October 20, 2016
[Kawaguichiko] High Spirits Izakaya

Being a self-proclaimed foodie, I’ve been to many different food establishments and tried all kinds of dishes from around the World, so I’d like to think I know what I’m talking about when I say this…High Spirits Izakaya is by far, one of the best places to go to.

Some places are either better at the food they serve or their service. This place provides you both and so much more. The dishes served at HSI are not your typical izakaya dishes, but mind you, it will blow your mind. Chef Go and Miki run the place with lots of heart and passion and it clearly shows in the food they bring to you and their welcoming personalities.

This being my last blog post on my restaurant adventures in Japan, this will be quite a long-ish one. But the amount of foodporn in this post will be worth it. I promise.
I decided to save the best for last and so here is a post on High Spirits Izakaya, one of my favourite places I’ve ever been to.

As we were staying overnight at the Onsenji Yumedono, we wanted to check out a local place in Kawaguchiko for good eats and J found good reviews for a place about 10 minutes away so we made our way there.

Tucked away in a small plaza inside a residential neighbourhood, we walked through a road that had no streetlights, and if we were anywhere else but Japan, perhaps I would’ve been worried about being mugged. But since we’re in a small town outside of Tokyo, all was well, hah.

Walking through the doors of High Spirits, we found ourselves in a cozy little restaurant that seats maybe about 20 maximum. Removing our shoes, as is the custom in Japan for lots of places, we were warmly greeted by Chef Go and his lovely assistant Miki and were seated at a table with pillows on the ground.


Munchies and Boozies

Joukigen High Spirits Sake

Was totally a fan of this sake, I love how it paired really well with all our food.

Spicy Edamame
Cooked with garlic and chilli oil (I presume), this was so good we couldn’t stop. Messy, yes, but so worth it.

Baked Potato with Miso Butter
This was so good that J couldn’t help but exclaim that he’s had a lot of potatoes in his life (oh J), but this was hands down his favourite and I completely agree. The baked potato was baked to perfection and the miso paste with spring onions with butter?YUM. We liked it so much we got a second order.

Fresh Yellowtail and Salmon Sashimi

Served with Chef Go’s recommended sauce pairings, these fishes were so fresh and delicious, I could probably cry.

Black Truffle Sashimi


Delicate slices of best fish of the day with truffle oil, soy vinaigrette and green onions. Okay wow, I think that the secret to yummy food is probably truffle oil. Just sitting here and writing this while thinking about this particular dish is enough to make me salivate. Look at how pristine it looks with everything!


Jerk seasoned flash fried squid with spicy aioli. I love seafood and would try the deep-fried squid/calamari options in places if I have the room for it and this place didn’t fail to impress. With some restaurants, their squid comes out rubbery but not in High Spirits Izakaya.

Matcha Creme Brûlée
I am not really a fan of creme brulee, but this was different due to the fact that it’s matcha flavoured and absolutely delicious. Generously given to us on the house, Chef Go offered us the last two he had before being sold out of desserts for the day.

Chef Go invited us into his kitchen when I asked for permission to take pictures of him and his restaurant. He was so awesome that he poured us sake to drink together and I for whatever alcoholic reason, thought we were going to take a shot of sake so I finished mine in a gulp while they were slowly sipping theirs..#iswearidonthavedrinkingproblems

Chef Go showing us his kitchen and working away on customers’ dishes. I’ve never been inside a chef’s kitchen and it’s crazy to see how he’s able to come up with all his awesome dishes inside such a tight space.

Chef Go and Miki ready to welcome you with good food and drinks.

Overall, my experience was extremely positive. I’ve never been to a place that excelled in both food quality and service that made me feel as if I was among friends. Definitely recommended if you’re in the area, or heck, even if you’re not, I would travel all the way back there just to eat again. Having only been open for about 3 months when we got there, they’ve got true potential and it shows in their reviews received and the fact that they got approached by a TV station to do a segment on their restaurant and food. We were asked by Chef Go if we would like to be a part of that TV segment but unfortunately it was being filmed a few days after we were set to leave, boo.

Go check them out, and you’ll have an awesome experience like I did.

+81 70-1414-2951

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