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Kinoene Omoya | An authentic dining and sake experience near Narita Airport

Things to Do | Visit Chiba | Latest update:2024/03/22

You’ll find the restaurant Kinoene Omoya on the grounds of Iinuma Honke, one of Chiba’s most storied sake breweries, located just 20 minutes from Narita International Airport. The Iinuma family founded Iinuma Honke over four centuries ago, and continue to own and operate the brewery to this day here in the town of Shisui. The newly renovated building that houses the restaurant is thought to be over 300 years old, and once served as the residence for multiple generations of Iinuma family members. The restaurant’s namesake comes from Kinoene, the brewery’s flagship sake brand, and the Japanese word omoya, meaning the main building of a traditional Japanese estate. The dining experience on offer here combines this deep connection to sake with centuries of tradition, creating an authentic and original way to enjoy the best of the Japanese culinary world while you’re en route to or from Narita Airport.

One of the goals of Kinoene Omoya is to provide a full-sensory experience, starting from the visual appearance of the building itself, a nationally designated cultural asset. Preserving as much of the building’s original aesthetic as possible was of the utmost importance during its renovation, and this was accomplished in large part by reusing many of the original structural support’s exposed wooden beams, pillars and fittings. The interior is furnished with tables constructed of re-purposed sake making materials, complemented with chairs and lampshades crafted by local artisans.

To fully appreciate the dining experience on offer here, it helps to understand the influence that the changing of the seasons has on Japanese culture and sake brewing. Traditionally, Japan’s yearly calendar is divided into 24 sekki, or solar terms, a system which originated in ancient China. The sekki correspond with different natural phenomena, and once provided an annual timeline for when certain agricultural tasks were to be carried out. Each sekki was also tied to rituals and ceremonies where thanks was given to gods and ancestors, and sake became a customary offering during these occasions. Thus, the sake brewing processes at breweries like Iinuma Honke were shaped in many ways by the sekki.

With the brewery’s history being so intertwined with the sekki, it was a natural choice for the restaurant’s menu to be based on the same theme. Here, the menu changes twelve times per year, once every two sekki. When the seasonal menus are created, a renowned washoku, or Japanese cuisine, chef advises the process. Healthy eating and sustainability are also given high priority when the menu is created, as an emphasis is placed on using local ingredients, as well as naturally processed and fermented foods. Many of the dishes are prepared using sake as an ingredient, and dinner guests can also order a sake pairing option in which a sommelier matches the dishes served with the most appropriate sake, many of which are brewed right on site.

Those coming to Kinoene Omoya during lunchtime can enjoy a beautifully arranged seasonal single-course meal consisting of a variety of dishes, providing a luxuriously well-balanced and fulfilling meal.

On our visit to Kinoene in November, we came for dinner and feasted on the Ritto, or the “onset of winter,” course menu. Seasonal seafood catches like crab and mackerel were served along with dishes made of ingredients which tended to skew rich and creamy, such as sake lees, soy milk, sweet potatoes and peanuts. Other favorites of fall like ginkgo biloba and yuzu added further complexity to the dishes. Reds, oranges and yellows were central to the presentation as symbols of autumn, as was the recurring maple leaf motif.

This was truly one of the most memorable and delicious meals we’ve all had during our times in Japan, as opportunities to dine at a place as special as Kinoene Omoya are rare, even for us locals. Being welcomed into the old Iinuma homestead felt like we were about to be treated to a fine feast inside a museum, and the carefully crafted menu brought the sensation to life by taking us on a tour through centuries of Japanese culinary culture. If you’re looking to discover the essence of umami dining during your Tokyo trip, head on over to the countryside just beyond Narita Airport for an unforgettable experience at Kinoene Omoya. To learn more, please visit their website:

Sightseeing Spots

Iinuma Honke

Iinuma Honke is a sake brewery dating back 400 years located in Chiba's Shisui-machi, and offers brewery tours by reservation. There is a shop here where you can sample and purchase sake, such as their flagship Kinoene brand. Visitors here can also enjoy dishes prepared with local ingredients at the Kinoene Omoya restaurant, and Sakagura Cafe.

106 Umabashi, Shisuimachi, Inbagun

(A 10-minute walk from JR Minami Shisui Station)



  • Handicap parking
  • Written communication for the hearing impaired
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