Roots of Yayoi

Japanese food has established a certain presence in the world culinary scene for its unique approach. During the Meiji period in 1886, YAYOI-KEN first opened as a European restaurant and introduced a brand new food culture to the people in Japan. Today in YAYOI, we take a new approach to introduce to the world our much loved everyday meal, TEISHOKU.


“Jyu-Kyobashi-Shinbashi-made-Rengaishidukuri-Syoke-no-zu”  Kuniteru Ichiyosai / National Diet Library Collections Kyobashi Shinbashi scenery in the early years of Meiji


In 1886, Tamijiro Shioi, the great-grandfather of Tatsuo Shioi (the current President and Representative Director of Plenus Company Limited), started a western food restaurant called “Yayoiken” in Kayaba-cho, Nihonbashi, Tokyo. It was the turbulent times when whole country was geared toward modernization. While adopting western system, industries and technologies one after another, Japanese government considered adopting western food culture was an important diplomatic strategy in order to cross swords with Western great powers as equals and tried to instill western cuisine. French cuisine became the official meal at the imperial court and subsequently western cooking style became woven into Japanese food culture.

Hotels that were used as the state guesthouse and western food restaurants that were the salon among intellectuals played a major role in the process. Western cuisine first became accustomed among the upper-class.