Sumary of 140-year-old sukiyaki restaurant in Tokyo closing due to coronavirus pandemic:
- ▼ Chinya’s entrance The restaurant started serving meals all the way back in the Meiji period, seating its first diners in 1880. With sukiyaki rising in popularity, they began specializing in the simmered beef dish in 1903. Next month, though, they’re shutting down, and the pandemic is to blame.
- But with Japan closed to international tourism, and even many Japanese residents avoiding travel and eating out, Chinya has seen a severe drop in customers.
- A lot of restaurants have tried to cope during the pandemic by expanding their takeout and delivery options, but this isn’t so easy when your signature dish is sukiyaki.
- It’s a luxurious meal that’s meant to be slowly cooked at the table so you can pop morsels into your mouth just moments after they come out of the pot, and so pre-made pick-up versions can’t match the fresh-cooked flavor of the in-restaurant experience.
- The interior boasts a number of classical kaika-e paintings, which combine traditional Japanese and Wester artistic techniques, and were in vogue as Japan opened up to the international community in the late 1800s and early 1900s.