Expanding restaurant culture in Yamanashi

After running a Tokyo restaurant as owner-chef and proprietress since 2011, Shinsaku Suzuki and his wife, Emi Ishida, made the decision to relocate in order to raise their children in a place with more space and freedom. They were drawn to the beautiful scenery and natural environment of Hokuto in Yamanashi Prefecture, and opened the innovative restaurant Terroir Ai to Ibukuro there in 2017.

Located in the foothills of the Yatsu-gatake Mountains, the restaurant occupies a 180-year-old former warehouse that once served as a distribution center. Reservations are limited to one group each for lunch and dinner on weekdays and two groups on weekends, with a maximum of 10 guests per meal service. Listed on the back of the menu are the names of the producers supplying the restaurant’s ingredients and tableware, including the serving dishes, linens and even the washi paper on which the menu is printed. Over 80% of these producers are located in Yamanashi.

“Water veins from Mount Fuji flow here, and the water and soil are excellent, so this area has always attracted producers. We don’t have the ocean nearby, but instead we have hot springs,” Suzuki said.

While Terroir Ai to Ibukuro is a complete fine-dining experience, even babies are welcome, with special baby food available for infants 10 months and over, along with a kids’ menu and a “junior” menu. The couple also occasionally hold tours, called Yatsugatake Gastronomy Tourism, which include an outdoor lunch as well as dinner. Experiencing Suzuki’s cuisine in combination with these activities undoubtedly adds even more depth to its flavors. With the example of Shinsaku Suzuki and Emi Ishida, it is hoped that more people will be inspired to open creative and innovative dining establishments.

414 Takanecho, Nagasawa, Hokuto,

Kotaro Nagasaki
Yamanashi Governor

I would like to congratulate Terroir Ai to Ibukuro for being selected as a Destination Restaurant 2023.

This award is very encouraging for young chefs who continue to take on challenges in Yamanashi Prefecture. Surrounded by rich nature, including Mount Fuji, Yamanashi Prefecture is aiming to establish a gastronomic and high-grade sake kingdom by taking advantage of its wide variety of ingredients and Japan’s representative wines and Japanese sake. I hope that many people will take this opportunity to enjoy Yamanashi’s gastronomy.

Eiji Kamimura
Mayor of Hokuto city

I would like to congratulate Terroir Ai to Ibukuro for being selected to be part of the The Japan Times’ Destination Restaurants 2023 list.

Hokuto city is said to be blessed with the best sunshine and water in Japan, and this water and soil, in combination with a fertile soil, produce rice, vegetables andfruits of surprisingly high quality.

This natural bounty of the Yatsugatake Mountains is now being enjoyed by chef Shinsaku Suzuki in the form of exciting dishes. We hope you will enjoy our food.

Subscribe to our newsletter

You can unsubscribe at any time.


1-month plan or Annual plan 20% off!

Premium membership allows members to Advance registration for seminars and events.
And Unlimited access to Japanese versions of articles.


Subscribe to our newsletter