the founder of Fujita Kanko. In 1890, he started to construct a picturesque and palatial castle that is known as Amijima Palace.
As Japan remerged after World War II, Fujita Kanko decided to open the estate and gardens to the public in 1959 and called it Taiko-en. Deriving the name from Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the well-respected 16th century warrior, ruler and general, he was the person responsible for the construction of Osaka Castle and was known as Taiko.
Remaining true to its history, visitors can expect to be treated like royalty at any of the restaurants on the estate. Boasting both Japanese and French cuisine the restaurants include Amijima, teppan-yaki, LUEXELE, Yodogawa-tei and a café.
Located in the 90-year-old East Wing of the spectacular mansion, Yodogawa-tei boasts some of the most delicious food in Japanese cuisine. Showcasing the delectable edible art pieces while viewing traditional majestic Japanese-style architecture visitors are transported to royal service of years past. Revel in the glory of Japan from yesteryear.
Offering an array of course menus Yodogawa-tei has a tempura course, nabe course and multiple kaiseki courses. The kaiseki courses spotlight seasonal ingredients; representing the love Japanese have for the change of seasons. Consisting of small dishes beautifully presented on Japanese china, they are changed monthly. Within this restaurant there are 14 private rooms and two authentic teahouses that can be reserved for various functions as well.
As guest finishes their entrees they can traverse the elaborate gardens that are located in the center of the Taiko-en. Filled with greenery, all the guests can appreciate every season as they enter the restaurants. Witnessing the true beauty of nature, there is never a bad time to visit Taiko-en.
During spring visitors can gaze and appreciate the famous Japanese cherry blossoms that many flock to see or look at the change of colors as the autumn rolls into town. Marvel at the amazing fireflies that light up that sky, which is rare in Japanese cities.
Not only is a Taiko-en exciting restaurant venue, but it also offers banquet facilities - which are perfect for a wedding or other special celebration. Its architecture is a gem surrounded by gardens; visitors receive a special treat of an escape from a busy day to another world where they can enjoy peace, beauty and comfort. From the superb Japanese and French dining experiences to just coming and enjoy a cup of tea at the cafe - there is so mich to enjoy.
Taiko-en is a special dinning experience, where visitors are treated like royalty as if they were the warrior that once lived on the property. The Japanese art and culture lover will be pleasantly surprised to see the speechless and historical art at The Fujita Museum next to Taiko-en; one of the wonders of this island nation’s charm and mystique.
From the first moment you walk in to the last bite of food or stroll through the property, you will be amazed by the tradition, quality and service that is found at Taiko-en. Go once and you’ll wish that you were a permenant resident of Osaka - Japan’s most delicious city! •
For more information:
Miyakojima-ku, Osaka 534-0026