Rishikesh, one of India’s most popular destination for foreigners and locals alike, is the place where spiritual seekers and devout Hindus come to pay homage. Known as the “Yoga Capital of the World“, many that come are so drawn to this sacred place, that they come back time and again. And for some, they feel as if it’s a ‘coming home‘ and move here infinitely. This was the case for Morimiti, an adventurous Japanese soul who moved here 9 years ago from her home country of Japan after traveling in India for a month with friends. During her trip, she met her now husband who was also traveling in Ladakh at the time. Since that fateful trip, she made the decision of making India her home and has opened a successfully run Japanese Restaurant in Rishikesh. Located inside Rajendra Yoga Center in the Tapovan area of Rishikesh.
The Japanese Restaurant in Rishikesh
I stopped in for lunch on a Monday noon for her “Maki Sushi Set” which includes:
- Vegetarian Sushi Roll wrapped with carrots, cucumbers, soya, mushrooms wrapped in seaweed and brown millet/rice 🍙
- On the side were: Fresh Soy Beans, Beets & Okra in a umami flavored Red Pepper sauce
- Fresh Miso Soup with Radishes & Seaweed
The food was fresh as the menu is seasonal, with local ingredients hand selected by Chef/Owner Morimiti. The ambiance is delightful with 3 small tables as well as option to sit Japanese style on an elevated cushioned seating with low tables. There are also other options on the menu, I loved her Ginger Ale Soda + Lemon which is made fresh in-house.
Most restaurants in Rishikesh serve a wide continental variety of Indian & Chinese dishes (with Rishikesh being in the Himalayas and it’s close proximity to China). Some restaurants also serve American, Italian and Israeli specialties. It’s nice to mix things up once in awhile while traveling for an extended period of time!
How to Get to Cafe Okaeri
Cafe Okaeri is located in the Tapovan area. Find the large white Kriya Temple off the main road, Badrinath Road. To the right is a narrow street that goes up hill (about a 10 minute walk up). Ask around as they will lead you towards Rajendra Yoga & Wellness Center (next to a local college), where Cafe Okaeri is located on the ground level inside the gate to the left.
If you are looking for a good Yoga teacher, I would also recommend taking a class with Rajendra. The focus is Holistic Hatha Yoga as he has over 20 years of experience teaching. Rajendra teaches daily at 8-9:30am and 5-6:30pm. Also available are 200 hour teacher trainings in a span of 1 month and Beginner Yoga & Meditation Retreat in a span of 1 week at Rajendra’s center. For more info: YogMaster.org.
Contact Cafe Okaeri
Hours: Open Thursday-Monday (closed Tuesday & Wednesday) from 11-3:30pm (last call at 3pm)
190 RS for Japanese Thali set (Thurs-Sat) / Indian Thali sets are also available upon request