Mina_Mina

I started my year of reviews in Nishioji, a suburb west of Kyoto Station, which might not stand out but for a few notable cafes. One of these is Hagi and another is Mina_Mina, where owner and baker Jiro Yamaguchi transformed an old home ...

Aji-Zen

'Tis the season for Christmas analogies. On the first day of December I wound my way round downtown Kyoto, hoisting and reining in my umbrella because the weather couldn't make up its mind. At the first inn I called upon there was no room; ...

Nishitomiya Croquette Store

When you think of eating croquettes you don't usually picture yourself doing so over a wine cask with a glass of red, Camembert cheese, thinly sliced salted ham, figs and olives. At Nishitomiya croquettes have been gentrified, but thankfully not in the pejorative sense. ...

Kyo no Okazu

If you had to learn only one pair of Japanese words pertaining to food (you should probably learn more, but...), I would advocate for oishii (delicious) and okawari (a second helping). Conservative choices, but indispensable for eating in Japan — especially at a place like ...

Soba Rojina

Soba Rojina opened earlier this summer, and in a few short months it has garnered a reputation for its high-quality handmade soba. It's a busy spot and food takes time to arrive — not too long, but longer than some people might want to ...

Wakuden

Wakuden in Kyoto Station opens for lunch at 11 a.m. Who eats lunch that early? To answer I arrived minutes after 11, thinking I would be dining tout seul. Far from it: The queue was out the door. The reason: Wakuden serves pricey kaiseki ...

Aoi-jaya

A combination of train delays and the restaurant I had intended to eat at closing earlier than advertised meant that I had to find a replacement on the hoof. Fortunately, I was in the Isetan department store in Kyoto Station. The top two floors ...

Marumo Kitchen

In the DNA of almost every Japanese building there is a gene for "renewal." And so it was inevitable that Porta, the underground mall at Kyoto Station, would close earlier this year for a revamp. When it reopened it was out with the old ...

What's

Culinary epiphanies don't happen often, but when they do, they are food for thought. I had one recently dining on prime Japanese beef and it was an experience that, on reflection, recalled a childhood event. Not that I grew up eating wagyū — far ...

Cafe Salon

Kitayama is five stops on the subway from downtown Kyoto, but it might as well be a million miles away for the tourists who trudge around the city in search of Kyoto tropes: temples, shrines, teahouses and geishas who are more than likely tourists ...