Ichikawaya Coffee

Many of Kyoto's traditional wooden machiya townhouses are being renovated, and one of the most enchanting ones that has recently opened to the public can be found a few minutes walk from the endless stream of tourists visiting Kiyomizu Temple. Ichikawaya Coffee is housed in ...

Ajikyu

Reviewing restaurants is a slippery slope to overindulgence. That's why opting for lunch can be a safer bet than dinner. Not only are lunch reservations easier to come by and the bills easier on the wallet, but midday meals help to ensure you getting ...

Okina

In 2013, UNESCO gave Japanese cuisine, or washoku, Intangible Cultural Heritage status, an unwieldy mouthful that left some people wondering, "What's that?" A recent lunch at Okina, near the tourist mecca of Arashiyama in northwest Kyoto, provided a clear path through the official language. Hordes ...

Sakamoto

There's every chance that while dining at Sakamoto you'll end up in a tourist's photo. It's not because of who you are, but where you are. Diners sit overlooking the shallow Shirakawa River, which is lined with restaurants, bars and cafes on one side, ...

Toraya

Tokyoites could be forgiven for thinking Toraya is theirs as it has been based in Tokyo for more than a century. This famous teahouse and confectioner, however, has its origins in Kyoto. When the capital moved to Tokyo, Toraya followed suit, moving its operational ...

Godan Miyazawa

Regrets? I have a ton. Here's one: I didn't get to eat bear meat at Godan Miyazawa. Perhaps one of the drawbacks of the omakase (chef's selection) here is that there's no actual menu to provide information about what's being served. Trusting your chef ...

Nick Stock

There is elevator muzak and shopping channel muzak, but combine these two subgenres and you'll have a type of muzak so bland that even a computer would be embarrassed to claim ownership of it. Yet there's no avoiding this banal background music at Nick ...

Miyako Yasai Kamo Nasu

Miyako Yasai Kamo Nasu — a mouthful if ever there was one — is a chain of buffet restaurants offering all-you-can-eat vegetables for breakfast (¥490), lunch (¥880) and dinner (¥1,350). Various sorts of local, seasonal produce is on offer, including kamonasu (a Kyoto variety of ...

Muraki

There's a hobbit-in-the-Shire feeling in Muraki, a homely husband-and-wife run soba restaurant west of Kyoto city. The entrance is uncharacteristically marked not by traditional noren curtains but sliding wooden doors — the ki in Muraki is the Chinese character for tree or wood. The ...

Tsukijisay

Tsukijisay has been serving sushi since almost as long as nigiri (sushi with vinegared rice) has been around — the original restaurant is more than 125 years old, a time when this venerable fast food was still in its infancy. As the restaurant name ...