Relish the Finest Wine Complementing Awaji Island’s Luxury Teppanyaki

Enjoy a Luxury Teppanyaki at Aman no Shokutaku’s Sajiki and a Selection of Exceptional Wines

Awaji Island was called Miketsukuni (land serving seafood and other food to the imperial court at ancient time) and is renowned for its abundant and fresh produce and ingredients.

At Aman no Shokutaku’s 2nd floor, there is a luxury teppanyaki restaurant called Sajiki. Located on top of the mountain, this restaurant is a perfect place for those who want to enjoy a special dinner with a calm atmosphere. The chef will prepare your dinner right in front of you and serve them with unique sauces. There is also a large wine cellar, and therefore, the restaurant is popular among wine connoisseurs. The best part is to pair a meal with the finest wine selected by the sommelier. This time, we interviewed Mr. Tanahashi, the sommelier at Sajiki, about his recommended wines.

Mr. Tanahashi, the sommelier at Sajiki, is also a chef, and his style is to recommend wines that complement the food better than wine alone. It all started when he was young where he spent half a year in Italy, where he was fascinated by the combination of Italian food and wine, so he returned to Japan and became a sommelier. “Food and wine are a set.”, he said.

Beaujolais Village is one rank higher than Beaujolais 

The Beaujolais region is located in the south of Burgundy and is known for producing Beaujolais Nouveau. The grape variety is called Gamay, and Nouveau is popular as a fruity fresh wine. Among them, the “Beaujolais Village”, which is said to be one rank higher and uses only the finest grapes, has a deeper flavor. When we asked Mr. Tanahashi, he said, “Beaujolais Nouveau is characterized by its strong acidity, so I think it goes better with seafood than meat. For example during autumn, it’s a wine I’d recommend pairing with spiny lobster from Awaji Island.” Japanese spiny lobsters from Awaji Island are at their peak fishing season from summer to autumn, but they are said to be the most delicious when the water temperature drops.

For White Wine, Japanese Ajimu Wine is Recommended

According to Mr. Tanahashi, local ingredients go well with local wine. At Sajiki, which uses a lot of Japanese seafood, the recommended wine is Ajimu wine, made in Oita Prefecture. Ajimu wine, which can be said to be a symbol of the grape culture that has taken root in Ajimu town, is made from locally grown grapes and is characterized by a refreshing taste reminiscent of the clear skies of Ajimu town in Oita Prefecture. He also added, “Its feature is a very well-balanced taste, and the grape varieties are Sauvignon and Chardonnay.”

“First, Sauvignon has a grassy and herbal aroma that is typical of Sauvignon, and usually during autumn, it is often accompanied by root vegetables. We use Meyer lemons from Awaji Island for the vegetables and acidity, and we intentionally do not use herbs in the dishes, so we pair them with the herbal aroma of the wine. We recommend this wine as it creates a synergy with the food we serve. On the other hand, regarding Chardonnay, winter Chardonnay is characterized by its rich aroma, and we recommend pairing it with a deep creamy sauce together with abalone or spiny lobster. We want you to enjoy the synergy of the sauce and wine without adding anything.”, he said.

Teppanyaki is unique because the ingredients are cooked as they are and served with the sauce. You can enjoy the taste of the ingredients while adjusting the taste to your liking with your choice of sauce, and the wine will also go well together with the teppanyaki. When choosing wine, we learned that the key is to pair hearty ingredients with hearty wines!

Another recommended wine is Cuvée Gyotaku from Alsace, France. It seems that the producer is a big fan of Japan and has created a wine that goes well with Japanese food. “As the name suggests, Wine label (etiquette in French) is famous for its fish-printed pattern, making it a wine that goes well with sushi. It has a lemon-like sharp acidity and mellowness, and also has a mineral feel. It is a wine that goes well with the minerals of seafood such as in sushi. This pairing is very delicious.”, Mr. Tanahashi said.

Exceptional Wine

“The outstanding wines we have at Sajiki include white wines from the Montrachet family from Burgundy, and cult wines from California’s Napa Valley for red wines. For special old vintages, we also have Château Mouton Rothschild.”, he said. With the large wine cellar they have, it is expected that the wine selection is amazing.

Champagne To Go With Any Dish in the Teppanyaki Full-course Meal

Mr. Tanahashi loves Champagne, so Bollinger, a champagne that features both power and delicacy is highly recommended. This is a superb champagne thas has been aged for a long time, and goes well with all kinds of dishes, so it is best to try it in a bottle. Although the price of champagne is increasing due to recent CCOVID 19 and import regulations, Sajiki still could offer it at a stable price. “Other than that, we also have Dom Pérignon, but we recommend Bollinger based on its balance between price and value. It is known as the champagne that James Bond, the 007 star, loved so much,” said Mr. Tanahashi. 

A rare champagne from Japan that was recommended was “Mizubasho” which is said to be made from Yamada Nishiki,  a short-grain Japanese rice famous for its use in high-quality sake. “This sparkling Japanese sake is made using the same method as champagne, but it was the best champagne I’ve had this year. It has a slight sweetness of rice and goes very well with Japanese seafood dish. Yamada Nishiki is well polished to the sake level of Daiginjyo“, he added. Sajiki has a special champagne directly from the brewery, so it is one of the drinks that you should definitely try.


Sajiki is located near Hanasajiki, a tourist attraction on Awaji Island, and is a restaurant where you can enjoy authentic teppanyaki using seasonal ingredients. The sauces are seasoned to go well with the wine, and in addition to standard sauces such as salted seaweed, soy sauce, and ponzu sauce, you can also enjoy various variations such as herb butter and cream sauces. Please come and enjoy Awaji Island’s seasonal ingredients and wine!

Click here for reservations Utage Click here for reservations Sajiki

Name Aman no Shokutaku
1F Utage
2F Sajiki
Address 1042 Nojima-Tokiwa, Awaji City, Hyogo Pref. 656-1726
Tel "Utage” 0799-70-9089
“Sajiki” 0799-70-9090
Operation Hours “Utage”: Weekdays 11:00~21:00 (L.O. 20:00) / Sat., Sun. & Holidays 10:30~21:00 (L.O. 20:00)
“Sajiki” 11:00~15:00 / 17:00~21:00 (L.O.19:30) Closed: Tuesdays
Website https://amannoshokutaku.jp/
Reservations: Utage https://www.tablecheck.com/en/shops/aman-utage/reserve
Reservations: Sajiki https://www.tablecheck.com/en/shops/aman-sajiki/reserve

Click here for details of Aman no Shokutaku