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Historic Japanese inn takes over trout farm to preserve tradition

Kanaya Hotel acquires supplier for its century-old fish saute

Albert Einstein, Helen Keller and other famous guests have stayed at Nikko Kanaya Hotel in its more than 100-year history. (Photo courtesy of Kanaya Hotel)

UTSUNOMIYA, Japan -- A historic Japanese hotel once visited by Albert Einstein and Helen Keller has taken over the operations of a trout farm that supplies the fish featured in its century-old menu.

Kanaya Hotel, the operator of Nikko Kanaya Hotel, turned Kiyotaki Trout Farm into a subsidiary. The farm was founded in 1960 and produces about 15 tons of trout a year, which it supplies to roughly 40 local hotels and restaurants. Nikko Kanaya Hotel prepares the fish in a saute that it has served for over 100 years.

Nikko Kanaya Hotel has been offering trout saute to its guests for over a century. (Photo courtesy of Kanaya Hotel)

The farm struggled to find a new leader after the death of its founder, so a local business support organization brokered a takeover by Kanaya Hotel, the farm's largest client.

"The local community will suffer if the trout farm shuts its doors," said Masaki Hirano, who is president of both Kanaya Hotel and Kiyotaki Trout Farm.

"I want to expand its sales network and lineup by tapping into the Tobu Group," he said, referring to Kanaya Hotel's parent group.

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