Yugen is a Michelin-star restaurant in Osaka, Japan serving a traditional kaiseki meal that will charm you. If you’re looking for a unique and exquisite dining experience during your trip to Japan, you’ll want to make a reservation!
Keep reading to hear all about our experience.
When I travel, I like to try a variety of food experiences, from street food tours to extravagant coursed meals. Did you know there are over 400 Michelin-starred restaurants in Japan? This speaks to Japan’s high-quality ingredients. I thought trying a Michelin-starred restaurant would be a unique and fun experience for the group.
Picking Yugen, which has one Michelin star, was a fairly random choice. I used the Omakase website, a Japanese restaurant reservation website, to narrow down the options and looked for restaurants serving Japanese food in Osaka. (Many nicer restaurants serve French or Italian food.)
Yugen serves a kaiseki meal (traditional, multi-course Japanese meal), and it was a tasty way to see traditional and simple types of cooking. This preparation allows the ingredients to play the main role.
The word yugen is directly translated as “mysterious” but can be translated as “delicate beauty,” which is a good way to describe the restaurant. It has an unassuming entrance in an office building and when you enter, the restaurant is minimally yet cohesively constructed as a peaceful space.
Delicate beauty is also a good way to describe our meal, which I’ll share more next!
Kaiseki Tasting Menu
Chef Keisuke Mifune and his team presented a beautiful and seemingly effortless meal. The flavors are seasonal and bright and overall, while there are eight courses, the meal is light. The ingredients aren’t smothered in heavy sauces or spices. The menu was simply a delicate preparation to highlight Japanese ingredients and enhance the natural flavors.
Here’s the meal we enjoyed.
Appetizer: Barracuda, Chrysanthemum greens, Maitake mushroom
Soup: Steamed crab paste cake soup
- Eggplant soup
- Persimmon, carrot, radish, cucumber, sesame cream
- Vinegared mackerel
- Deep-fried pacific saury
- Japanese pear with mushed tofu
- Mukago (yam)
- Baked peanuts
Sashimi: Bonito and squid sashimi
Grilled Dish: Grilled Spanish mackerel with tempura edamame beans
Boiled Dish: Boiled herring, burdock, spinach
Rice: Rice mixed with chestnuts; miso soup
- Yamazato (sweet yam paste bun stuffed with white bean paste)
- Grape, muscat, apple sorbet
Accompanied by our dessert was fresh, warm matcha
It was a lovely meal! We also sat in the front room and was able to watch the chef and team prepare the meal. It was neat to see the different techniques, like using a charcoal grill, and the careful movements. The experience was thoughtful and the dishes were satisfying. I’m glad we were able to enjoy this delicious meal!
Below is a sneak peek at their dish drawer. I wonder if they name their dishes like The French Laundry does?
How Much is Yugen
Lunch and dinner options are available at Yugen. Lunch is $85.55 USD per person and dinner is $153.99 USD. This pricing is through the Omakase website, so there is a service fee added on. This is the best way to make a reservation online.
How to Make a Reservation
The most direct way would be to call the restaurant as they don’t have their own online reservation system.
I made a reservation on the Omakase website about three weeks before our meal, so it is fairly easy to get a reservation. Omakase is a Japanese reservation website, which is especially helpful for diners outside of Japan. They do take a fee when you make a reservation; from my calculations, it’s about $10 USD per person.
When you make the reservation, a credit card is required, and you’ll be charged the full cost of the meal. After your meal, you can settle the additional bill for any beverages you order.
Yugen is closed on Wednesdays.
How to Get to Yugen
The closest train station is Osaka Uehommachi Station from the Kintetsu Osaka Line. It’s about a 5-minute walk to the restaurant.
When you arrive at the address, you’ll see this corner. Go down the stairs on the left side and you’ll see a door on the right with colored curtains.
Details for Your Visit
Here’s a quick list of what to know before your visit.
- Cuisine: Traditional Japanese
- Meal offered: Lunch or dinner
- Ambiance: Peaceful
- Attire: Business casual
- Noise Level: Quiet
- Dietary restrictions: Notes made during reservation
- Reservation: Recommended for larger groups
- Seating Options: Counter or private room
14-14 Ishigatsujicho, Tennoji-ku, Osaka, 543-0031, Japan
Restaurant Website: https://kdrr500.gorp.jp/
P.S. Want to see more meals in Japan? Check out:
P.P.S. Read more restaurant adventures in my travel eats category.