The best is yet to come….

February 2019 


beauty. harmony. craft. delight.


Kaiseki cuisine — the Japanese tradition of intricate, refined small plates — has origins that can be traced back more than seven hundred years. It was an artful embodiment of innovation then, and we aim to bring that same ingenuity and inspiration to our guests in this modern era. We are committed to an authentic expression of kaiseki, featuring the most exceptional seasonal and sustainable ingredients from the Boston region.

april hours of operation

Please check our current schedule below.

news at kamakura

Spring veggies! We’ll incorporate into our menu items.

reservation tips

Due to high volume of requests with food restrictions for the kaiseki tasting course, and nature of authentic kaiseki that has seafood, vegetables, meat, egg, and shoyu – soy sauce, we set up options to provide better experience to all guests and accommodate well to your needs.

At chef’s counter:

·         Kamakura Kaiseki Dinner – Our signature kaiseki with no restrictions

·         Sushi Kaiseki Dinner – Sushi and kaiseki with no restrictions

In our dining room:

·         Pescatarian Tasting (non-kaiseki) – cha-kaiseki style, chef’s whim

·         Vegetarian Tasting (non-kaiseki) – – cha-kaiseki style, chef’s whim, no seafood, no meat.

Gluten-free, some of courses are prepared and cooked in the same equipment, can be prepared similarly to pescatarian cha-kaiseki style tasting in ding room (non-kaiseki).

If no seafood can be served, it will be vegetarian cha-kaiseki style tasting in ding room with meat of the day.

Please inform us any food allergies or dietary restrictions two days prior for us to try the best to prepare. Accommodation and preparation for restrictions will be limited with notification upon your arrival. Thank you for your understanding.


We currently take reservations for Omakase Chef’s Tasting Dinner as a special group event at the kaiseki counter. All guests will be served at the same timing, no or the same food restriction. We take a credit card to confirm your reservation.


Please call us for your questions and concerns, at 617-377-4588 in our operation time, or send us email at

state street
boston, massachusetts

hours / april 2019


Lunch - 11:30 a.m. – 2:30p.m.



5:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m
Kaiseki Tasting Counter Seating at 5:30 p.m. / 8:00 p.m.
Cha-kaiseki option in dining room is started anytime from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

5:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
Kaiseki Tasting Counter Seating at 5:30 p.m. / 8:00 p.m.
Cha-kaiseki option in dining room is started anytime from 5:30 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.

Please contact us for private event

now opening weekends!

- Coming soon!


150 state street
boston, ma 02109


press inquiries:



“Washoku Renaissance” of Japanese Cuisine in Boston 


Owner and Executive Chef Youji Iwakura is bringing a new authentic taste of Japan to Boston. Kamakura—aptly named for and inspired by his hometown in Japan - will feature nouvelle washoku bistro fare; modern-day seasonal kaiseki (set tasting courses); fresh sushi omakase (leave-it-up-to-the-chef); and bento-style boxes (lunch offerings). Kamakura sources fresh, local ingredients to emphasize the seasonal importance of washoku and kaiseki, and highlights its artful displays as much as taste. 

A carefully curated beverage menu is equally prioritized with an extensive sake list, including Dovetail Sake from Waltham on tap and Yamanashi indigenous “Koshu” grape wine from Japan. Kamakura is the first restaurant in Boston to offer Japanese wine, a feat Youji has been very passionate about since 2004.


In addition to the sophisticated and refined menu offerings, Kamakura highlights several dining experiences. Guests can have an intimate dinner alongside the chef at the first-floor kaiseki bar, or they can opt for a more casual affair at the open-air “Kumo” bar and lounge, featuring a 400-square foot retractable roof with exquisite views of Boston’s Custom House.

At “Kumo,” Kamakura offers Matcha Tea Time in the afternoons, providing guests with Japanese tea, and both savory and sweet seasonal creations. Whether experiencing an authentic kaiseki meal or unwinding with a sake on the rooftop lounge, Kamakura welcomes Boston for an innovative Japanese experience.


meet the team

Youji Iwakura, Kamamkura Chef and Owner

youji iwakura

Chef / OWNER


With familial roots in both fishing and farming, Youji Iwakura deems his culinary journey an “ancestral assignment.” He dreamed of becoming a restaurateur, as a child inspired during an occasional meal out with family in his hometown of Kamakura, Japan. A chef, clad in his signature, white attire, stepped out of the restaurant’s kitchen to personally acknowledge Youji with hospitality. Moved by this experience, Youji solidified his vision to work in the restaurant industry. 

At 24, Youji moved to Boston from Japan, attending and graduating from the Berklee College of Music. Entering a tough economy, he became a sushi chef at authentic Japanese restaurants, including Ginza in Brookline, Massachusetts, yielding eight years of sushi training. Youji then transitioned to the front of house, moving one step closer to his ideal restaurateur role. He worked as a bartender at Troquet and as front manager/beverage director of several Boston restaurants, ultimately returning to the kitchen at Ken Oringer’s renowned UNI, which was recognized within a year by Boston magazine for ‘Best Seafood 2005.’

To further hone his skills, Youji traveled back to Japan for two years, working at an upscale Japanese brasserie. He returned to Boston with increased culinary knowledge, passion and desire, becoming Chef de Cuisine at UNI. Under Youji’s leadership, the tiny sashimi bar gained recognition for the most innovative and best-quality Japanese cuisine in the city.

In 2010, Youji opened Basho Japanese Brasserie as Executive Chef, creating an original American-Japanese menu featuring traditional kaiseki. He took on the role of Sake Sommelier at Yakitori Zai in 2013, later to open Snappy Ramen in Davis Square, Somerville, focusing on authentic and healthier takes on Japanese cuisine. 

Youji is now opening his first restaurant in downtown Boston. Kamakura - named for and inspired by his hometown - will serve nouvelle washoku (authentic Japanese cuisine) and modern-day kaiseki (seasonal, multi-course meals) in a warm, cozy atmosphere. The menu will also specialize in Youji’s well-seasoned edo-mae-style sushi and an extensive beverage program, featuring warm sake, local sake on tap, as well as Japan indigenous “Koshu” grape wine. 

As the Owner and Executive Chef of Kamakura, Youji is looking forward to sharing the renaissance of authentic Japanese cuisine with Boston when it opens in July 2018.


Brian Xu


Brian Xu was born in Minhang, Shanghai, and moved to Boston at 17. His passion for food and desire to be in the kitchen led him to Ginza Japanese Restaurant in 2002, where he worked as a sushi apprentice for eight years. Brian moved back to Shanghai for two years but ultimately decided to pursue his dream of working as a chef at an acclaimed Japanese restaurant in Boston.

Brian joined Douzo in 2012 and became Sushi Chef at Basho Japanese Brasserie, followed by a role at Hojoko in 2015 to work with new ingredients and learn American kitchen standards. He took on the Executive Sushi Chef role at PABU (Izakaya-style Japanese restaurant) in 2016 to control the sushi bar operation within a 200+ seat restaurant.

Although they hadn’t worked together directly, Brian admired Youji’s cooking style and similar career path. When he learned that Youji was opening Kamakura, Brian knew this would be a destination and a fantastic opportunity. 

Brian joins Kamakura as Executive Sous Chef of the entire kitchen operation.

Carlos, Kamakura Sous Chef

Carlos Navarro

sous chef

Carlos Navarro was born in Phoenix, Arizona and raised in Boston, MA. At a young age though, he made his way to Guatemala, where he worked on his family’s ranch. While there, he grew an appreciate for food and where it came from, especially after learning to work with livestock and maintaining a farm.

Eventually, Carlos made his way back to Boston and decided to pursue his dream of becoming a chef.

Carlos began an apprenticeship at Boston Chops, then went on to spend three years at Bistro du Midi, working under Chef Robert Sisca, formerly of Le Bernardin. While at Bistro du Midi, Carlos was able to learn classical French techniques. He joined the Hojoko team when it first opened, where he was introduced to Japanese ingredients, and how to use them. Shortly after, he worked in the opening team of Pabu in 2016, working his way to Sous Chef, and learning how to lead a team.

Carlos joins Kamakura as Sous Chef, working alongside Executive Sous Chef Brian Xu.

Keiko, Kamakura Pastry Chef

Keiko Iwakura

Pastry Chef

Keiko Iwakura is married to Chef Youji Iwakura! She grew up in Seki-city, Japan, and started cooking at the age of five. In 1998, she worked at one of the most traditional and upscale ryokan hotels, Hisui in Okuhida region, learning to serve kaiseki banquet meals as a traditional Japanese waitress (nakai). Constantly wondering about food cultures outside of her city and country, Keiko decided to pursue her curiosity and move to the United States.

When Keiko married Youji, she was a hostess at a restaurant in Boston Harbor Hotel. Combining her passion to bake with Youji’s encouragement, she started her professional culinary career in 2001 as an apprentice at Sel de la Terre, working under master bread baker Michael Rhoads. After several months, Keiko transferred to L’Espalier on Gloucester Street, expertly creating modern French-Japanese desserts.

Keiko serves as Kamakura’s Pastry Chef, using inspiration from her hometown.

Allan, Kamakura General Manager

Allan Yee

general manager

Allan Yee is a native of Boston, having been born and raised in the city. At the age of 17, He started in the restaurant business as a delivery driver for Mr. Leung’s on Boylston Street. While there one evening, Allan took the reigns and learned how to serve, bartend, and host after coming back from a delivery, and noticed the entire staff had quit. Ever since then, he has been hooked on the restaurant business.

Eventually, Allan left Mr. Leung’s to work at Bernards in Chestnut Hill, and held hospitality positions at establishments such as Jae’s Cafe, Sibling Rivalry, Hotel Marlowe, Oishii, and Legal Seafood. In addition, he has consulted and managed a number of restaurants and nightclubs in Boston and Vancouver.

Allan joins the Kamakura team as General Manager.


press & events