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Located at the foot of the Yatsugatake mountain range, Mumyo is an escape for those looking to go off the beaten path. While enjoying the stunning nature of the highlands, the modern Japanese cuisine showcases seasonal produce and vegetables, many of which are picked on the day by the chef himself. For Masafumi Karaki, the restaurant is his heartfelt invitation to experience his home region through creative gastronomy. The cuisine at Mumyo tells a story of the region.

Just two hours outside Tokyo by bullet train, Chino City sits at the center of Japan’s scenic highlands, surrounded by Yatsugatake, Tateshina and Lake Shirakaba. Less known to overseas tourists, this area in central Nagano Prefecture is a gem for those who are looking to explore the outdoors while discovering the incredible produce the prefecture has to offer.

Meaning “no name” in Japanese, Chef Masafumi Karaki renamed the restaurant to Mumyo in 2019 with a hope to create an inventive Japanese cuisine that is all about the local produce. This has allowed him to incorporate different culinary elements without being limited to traditional ingredients and methods.

“As the name suggests, the cuisine of Mumyo isn’t tied to a particular style,” he explains. “When I began to focus on local ingredients, I was reminded how rich and abundant the food in our region is. I just want more people to enjoy our local produce.”

Set inside an old Japanese-style house, the restaurant has also been beautifully refurbished to fit its modern and minimalist decor, filled with stunning furniture and artwork that come from different ages and cultures.



Enjoy the best produce of Nagano

Committed to using the best produce of Nagano, the cuisine at Mumyo tells the story of the region. From matsutake mushroom in the fall to wild boar stew in the winter, the seasonal omakase menu takes you through about a dozen of unique recipes.

“In my cuisine, I care greatly about the aroma,” Karaki explains. “Through the aroma, you can savor the four seasons of Nagano. That is why I avoid any excessive flavoring.”

The meal often begins with a warm appetizer. Today’s dish is deep fried sweetfish, coated with buckwheat flour and served on a few spoonfuls of rice porridge, made with local Koshihikari grains and snap peas in a flavorful clam broth. The chef loves to pair this dish with a fizzy drink such as a glass of crisp Champagne or local beer.

Guests eat family style at Mumyo, sharing and enjoying the dishes together around a large dining table. Cooked and served on the main counter, the hot pot uses a variety of seasonal ingredients such as bears, wild boars, mushrooms and wild plants. All the flavors melt together as guests enjoy the flavors from the same pot.

A unique Nagano tradition, soba noodles and rice are served together at the end of the meal. Sun dried using a traditional method, the Koshihikari grains are soft and flavorful. "We want our guests to enjoy the meal all the way until the end,” the chef says. “We’re careful not to overdo the seasoning or the portions. That’s the style of Mumyo.”

The mission of Mumyo will always be to convey the charm of the Nagano region. Almost all ingredients are sourced locally, with many vegetables and herbs picked the morning of the meal by the chef himself. “Freshness matters greatly for vegetables, even more so than for fish,” the chef says. “Once it’s picked, they will start losing the aroma and turn bitter.”

He begins with fetching the soft freshwater from the local Kokuyo fountain that he uses for the dashi broth. On the premise of the restaurant, he grows herbs such as sansho for its aromatic seeds and flowers. He also likes to go looking for wild vegetables in the mountains. Mumyo’s cuisine sheds a spotlight on the best local produce such as Tenryu sweetfish that are raised in underground water and beef from Davos Ranch located 1,700m above sea level.

In particular, Karaki’s favorite is Gitaro shamo chicken. "It has such a rich flavor that once you use it, you can't use any other chicken,” he raves. “I like it so much that I want to open a restaurant dedicated just to Gitaro shamo." Inspired by Cantonese crispy chicken, his signature dish is the fried shamo chicken, cooked by pouring hot oil to make the skin crispy and the meat moist, and broiled over charcoal to finish.

A wine lover as well, Karaki stocks a lovely selection of wine, mostly made up of Champagne, French white wine and local Nagano vintages. Non-alcoholic drinks such as organic Chinese tea and non-alcoholic gin infused with local rose petals are also available.

Mumyo cuisine #0
Mumyo cuisine #1


Masafumi Karaki

Masafumi Karaki was born in Nagano Prefecture in 1973. He grew up loving food thanks to his mother who was a great cook. He attended university in Tokyo, initially aspiring to become an English interpreter but quickly realized he couldn’t give up his passion and joined a food product company. At the age of 27, he decided to become a chef and enrolled in a local culinary school.

After graduating, he trained at a Japanese restaurant in Tokyo for seven years before deciding to start his own restaurant back home. He found a property near his home town that used to be a 50-year old local eatery, where he opened his initial restaurant that later became Mumyo.

He also loves to eat and enjoys traveling to learn about the nature, history, and cuisine of different countries and regions. On days off, he likes to ride his bicycle through the mountains. This is a fantastic way to spend your time in Nagano, surrounded by famous peaks and rich in nature. VISION
“Post Covid, we’re seeing more guests from outside Japan,” Karaki says gratefully. “I want to continue showcasing Nagano’s rich produce to the guests.” He also used to collaborate on culinary projects with restaurants abroad. He hopes to resume such initiatives going forward.


Just like the cuisine, the tableware of Mumyo isn’t tied to one culture. The exquisite collection is made up of different kinds of works from Chinese antiques to Karatsu-ware. He also collects old Baccarat and works by modern artists. “I try not to add many elements to my cuisine because I want them to be about the ingredients,” he says. “Since the food is simple, I choose crockery that is unique and distinctive.” The photo shows two antique Chinese bowls from the Ming dynasty and a custom-made teacup by Satoru Ohmae, a potter living in Awaji Island. The black lacquered trays are made by Sasimonokagu Takahashi. The delicate combination of old and new tableware reflects the chef’s tasteful aesthetics.


Lunch/ Dinner
Mumyo Omakase course
  • The price includes our booking fee of ¥8,000
  • The price includes our booking fee of ¥8,000
Reservation Request




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Kaiseki, Chino
1F, 5-4 Nakamachi, Chino, Nagano 391-0005, Japan
Lunch: 12PM-, Dinner: 6:30PM-
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday


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