Asano

This one is for the shoppers, or for those who have to go shopping but would rather be drinking sake. On the ground floor of Kyoto Aeon Mall, directly behind Kyoto Station, and just beyond the cash registers at Kohyo supermarket, you'll find Asano, ...

Iwasaki

It was a coincidence that on the same day we had a reservation for Iwasaki, a small family-run restaurant west of Kyoto's Municipal Office, the Iwasaki's were quietly marking a milestone: the restaurant's 10-year anniversary. Iwasaki has retained a Michelin star every year since 2012, ...

Usaya

Sanjo's shotengai (shopping arcade) has long been a poor relative of Nishiki Ichiba, the overcrowded shopping arcade of downtown Kyoto. Go a bit west, however, and you'll discover the Sanjo arcade, where you won't have to fight through crowds and there's everything from secondhand ...

Tan

At its most elemental, cooking is experimentation: a bit of this, some of that, hey presto. In Japan, the experimentation is mostly confined to the kitchen. It's unlikely restaurants such as London's Dans le Noir, where diners eat in darkness sans phones, would take ...

58 Diner

In recent times, Japan has offered up a noteworthy list of burgers, with the newest additions being Burger King's "Kuro Burger," followed by a similar version at McDonald's (unsurprising given that one thing you could never accuse either company of is true originality). Here's ...

Suzuya

Last year, Suzuya celebrated its 70th anniversary, making it one of the oldest kissaten (traditional coffee shops) in Kyoto. To the best of my knowledge, only Salon de The Francois — which opened in the interwar period — pips it for longevity. From outside, it's ...

Gi Han Ebisu Do

Restaurateur and chef Yoshiyuki Gi has spent a lifetime working in Chinese restaurants. He grew up in the kitchen of his parent's eatery in Yokohama's Chinatown before working his way through Chinese restaurants in Japan and onto China. When he returned to Japan, he ...

Togenkyo

Togenkyo is a cafe curated to the nth degree. Being so self-conscious, even self-indulgent, could be a turn off, but Togenkyo has its charms. Opened in 2010, the overriding design theme is retro: the tables have little stands for old-school lighters and coffee is brewed ...

Izuju

When you live in a tourist mecca like Kyoto you tend to avoid the major attractions. However, having a visitor in town provides a good excuse to join the horde and get into tourist mode: taking over footpaths, meandering slowly along backstreets and taking ...

Ajiro

I ate my lunch at Ajiro in the company of a bewildered farmer with a comical Donald Trump-like mop of hair. But looks were the least of his concern; rather it was a bull that had got the better of him, escaping from the ...