Great views and delicious food make this rural restaurant worth visiting. 

Since there are so many stunning places in the country, it would be hard for one single place to claim “the best view in Japan.” But if we break them down into smaller categories–like the best view of Tokyo Tower–, there just may be some contenders that stand out. In fact, one brand new restaurant in central Japan may win the title of “the ramen restaurant with the best views in Japan.”

Men Ryu is a ramen and Chinese food restaurant that just opened on April 27 in the tea-farming city of Kakegawa in Shizuoka Prefecture. It’s located on the top floor of the Kakegawa Grand Hotel, which is Kakegawa’s premier destination for lodging, dining, and events just one minute from JR Kakegawa Station.

One wall of the restaurant is entirely made up of windows that overlook the stunning cityscape of Kakegawa, including the mountains beyond, whose colors shift with the change in the seasons.

But the views aren’t the only attraction. Men Ryu is a Szechuan-style restaurant, serving not only ramen classics like shoyu ramen (with a soy-based broth) and shio ramen (with a salt-based broth), but delicious Chinese food favorites like mapo tofu (tofu and minced meat in a spicy sauce), Szechuan stew, and tantanmen (spicy Szechuan noodles).

▼ Mapo tofu

Chef Ryu An Guo is the master of the kitchen here, using his enterprising creativity and experience working in numerous kitchens in Japan and in his homeland to serve authentic Szechuan cuisine and delicious ramen. His friendly smile and unassuming clothing have also turned him into something of a mascot for the hotel.

The restaurant also has a sizeable drink menu including beer, wine, Chinese spirits, cocktails, and sake, making it an excellent place to go for an evening drink while overlooking the glittering lights of the city. Despite being a hotel restaurant, the prices are entirely reasonable, with food dishes ranging from 550 yen (US$4) for sides and 990 yen (at the most) for main dishes, and draft beers selling for 800 yen.

▼ Szechuan stew

Kakegawa is closer to Nagoya than it is to Tokyo, but if you’re planning a trip to central Japan this year, it might be a nice place to stop for a night or for a day trip. This small city is also where you can find a mysterious tunnel only for motorbikes that makes for a fun rural adventure, and it’s close to the ocean, too. Why not stop in for some delicious, authentic Szechuan food, beautiful views, and a taste of a tranquil tea-farming countryside?

Restaurant information:
Men Ryuu / 麺刘
Address: Shizuoka-ken Kakegawa-shi Kamenoko 1-3-1 KTS Hospitality Inc. Kakegawa Grand Hotel 10F
静岡県掛川市亀の甲1-3-1 株式会社KTSホスピタリティ 掛川グランドホテル10F
Open 10 a.m.-2 p.m., 5 p.m.-9 p.m.
Closed Mondays and Tuesdays (may also be closed for events)

Source, images: PR Times
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