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Chef and owner Kei Yoshioka, 37, spent three years transforming a former pawn shop into a restaurant. When it was finally ready to open in early 2017, Yoshioka christened his creation Maker — a fitting name given how much of his time and personality have gone into metamorphosing a simple one-room operation into one of Kyoto’s most distinctive and personal restaurants.

Yoshioka’s personality is imbued in the details: the Remington cash register; the lattice of red electric wiring along the walls lined with dried flowers and herbs; the collection of dishes built up over a lifetime, some with imperfect little wabi-sabi chips; the homemade coriander-based mustard.

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