The Fujiya Gohonjin

August 17th, 2010 by
Category: Cuisine
The Main Dining Wisteria at Fujiya Gohonjin

The Main Dining Wisteria at Fujiya Gohonjin

OK, before I say anything, please trust me that I was not bribed or in receipt of anything to get me to write this post.  Really.  No, really.  Stop laughing!

I recently went out to dinner, perhaps for the third of fourth time, at the Fujiya Gohonjin in Nagano City, on Chuo Dori, just downhill a bit from Zenkoji temple.  I am convinced this restaurant has the BEST Italian and Continental fare in Nagano.  I would go so far as to say it is the best in all of Japan, but since I haven’t eaten much Italian in, say Tokyo or Kyoto, I can’t yet make so bold a statement.

Over the twleve years I have been in Japan (11 of them in Nagano), I have patiently put up with a lot of what the locals call Italian food.  The Fujiya Gohonjin was such a breath of fresh air for me.  It is one of the few restaurants around here that does NOT have ketchup as one of their pasta sauce ingredients.  Here the sauce is thick — order pasta with tomato sauce and you get a tomato and vegetable sauce so thick you could eat the sauce itself with a fork.  And when you have cleaned off your plate, you won’t find a reservoir of pink water at the bottom as you would find eating out at just about any other Italian restaurant around here.

The pasta is not the only great food to find here.  Everything my family, friends and I have tried on the menu is fantastic.  So much so, it was almost enough to make me feel like I was in Italy again.  But just one look at the staff reminded me that I was, in fact, in Japan.

The Fujiya has a number of rooms, all of them very nicely appointed.  The Main Dining Wisteria is the most popular place to eat.  It is a large room with a view of the garden on one side and the open kitchen on the other.  A very nice atmosphere all around and the staff is very polite, professional and friendly.

Kids are welcome here too; even the noisiest ones such as my own are tolerated.  This restaurant is a great place to surprise someone on their birthday.  The entire wait staff will bring out a cake while cheering and appluading the birthday boy or girl.

For more  information, take a look at their website, which is in Japanese and English:

4 Responses to “The Fujiya Gohonjin

  1. I would have to agree there Robert. This is certainly one of the best dining experiences in Japan. I was there once again last week and it never fails to please. Just to add that it also has a great wine list and reasonably priced champagne by the glass.

  2. I actually stayed at this place twice when it was a hotel in the late 90s. It was a lovely old place that was showing its age in a very elegant, slightly faded way, with the most wonderful welcoming staff. It is actually slightly a shame to me to see it so changed, but seeing as we were the only guests on both occasions (despite it’s bargain rates), I suppose it was inevitable that things would change, and that someone would recognise its potential. Is the restaurant expensive? If I ever pass through Nagano again, it’d be nice to drop in….assuming that’s possible on New Zealand salaries!

  3. The main dining room on the first floor is somewhat expensive, certainly by Nagano standards. But people dining at high end restaurants in London or New York would probably laugh and call it a bargain. For dinner, appetizers range from 600 to 1,200 yen. Main course items are priced between 1,600 and 2,900 yen. And their wines, as of this writing are anywhere from 3,600 yen to well over 20,000 yen, depending on what you ask for.

Leave a Reply



This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.