Theater-Style Restaurant Suigian in Nihonbashi



Watch Japanese Performances While Savoring Edo-Style Sushi: The Unique Experience of Suigian


Nihonbashi. The place that is now a bustling business district used to be the core of Tokyo’s shitamachi, the area where merchants used to live in the Edo period (1603-1868). Here, surrounded by tall buildings and department stores stands the Fukutoku Shrine. If you venture beneath the shrine you will find Suigian, a new establishment that offers its patrons an array of ancient arts and traditions in a way that had never been done before.
Suigian entrance

Opened in 2018, Suigian is the first restaurant of its kind. Here you can enjoy authentic traditional performing arts while savoring state of the art Edo sushi, sake, tea and sweets.
Suigian stage

The restaurant is composed of multiple areas with different styles. At the center stands a beautiful stage. Patrons can enjoy performances from up close while feasting on Edo period food served on delicate Japanese lacquerware .
Kyogen performance at Suigian

Traditional arts performed at Suigian include Noh drama, Kyogen (comedy acts originally performed for samurai), Nihonbuyo dancing, traditional Japanese music and more. There are three performances every day at lunch time, tea time and dinner time. 
Edo-style sushi at Suigian

The sushi served here is authentic Edo-style sushi prepared by Japan’s oldest existing Edo-style sushi restaurant. The tea and sweets come directly from Kyoto, and the sake is carefully selected by a Japanese actor who is also a famous food and wine connoisseur.
Kyogen performers at Suigian
These actors performed a funny kyogen play titled 'Tied to a Pole' (Bou Shibari)

"Authentic" is the keyword here. In a period when Japan is preparing for the 2020 Olympics the country is seeing a Japanese culture boom. This sometimes translates into interpretations of Japanese traditions that might distance themselves from the original. The goal of Suigian is to provide an authentic experience to people that are interested in Japanese arts and culture.

The unique style of dining while watching a performance is aimed at making these arts more accessible to people. You might be interested in watching a Noh play, but you’re not sure if you’d like to sit through hours of performance. That’s where Suigian comes into play. Here you can get to know traditional Japanese arts in an easier way.
Japanese green tea and traditional sweets at Suigian

A reservation is needed and prices change based on the seats that you choose. Prices range from 6,500 yen per person for counter seats up to 12,000 yen per person for the seats right in front of the stage. Lunch time and afternoon tea are generally cheaper. There is also a lounge time at night that doesn’t need reservation and has an a-la-carte order system. 

You can find the full price list and reservation information on the restaurant's website, in English. Depending on the time of year there might be special offers and discounts available.
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When I visited, we were given a pamphlet with explanations in English about the kyogen play we were about to see. If you give them a call when making a reservation it's possible to arrange for an English interpreter as well (availability varies).

Suigian gives people a peek into authentic Japanese performances while enjoying traditional Japanese food. All of this for a very convenient price. After having a chat with the owner I could see his passion and commitment to preserving Japanese traditions while making them more accessible to people that are interested in Japan's culture. I definitely recommend this unique experience!


Suigian | 水戯庵
Address: B1F, 2-5-10, Nihonbashi-Muromachi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo (MAP)
Hours: Lunch time 12:00 - 1:30pm / Afternoon tea time 3:00pm - 4:30pm / Dinner time 7:00pm - 8:30pm / Lounge time 8:30pm - 00:00
Reservation: required for lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. Not required for lounge time. 
*Reservations can be made online. 
*Call for any special requests (03-3527-9378 from 10:00am - 9:00pm)
Access: 1 min. walk from Exit A6 of Mitsukoshimae Station on the Tokyo Metro Ginza and Hanzomon lines. Direct access from Coredo Muromachi 2.

*Menu items and prices are subject to change.

About the Author
Laura is an Italian living and working in Tokyo. She loves exploring hidden and unknown places, taking pictures and listening to Punk Rock music. When she’s not busy doing the above, she might enjoy a craft beer or play the sanshin (an Okinawan instrument similar to a shamisen).

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