Find the hidden essence of Japan voice cream

Crispy tempura fry with rice porridge cooked in Japanese tea served with the hospitality of a mountain priest in the mountain tea house.

You may even be lucky enough to meet Sueno, the 96 year old face of the shop.

Crispy tempura fry with rice porridge cooked in Japanese tea served with the hospitality of a mountain priest in the mountain tea house.

Only 600 Yen for all these sweet, delicious vegetable dishes!

The many different vegetable dishes will fill you with fresh, sweet, and crisp flavors. As you enjoy these dishes together with the Chagayu, a traditional rice porridge dish of former Yamato region cooked in Japanese tea, which said to have been eaten by Buddhist priests for over 1,200 years, you will also be served hot and crispy vegetable tempura fry.

The mountain scenery and clear air are included free with the low price of only 600 Yen. Chagayu is a very familiar and nostalgic dish for Sueno, the 96 year old face of the shop who ran the tea house until just three years ago with Kayo, who is the wife of Sueno’s eldest son Eijiro.

She was popular with customers for the care she put into growing the vegetables and cooking the dishes because she was “happy when people enjoyed the vegetables I made”. Now, however, she has retired after making the restaurant what it is today, and her eldest son and his wife carry on the tradition of “Grandma’s cooking and love”.

Sueno, now retired. You might be lucky enough to meet her, as she still stops by the restaurant when she feels up to it.

Popular with vegetarian tourists, vegan lunches are also available.

All vegetables served here are grown on the restaurant’s own farm and picked from the adjacent gardens. Over 30 types of vegetables are painstakingly grown through all four seasons in the restaurant’s farm, covering a total of 2,000 square meters, because “we want our guests to eat the most delicious seasonal vegetables.”

Eijiro explains, “I’m in the fields all day long, from morning until evening, except during the lunch hour when we’re open” in order to meet the restaurants demand.

The number of foreign tourists is said to be on the rise due to word of mouth. In addition to the standard vegetarian cuisine, the restaurant will also serve vegan lunches, for those who eat no animal products at all, if reservations are made at least one day in advance, including replacing the fish based broth with a broth of konbu seaweed.

Just a few days before this interview, an Italian couple who ran their own vegan restaurant had the Yamato vegan lunch and were more than satisfied.

Fresh vegetables from the farm, the bounty of Mount Ikoma, line the restaurant.

The shop run by a mountain priest began with the hospitality of a single cup of tea.

If the weather permits, we recommend seating in the garden, surrounded by flowers and greenery. Here you can look down on Ikoma city from the slopes of Mount Ikoma as you take a deep breath of the fresh mountain air, and Mount Wakakusa can be seen off in the distance.

The vegetable farm is right in front of you. Everything at the restaurant is a treat, from the vegetables and Chagayu, to the scenery and the hospitality passed down from Sueno to her son.

This restaurant began with the serving of a single cup of tea to a hiker who had asked to take a break as he walked by. Word of mouth led more people to visit, and this resulted in the establishment of the tea house Oni-no-Chaya.

The name of this area is Oni-tori-cho, or demon capture village, where it is said that the priest En no Gyoja, founder of the Shugendo form of Buddhist mountain asceticism, drove away demons in the 7th century.

And Eijiro himself is a practitioner of Shugendo who is tasked with protecting the local temples as a mountain priest. This family, which has lived on Mount Ikoma and tilled the land here for generations, today provides hospitality to visitors with the mountain’s bounty.


Oninochaya Nishimoto
Open 10:30 - 15:00(Lunch 11:30〜14:00)Closed Thursday、2nd・4th Wednesday
413, Onitoricho, Ikoma-shi, Nara Pref.
Chagayu lunch 600 yen


Oninochaya Nishimoto
Oninochaya Nishimoto

KEEP IN TOUCH Latest news in NARA

  1. 1

    Discover your next destination

  2. 2

    Must-visit locations

  3. 3

    Unforgettable experiences

  4. 4

    Neighbourhood stories