- Quality: ★★★ – Good
- Location: Uramachi, Takayama, Japan
- Type: All Vegan Restaurant / Grocery; Macrobiotic, Japanese, Kyushu-style Cooking
- Hours: Sat-Wed, 10:00-18:00. Thursday is Cooking Class. Closed Fridays.
- Lunch is served 11:00-13:00, and for only 10 people. Better to make reservations.
- Dinner is reservation only, and must include a minimum of 2 guests.
- Price: $$-$$$ – Moderate to A Litte Expensive
- Language Barrier: Some English signage/info on menu. Chef doesn’t speak English.
- Website: HappyCow Page, Restaurant Page
- Lunch Menu: Click Here
About & Location:
Okahsan (or Okaasan) is a Macrobiotic Cafe and grocery located near the old town district of Takayama, Gifu-ken. They utilize fresh organic vegetables, grains imported from the Kyushu islands, and natural condiments/sauces. All breads and desserts are made by a German macrobiotic pastry chef who lives in Nagano. The restaurant places an emphasis on healthy, balanced cooking. Once a week, they even have cooking classes!
Address, Access & Contact:
- English: 46 Uramachi Takayama, Gifu 5060013 Japan
- Japanese: 岐阜県高山市有楽町４６
- Access: From JR Takayama station, walk East for about 6 minutes along Ekimae Chuo Dori (駅前中央通り) towards the Old Town Row Houses (古い町並み). It will be on your right. Look for an orange sign-board and brown banner that say おかあさん.
- Nearby Landmark: Yamazakura Jinja, Takayama Old Town
- Phone Number: 0577-35-1057 (Japanese only)
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (English Ok!)
I only stayed in Takayama for 2 days, with the intention of spending 1 of the days exploring Kamikochi, so I really only had 1 night to try Okahsan. Unfortunately, I got in too late to try the lunch set, and realized that my only chance to eat here would be if I could get in for dinner. Their website specifies that they only accept dinner reservations of 2 or more guests, and as I was a single traveler, I realized that I might not be able to get in. But I got lucky! Just as I walked up, two other foreign travelers were also making dinner reservations. Since they met their minimum number of dinner guests, they were happy to add me too. So, if you’re a single traveler and you want to eat dinner here, don’t give up! You’ll be able to get a reservation so long as others have made reservations as well.
If you want to make dinner reservations, come in before they close (at 6:00pm) and make a reservation. They’ll expect you to make a 50% downpayment, which was ¥1620 including tax. The total cost for dinner is ¥3000, or ¥3240 with tax. It includes a deluxe set meal that changes each day, but includes a variety of soups, grains, veggies, a drink and a dessert.
All of the food was delicious, but the highlight of the meal by far was the deep fried tofu. It was rich and delicious, with a cool lightly melon-flavored sauce on top. The contrast was just incredible – I’ve never tasted anything quite like it before.
The dessert was apple sauce. Originally I was somewhat disappointed – I’m really cake-and-ice-cream kinda girl, and I don’t consider applesauce a dessert worthy of the name. However, this was a cut-above any applesauce I’ve ever tried before – more like a sweet apple pudding, smooth and rich. Still not what I would have ordered myself, but sometimes set-meals are a great way to get out of your comfort zone!
The set was beautiful, the food plentiful and quite tasty. Was it wort ¥3240? Honestly, not really. For that price you can treat yourself to some pretty fancy Shojin Ryori in Kyoto. I was a little sore at paying so much for dinner when I could have just gotten Lunch Set C (the deluxe set) for ¥2000, which appears to be almost identical. However, I’m not going to knock off points for that – I merely recommend that if you have the availability, come in for lunch instead. The lunch menu simply offers more variety and a better value. They offer Vegan Ramen (¥800) in various different flavors, including miso, soy sauce, salt, and sesame miso. They also offer various seasonal specials, such as the Curry Rice and Ramen Salad offered below.
There’s also several lunch sets at different price-points. Lunch Set A, the Basic Plate (¥1,000), includes brown rice, miso soup, 煮物(stewed vegetables), 和え物(chopped veggies with dressing) or 揚げ物(deep-fried food), and 漬け物（pickled vegetables).
Lunch Set B – Okaasan Set (¥1500) has everything from Set A, plus a seasonal salad, 炒め物(stir-fried food), and a drink.
Lunch Set C, the Deluxe Macro Meal (¥2000) is even bigger that Set B. It has everything from Set B, but includes both 和え物(chopped veggies with dressing) AND 揚げ物(deep-fried food), and dessert. Essentially it would look like what I got for dinner, but a lot less expensive! Seems like a great deal to me!