Traditional Japanese culture is still strong in Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan. This time we are featuring 5 recommended restaurants in Kyoto where you can enjoy the Japanese traditional atmosphere.
Toriyasa is a restaurant located near Shijo Kiyamachi, an area that offers plenty of dining options, and which specializes in chicken cuisine. The restaurant is housed in a charming "machiya" townhouse (which has been registered as Tangible Cultural Property) and it is a perfect location where you can enjoy your meal with the sound of the streaming water from river Kamo in the background. The restaurant, which has received one star in the Michelin Guide, is especially proud of their "Mizutaki", a one pot dish that brings out the delicious flavor of chicken to its fullest. It is a simple dish in which chicken, vegetables, and tofu are simmered together in a rich white soup, but it offers a very deep flavor. If you prefer something more casual, their "Oyakodon", a dish in which chicken and beaten eggs are cooked together in Japanese-style broth and served on top of rice, is also exquisite.
Mizutaki Course Menu: 12,960 JPY (tax and service included)
Oyakodon: 1,050 JPY (tax incl)
2. Tagoto Main Store
"Kaiseki-ryori" is a kind of traditional Japanese meal that has a very elegant and sophisticated image. Originally, this was a kind of meal that was served to entertain guests coming to a tea ceremony. However, these days, the name "Kaiseki-ryori" is used to designate the kind of traditional Japanese meal served in small courses that many Japanese restaurants offer. If you want to indulge in some "Kaiseki-ryori" in Kyoto, we recommend heading to "Tagoto". Their dishes are made using seasonal vegetables and all ingredients are very carefully selected for an exquisite result, which is then arranged beautifully in small bowls in what could be considered a work of art. In Kyoto, there are some kaiseki-ryori restaurants that you cannot enter if you do not have a recommendation from a friend or an acquaintance, but Tagoto does not use this system, so travelers from abroad can enjoy their kaiseki-ryori dishes too.
Yuba Course "Mochizuki" 6,480 JPY (tax incl)
3. Shimogamo Saryo
Shimogamo Saryo was established in 1856 by river Takano by the Saji family, who had undertaken the heavy responsibility of entertaining the Imperial Messenger from the Court since the Heian era. Today, the restaurant, backed by its long history and tradition, serves kaiseki-ryori dishes that combine both tradition and innovation in a way that preserves the "Dosandoho style" (consisting in using locally harvested ingredients to prepare a meal that will please the locals) while incorporating new elements in a flexible way. Having a meal here while enjoying a view of the beautiful garden, which has been continuously taken good care of since establishment, in combination with their outstanding service, will definitely help to create a special memory of your trip to Kyoto.
Lunch Mini Kaiseki (8 Courses) 7,560 (tax incl. / service not included)
4. Kyoto Vegetable Cuisine Kamo (Shijo Karasuma Main Restaurant)
Kyoto Vegetable Cuisine Kamo is a restaurant located in Shijo Karasuma, at the heart of Kyoto, which specializes in vegetable-based dishes. Both lunch and dinner are served in a buffet in which you can eat as much as you like of their dishes that include salads and stews made with vegetables from Kyoto, and other dishes such as Japanese-style curry with rice. At night, they also set up a drink bar that includes beer and plum liquor. Here you can find many rare vegetables that you won't easily find anywhere else, so make sure you come and try this restaurant if veggies are your thing.
Buffet Prices: Morning (7:00 am - 10:00 am) 490 JPY / Lunch (11:00 am - 4:00 pm) 880 JPY / Dinner (5:00 pm - 11:00 pm) 1,350 JPY
5. Soba-kobo Soba no Mi Yoshimura
"Soba" noodles are representative of Japanese cuisine. Soba-Kobo Soba no Mi Yoshimura, in Kyoto, is a specialized soba restaurant that offers delicious dishes and is very particular about how they make them. They only use buckwheat flour produced in Japan and, while making the noodles using machines has become widespread these days, at Yoshimura, all soba noodles are produced by hand by their highly skilled artisans. Making the noodles by hand means that they are more full-bodied, and that the thickness can be adjusted depending on the dish. Kyoto is famous for its "Nishin-soba", but if you want to enjoy the pure taste of the soba itself, we recommend ordering their "Zaru-soba".
Zaru-soba (Juwari soba) 1,080 JPY (tax incl)
How did you enjoy this article? Make sure you visit the restaurants featured when you visit Kyoto to enjoy the Japanese atmosphere as you indulge in an exquisite meal.
*Please note that the prices and other information in the article may not be the most up-to-date information.