"Luxury Bento" or lunch in nice surroundings during Sakura
Heading to Tokyo first week of April.
I'm looking for a place in or within 60 min of Tokyo that has a nice setting including a private room with some kind of nature view, potentially with sakura trees that serves good quality "luxury bento" lunch or other multi-course washoku lunch. I've been to some of the ukai's (though not Ukai tofu-ya) and have been quite disappointed with the food (and the surroundings seemed over done). Any suggestions are most appreciated. Currently considering a place like Innsyoutei in Ueno park but I'd prefer to find something a bit less well known if possible.
Let me get this straight - you've found a place that meets your rather detailed criteria, but now you want someplace "less well known" because....
You want to impress your Tokyo friends by finding a place they've never heard of? You're afraid it will be crowded with other tourists, and you'd prefer to dine with "locals"?
What you're looking for sounds extremely specific, and if you've found a place that matches it I'd suggest booking your table. FWIW I've never heard of the place....
re: Robb S
Given the geographic scope, I didn't think it was that detailed. And I thought detailed would be appreciated here.
In any case, perhaps I've been unclear: while Innsyoutei does meet some of the criteria, it doesn't get very good reviews for food but because of it's location in Ueno park, is extremely popular among Japanese, thus it is "well known", at least that is what reviews that I have read say. So perhaps "well known" was a poor choice of words. Perhaps I should have said: "in a location that doesn't lend itself to hordes of local tourists/hanami-goers which allows for a reduction in food quality because demand will be there anyway".
I have no friends in Tokyo, will not be dining with any friends other than my wife who I guarantee won't be impressed nor do I particularly care about eating with tourists except to the extent that the food is altered from what would be served to locals because of such tourists.
Ah, if Innsyoutei doesn't have a good reputation for its food, I can certainly understand looking for alternatives.
Really the only place I can think of offhand though is Ukaitei next to Tokyo Tower.
Ikkyuan (0553-32-1919) in Yamanashi has very pretty surroundings and nice shojin-ryori, but I don't remember any private rooms, and I have no idea if there are sakura trees. I tend not to notice sakura trees unless I happen to see them during the two weeks of the year they're in bloom.
Inshoutei, i don't know why you began with such poor impression, but the 'tori sukiyaki(chicken sukiyaki)' is tasty, affordable, it is just that you need to ask for it when you reserve ! I put below some links of recent review about it :
Tori sukiyaki omakase set : 5300/6300 yens(=with a choice of rice)
Maybe one of the restaurants at Meguro Gajoen, which is on the Meguro River that's lined with sakura (it's a small river, btw) or at the hotel formally called Four Seasons near Waseda. Don't know what it's called now, but they have several restaurants, private rooms, and are known for their garden.