I had thought I had experienced a lot of Japanese Cuisine, but when a coworker had asked me to go with him to a Himono style restaurant, I was intrigued. What was that?
Himono is a style of preparing fish by first drying the fish and then later grilling it. A Himono-ya is a restaurant that specializes in the preparation of Himono meals (the ya being something that denotes a store or place/person that specializes in a particular business)
The art of himono is actually has a long history in Japanese cuisine. Actually large numbers of societies that were sea-faring or fish eating had specialized in the drying and preservation of fish. Before refrigeration this was often the only way for allow for the storage and transportation of fish. During the ancient periods in Japan (Edo, Heian, etc.), Himono was a luxury item for all sorts of people except for those who lived within coastal areas. Dried fish and Himono was one of the luxury meal items presented to the Emperor in Kyoto.
This was one of my favorite and most interesting dinners in Tokyo and one that was very different than most Japanese cuisine I had tried both in the US and Japan. Selections of seafood included Manta ray which was different than I had expected.
The food was delicious and quite tasty for something that was dried, seasoned, and grilled. You can even round some of it out with some other dishes like grilled vegetables or even some salads (just be forewarned that some salads may contain raw meat (including raw chicken)).