People

Toshiji Yuki× Chisako Takashima

GINZA CONNECTIVE VOL.65

Toshiji Yuki× Chisako Takashima

2017.04.03

An interview series featuring Ginza people in conversation with violinist Chisako Takashima. With a special fondness for Ginza, which holds many memories both from her professional and private lives, Takashima explores Ginza from various dimensions with her guests.This time she welcomes President & CEO of Tokyo Kitcho, one of Japan’s best restaurants.

Serving aesthetic Japanese cuisine, attentive to food presentation, including a good balance of size and plates.

Takashima
Please tell me about the history of Tokyo Kitcho, a member of the Kitcho group.
Yuki
My grandfather, Teiichi Yuki founded Kitcho in Osaka in 1930 (Showa 5). My parents came to Tokyo in 1961 (Showa 36) to open the Tokyo store in Higashiginza. This was the beginning of Tokyo Kitcho. It is now known as Tokyo Kitcho main store, after the opening of the Imperial Hotel store, Hotel Seiyo Ginza store, Shougatsuya-Kitcho in the Isetan Shinjuku main store and the Kabukiza store.
On May 31, 2013, with the closing of Hotel Seiyo Ginza, the Hotel Seiyo Ginza store also ended its history, but we have returned to Ginza as Ginza Kitcho, under the catchphrase “Ginza again.”
Takashima
I see. Actually, I had Hotel Seiyo Ginza to cater the food for my wedding. Since my husband’s parents run a sake brewery, I wanted to pair something with their sake, so I asked them to include temari-zushi (small ball-shaped sushi) from Kitcho. I remember that they were wonderful.
Kitcho has had great influence on the history of Japanese cuisine. Do you have a special passion for the culinary arts?
Yuki
We do not do anything special. In the end, Japanese cuisine is all about bringing out the best of the raw ingredient. One thing that we are attentive about is size. The texture of food can change according to its size, so we are careful to present food in the size that gives it the best savor.
Another point is the balance of color. Food is not only enjoyed by the tongue but it can taste even better when appreciating it through the eyes. Therefore, we take note of not only the color of the food itself but matching it with the colors of the plate it is served in. In the sense, we also lay great importance on the seasons, For example, in summer, we would use crystalware and lotus leaves to present a sense of summer.
Takashima
(gazing a book with pictures of dishes served at Kitcho’s) Your food is so beautiful and artistic that I would be reluctant to eat it. When I cook, I would rather have my children eat directly from the pot (laughs). Have these artistic ideas been passed down for generations?
Yuki
Some were devised by my grandfather, but we have also adopted some that were developed by our staff. Our staff have all been trained here amid friendly competition.

Ginza Kitcho has returned after three years as a modern Japanese restaurant

Takashima
You mentioned earlier that Ginza Kitcho returned to Ginza last October after three years since the closing of its predecessor. How have the first few months been so far?
Yuki
It is quite a thrill to be able to return to Ginza, the center of Tokyo.
Takashima
It is quite surprising to know that Ginza is such a special place even for Kitcho. I recall that the Hotel Seiyo Ginza store was located on the basement floor of the hotel, almost like a secret hideout and required much courage to approach it. However, this one feels more modern, located in a building with a pancake shop and a hair salon. Would you say that you have different customers?
Yuki
You are right. Our previous store didn’t even have a sign outside. Now, we have customers coming down from KAKIMOTO ARMS, the hair salon upstairs and finding us by chance.
Takashima
So it has become easier to dine with you. What is the store concept?
Yuki
Our aim was to creates spacious modern Japanese rooms. We have five rooms, each of which are decorated differently. For example, as for the room in which we are right, the stone sitting in the alcove gives it a modern touch, while the gold lacquer ceiling makes it look gorgeous. We also installed M’s System wave speakers for our BGM, with the hope of having our customers dine in the comfort of natural sounds. We also hope they will enjoy both our typical and traditional dishes and surprising fusions.

All List

三井住友銀行 銀座支店/銀座 らん月/銀座千疋屋/
マロニエゲート銀座三笠会館本店/GINZA
西銀座駐車場/Hatsukoギンザのサヱグサ/
(株)天賞堂/みずほ銀行 銀座通支店/

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