There is a moment of hesitation when the hostel staff recommend a place to eat. What sort of contra deal has been negotiated? Does the guy’s brother run the place?
Some 4 months later, I can get around to writing that I regret not taking the K’s House Ito Onsen eating place advice at face value. Especially after the first recommendation of Tokuzo-maru sashimi was so good.
Down the road from the hostel is the non-descript Kunihachi izakaya, looking more like a residence than a restaurant.
On opening up the plan brown door we were assaulted by a kaleidoscope of colours, and the pleasant hum of bubbling conversations from maybe 15 patrons.
An eclectic mix of artworks, golf and baseball posters adorn the walls. Decorations, lanterns, and ornaments seem to take up so much air space that you have to dodge then to breathe. Hand-painted kites hang from the ceiling.
From the front door, the short line of bench stools ends with an opening to an area to the left where it is apparent the other patrons were merrily eating, drinking and socialising. Would Alice and the Mad Hatter bounce out from around the corner?
Sake bottles with exotic labels sit on every flat surface – lined up like installation art. And the flowers! Live, dried and artificial.
Bunches of onions and garlic hang from hooks. Bottles of pickled ginger and other unknown items sit inviting the owner with ‘open me, open me’.
Even before we sat down I was expecting speaker stacks to blare out Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, or maybe that other 60’s psychedelic anthem In-a-gada-da-vida. It would have been fitting.
The bird cage and fake parrot drew in a Monty Python influence. Ah, and the Christmas Tree for all seasons.
What a place! And we had not yet sat down to eat. (eating will be another story)
The Kunihachi Restaurant is in Ito, just down the road from K’s House Hostel (see their review)