Dining, Glamping Complex Boosts Korankei as Aichi Gateway

The Japan News
Salted and grilled ayu fish and sawagani crab

Korankei in Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture, is known as the best spot in the prefecture for viewing the autumn leaves. About 4,000 maple trees change color in the fall, attracting crowds of tourists. But autumn is not the only time to visit. In spring, wildflowers such as katakuri (dogtooth violets) bloom in profusion; in summer, visitors can enjoy river activities and camping; and in winter, a spectacular view of the valley awaits. Honda Logicom Co., a logistics company in Kasugai, Aichi Prefecture, is working on a regional development project to promote awareness of these attractions and draw in tourists from outside the prefecture, including foreign travelers.

About a 10-minute drive east of Korankei, a group of old Japanese-style buildings hug the riverside. The facility, called Ichinotani, is run by a subsidiary of Honda Logicom and features a traditional ryotei and a casual restaurant, glamping and camping sites, and all-inclusive barbecues. This was all originally a ryotei restaurant, which was purchased by Honda Logicom and renovated for a July 2021 opening.

Upon entering the building which houses the restaurants, I found a refined and spacious dining room, shared by the two restaurants and with a view of the Tomoegawa River. In the room’s center hangs a large, impressive lantern. The chef, who has been working here since the days of the old ryotei, served me up kaiseki cuisine. I visited on June 5, and had a course of ayu river fish dishes, the season for which had just started. Each dish was beautiful and flavorful. In winter, the ryotei boasts of its gibier, such as its deer dishes. The casual dining restaurant, meanwhile, employs a young female chef who has experience in Italian and international cuisine and serves low-priced dishes that make the most of local ingredients, hoping that the younger generation will also enjoy the food.

“Thanks to these efforts, Ichinotani is now gaining popularity among young people,” said Ryo Kakumu, president of Ichinotani. “We will also organize a summer festival to energize the whole community.” This year’s festival, to be held in an open space in Korankei, is scheduled for Aug. 26 and 27. The stage will feature pop idols as well as children’s songs and dance performances, and there will also be a food market, making it a fun event for the whole family. Last year, the festival attracted some 2,000 visitors.

Since last year, Ichinotani has also been working on a beekeeping business. This year, about 50 kilograms of honey was harvested. “We hope to brand the honey as Korankei honey and distribute it to restaurants in the area in the future, so that various restaurants can offer their own original dishes,” Kakumu said.

On the way to Korankei from Nagoya lies Ghibli Park and the Toyota Museum, which both pull in many tourists. By growing the appeal of Korankei, Ichinotani hopes to nudge visitors into the area.


22 Ichinotani, Asuke-cho, Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture. Open from 10:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (last order 3:00 p.m.). Closed on Thursdays. For more information, please visit Ichinotani’s website: https://ichinotani1.com/