Premium chefs of Kumamoto


Healthy ambition and passion—ten dishes for tasting the mysteries of Kumamoto, as curated by
Yoshihiro Maruyama of Ruri-an

Ruri-an celebrated its 13th anniversary in June 2022. Seigo Sasahara moved here from his native Tokyo in 2009 to open the restaurant with his father. Here, one can eat and drink from a daily rotating menu that they have worked hard to create. “These carefully selected Kumamoto delicacies are so delicious,” you will say, and your taste buds will dance with every sparkling surprise that captures the moment.

The restaurant is a remodeled former inn that proudly stands north of the Kamidori arcade on a corner of what is commonly known as Kaminoura Street. This street has long been home to distinctive and delectable restaurants and bars crammed into a small area. Ruri-an has remained popular ever since it opened, despite the rapidly changing trends of the times. Without being swept up in the times and without resisting the times, Mr. Sasahara is not afraid of change. In fact, he delights in it. One of the great things about the restaurant is that it has been the training ground for many of the wonderful chefs and restaurant personnel who run today’s most popular restaurants.

Besides being a restaurant owner, Mr. Sasahara is also a food producer. Since the opening of the restaurant, he has been growing his own Minami Nishiki rice, continuing the rice-growing tradition of his grandfather. Following a major renovation in January 2020, he again decided that growing his own rice is important. While more establishments are purchasing first-class ingredients from designated farmers, Mr. Sasahara continues his humble task of pursuing the joys of the harvest by moving his body, touching the soil, and sweltering in the heat. “Before I knew it, I had been seriously involved in cultivating something (my fields) for many years,” he says without hesitation, but it’s really not that simple. Growing rice as naturally as possible requires faith in the power of the sun, the water, and the soil. This has now become a favorite project in which the entire staff is involved.

“I want to make delicious things even more delicious.” Created with this extremely simple idea in mind, the star of the Premium Menu is white rice cooked in an earthen pot. This is served along with seasonal Amakusa fish, rare Amakusa Daio cutlets, and wood-grilled Kikuchi Gengo beef. All eight courses, excluding dessert, end with white rice. Making the white rice a “palate cleanser” for enjoying the most delicious flavors that stimulates the diners’ imaginations. The restaurant’s atmosphere is friendly, being both authentic and warm. That is the true strength of the Japanese restaurant-bar, Ruri-an. One climbs to the height of passion and leaves the restaurant after finishing a memorable main dish. Unsurprisingly, diners will want to make another reservation so that they can repeat the experience.

Restaurant information

Address:2nd fl., 5-21, Minamitsuboicho, Chuo-ku, Kumamoto City, Kumamoto Prefecture 〒860-0848


Business hours:Mon., Wed.-Sun., holidays, days before holidays: 17:30–23:00 (last order for food, 22:00, last order for drinks, 22:30) Closed Tues.

Reservations for the Premium Menu

Each restaurant has different ingredients in its Premium Menu, so diners may enjoy Kumamoto’s seasonal dishes. Please directly contact the restaurant for details.

Premium menu

Price:22,000 yen per person

Tel.: 096-352-8174


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