Noto Italian and Fermented Food Inn “Flat”

Noto Italian and Fermented Food Inn “Flat”

Fusion of Noto and Italian Cuisine

Located on a hill overlooking the Sea of Japan and the Tateyama Mountain range, Flat is a small inn run by Australian-born Benjamin Flatt (a.k.a. Ben) and his wife Chikako Funashita, who operate it for four couples a day. Ben’s “Noto Italian” cuisine, prepared with fresh local Noto ingredients and homemade fermented foods, is highly acclaimed.
Ben began helping out at his family’s restaurant in Australia when he was 13 years old and worked his way up to head chef at an Italian restaurant in Sydney. After coming to Japan upon his marriage, he learned Noto’s local cuisine at “Sannami,” a guest house run by Chikako’s family.

He not only cooks, but also makes seasonings and preserves unique to the region. For example, his homemade “Ishiri,” made by marinating the innards of fresh squid in salt and fermenting them for three years, is a mild fish sauce that has been produced on the Noto Peninsula for centuries. At dinner in the dining room overlooking the Sea of Japan, you can enjoy a course that uses a variety of seasonal ingredients from Noto, including this homemade “ishiri”. Ben’s unique style of fusing Noto’s food culture with Italian cuisine is unique. The daily menu is based on the spirit of “local production for local consumption” of Italian cuisine, and is determined by looking at the seafood caught that day.

Accommodations with delicious meals and spectacular views

“Konka Iwashi” and “Konka Saba” served for breakfast are traditional Noto preserved foods made by marinating sardines and mackerel in rice bran, salt, and red pepper. Most commercially available products are fermented for six months to a year, but the breakfast items at “Flatto” are homemade gems that have been slowly fermented and aged for two to three years. It is most commonly eaten grilled, but it can also be used as an ingredient in sashimi and nabe (hot pot), and as a Japanese anchovy in salads and dressings,” says Ben. There are many other traditional Noto foods that can be enjoyed at Flatto. For example, “Benkouko,” made by pickling dried daikon radish in ishiri, is a pickle unique to Noto that can also be enjoyed grilled, a rare way to eat it. It is ready to eat when the daikon is charred and the aroma of the pickled radish rises from the air. Yunamba” (1,000 yen), made with home-grown yuzu, Noto’s natural salt, and chili peppers and pickled for four years, is ideal as a condiment for nabe (hot pot) and other dishes. Yunamba” and ‘homemade Ishiri’ (900 yen) are popular as souvenirs.

There are three guest rooms (10 tatami mats) in the main building and one room (8 tatami mats + 6 tatami mats) in a detached house with a hinoki bath. Rooms in the main building also have access to a separate room completed in November 2020 with a full hinoki bath, etc. The price is 20,350 yen per night for two meals (22,550 yen on Saturdays, days before national holidays, and consecutive holidays). The view of Toyama Bay and the garden, which can be enjoyed from every room window, is so beautiful that Hidetoshi Nakata says it left a lasting impression on him. When you visit Noto, we hope you will stay one night and enjoy the seasonal nature and “Noto Italian” cuisine.


27-26-3 Yanami, Noto-cho, Housu-gun, Ishikawa
TEL 0768-62-1900