Shunsairyouri Ishiya, a way to discover who was Hiraga Gennai through a meal

During your visit in Shido (Sanuki city), you will discover a lot of products related to Hiraga Gennai like the “Gennai yaki” from Fugetsudo, or the “Gennai Sencha” from Otaen. Behind this name, a famous Japanese genius, Hiraga Gennai, who was born in Shido and known all over the country. In the restaurant Shunsairyouri Ishiya you can also try meals inspired by Gennai.

IMGP3926In Shunsairyouri, “shunsai 旬彩” written using the kanji “shun 旬”, season or period, and “sai 彩” which means colouring, sounds exactly the same as “shunsai 旬菜” when it is written with the kanji “菜” for vegetables and meaning the “vegetables of the season”. If the restaurant chose the first one that is to emphasize that, here in “Ishiya”, the cuisine is not only seasonable but also refined and beautiful.

“ShunsairyouriIshiya” is located on the Gennai road when you are heading to Shidoji. However, when you mention “Ishiya” to local people, they always remember the “Ishiya ryokan” registered as a Tangible Cultural Properties beside the “Ishiya” restaurant. The “Ishiya ryokan” is operated by the father, and the son operates the Japanese restaurant “Shunsairyori Ishiya”.

Because Hiraga Gennai is the most famous people born in Shido who even got called the “Leonardo da Vinci of Japan”, the owner of Ishiya Mr. Yamamoto designed a set named “Gennai gozen” to introduce Hiraga Gennai to visitors. Anyone who is not familiar with Hiraga Gennai, will still understand some stories about the savant through this meal.

R0017245Hiraga Gennai was in charge of the medicinal plants in the Ritsurin Garden in Takamatsu, under Matsudaira Yoritaka, the lord of the city during the Edo period. In Shido, he also built his own medicinal plant garden in his family garden, nowadays known as the “Hiraga Gennai Memorial Museum”. Actually, the medicinal plants are the herbs we are using everyday. When he was under the order of Matsudaira, Hiraga Gennai also edited for his lord a colourful picture book about the fish species, named Shurinzu.

IMGP3906Referring to this glorious history, Mr. Yamamoto is using the fresh herbs from the garden of Hiraga Gennai Memorial Museum, and is choosing the fishes from the Shurinzu book, to put together the Gennai gozen set (JPY1,500). The main purpose is to present the contribution of Hiraga Gennai through a beautiful meal.

IMGP2717You can also try is the tobanyaki set of Yanagawa style (JPY1,500), a highly recommended dish. For a traditional Yanagawa pot the inside is filled with loach, burdock wire, green onion, and egg; however, here the chef replaces the loach in the tobanyaki set by the seafood in season. For example, hard clam in spring, eel or blotched snakehead in summer, oyster in winter, and scallop in June like when I visited. Whenever you visit every meal is fresh and tasty.

Ishiya restaurant may not be a wide one, but this quiet place is offering the leisure needed to appreciate a wonderful meal. So just enjoy calmly your dish prepared wholeheartedly by Mr. Yamamoto, and imagine that Hiraga Gennai is watering the plants in his herb garden.


Access: 5~7-minute walk from Kotoden Shido station or JR Shido station

  • Address: 〒769-2101香川県さぬき市志度599-1
  • Business hour: 11:30~13:30, 17:30 ~22:00 (last order 21: 00)
  • Closed on: Wednesday
  • TEL: +81-87-894-0021
  • Wi-Fi: N/A
  • Language: Japanese
  • Credit card: N/A