Le BENKEI

Le BENKEI

Nara's local consumption-touting Grande Maison, boasting a guest list of distinguished guests imperial and abroad.

Nara's local consumption-touting Grande Maison, boasting a guest list of distinguished guests imperial and abroad.
Originally opened as the 'Benkei' in 1975, 'Le BENKEI' has been pursuing excellence ever since, in the same 6000m²-plus location on the outskirts of Japan's ancient capital, Nara. The grounds originally belonged to a warrior clan serving the lord of Koriyama castle, prior to becoming home to the current western-style villa of magnificent stone-build. From its beginning, it proposed its own unique style, fusing the famous Todaiji temple's lacquered serving trays 'hinomaru-bon' with western course presentation, re-imaging the trays as charger plates. On its 25th anniversary, the restaurant underwent extensive refurbishing, reemerging as a Grande Maison serving authentic and exrtaordinary French cuisine.

Owner-chef Kinji Ogawa, born to a family of traditional Japanese restaurateurs, was nonetheless enchanted by the French counterpart. Naturally, he became an early leader in the visionary movement for Western-Japanese-fusion cuisine, infusing his French menus with traditions of the tea-ceremony and Japanese culinary themes. A heavyweight in Japan's culinary world, chef Ogawa was presented the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport's 'Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays' in 2017 for his contributions regarding local consumption, slow-food-ism, and culinary education, in addition to his achievements in hosting the imperial family and a multitude of distinguished foreign guests.

Guests lead through the stately gates and marble-lined walkway find a luxuriously-clad interior; an 80-seat main hall looking over the gardens, as well as private rooms small and large on the second floor. Tableware, china and cutlery from the likes of Okura Pottery, Narumi, and Christofle are joined by paintings of eminent artists from home and abroad, antique furnishing, and more, creating a refined and lush atmosphere perfect for hosting others. From business receptions, Family celebrations and get-togethers, anniversaries, and more, 'Le BENKEI' provides an unforgettable memory for guests young and old alike.

Photos

Restaurant, main dining
An example of Meat Dish
Entrance

Details

Name in Japanese
Le BENKEI
Postal Code
639-1160
Address
276-1 Kitakoriyama-cho, Yamatokoriyama City, Nara
Telephone
0743-53-3588
Business Hours
11:30am-9:00pm
Closed
Mondays
Budget
Lunch 9,000yen, Dinner 18,000yen ~
Accepted payment methods
cash, credit card
Access
1) Take the JR Yamatoji Express train from Tennoji Station or Osaka Station, and alight at JR Koriyama Station. JR Koriyama Station is one station before JR Nara Station.
You can either take a Kintetsu taxi, or walk for twenty minutes.
2) Alight at Kintetsu Koriyama Station and take the Nara Kotsu Bus from in front of the Azumo bus stop. You can either take a Kintetsu taxi, or walk for 15 minutes.
Official Website
Official Website (Japanese)

Map

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