Former Jiyūtei Restaurant | 【公式】グラバー園

Former Jiyūtei Restaurant


Built in 1879, Jiyūtei was one of the first restaurants in Japan that served only Western-style cuisine. It was opened by Kusano Jōkichi (1840–1886), who learned how to cook European food while working for the Dutch on Dejima. Jōkichi grew up in Nagasaki, and in 1863 he opened his first restaurant, Ryōrintei, in his own home. He ran the restaurant for several years, during which time he changed its name to “Jiyūtei.” In 1868, Jōkichi left Nagasaki to open restaurants in Osaka and Kyoto. After a decade, he returned and re-opened the original restaurant in the Uma-machi neighborhood near Suwa Shrine. Jiyūtei was one of the three major Western-style restaurants in Nagasaki at the time, and it was favored for its luxurious interior by Nagasaki officials, who used it to hold formal events. When Jōkichi died in 1886, Jiyūtei closed the next year, and the building was bought by the Nagasaki District Court. It was used by the chief public prosecutor as a reception hall. In 1973, it was transferred to Nagasaki Prefecture and, in 1974, it was moved to its current location in Glover Garden. The second-floor dining room has been converted into a coffee shop.