This is a modestly sized restaurant, which is lucky for the server, who more than likely covers a half marathon in the course of a day’s work. It is dominated by a counter with seating for eight and two tables at the back. And ...

In the five years since opening, Koizumi has developed his own take on the kaiseki tradition of leisurely, multicourse meals. He has also forged an identity that is distinct from his longtime mentor, Hideki Ishikawa, whose eponymous restaurant was at this address before moving ...

I ate here in mid-October when Shimizu — who has a background in farming — was making great use of the fruits and fish of the season. Hamo (conger eel) turned up in nearly every course, cooked in a variety of ways. On the ...

Hyotei is one of Kyoto's essential dining experiences, for lunch or dinner. Founded around 400 years ago, Hyotei may not be the oldest restaurant in the city -- venerable soba specialist Owariya claims that title -- but it's certainly among the most atmospheric. It ...

There are exceptions to that rule, but few are more approachable or affordable than Ginza Maru. Just a short block from the department stores, fashion emporiums and milling tourists on the main thoroughfare, this compact second-floor restaurant is a haven of understated calm.

The inspiration is unmistakably Okinawan, as are the ingredients -- but they are prepared and presented with the understated elegance of Kyoto and its elaborate kaiseki multicourse cuisine. It's an intriguing cross-cultural melding, and one that by and large works wonderfully.

The top-end menu will include some 15 separate plates, from the elaborate hassun appetizer platter to a "main" dish which, depending on the season, could be fugu pufferfish or crab in winter, ayu sweetfish during the hot months or morsels of rich wagyu beef ...

Just like at Kojyu, Ginza Okuda serves only full-course omakase set meals that need to be booked ahead of time. From start to finish -- and even the simplest meal here will last a couple of hours -- the attention to quality and presentation ...

The madai served at Uchiyama are from the Naruto Strait, which separates eastern Shikoku from Awaji Island (part of Hyogo Prefecture). These waters, where the Pacific meets the Inland Sea are turbulent, with violent eddies and whirlpools. The fish caught there are considered the ...

In keeping with the traditional feel of this historic city where shoguns ruled and Buddhist monks still meditate and preach, En serves kaiseki ryori, delicate multi-course meals cooked and composed with care to reflect the changing of the seasons. The principles are the same ...

A generation ago, this low-rise warren of alleys lined with eateries, bars and taverns was a much more tightly closed world. To penetrate beyond the noren curtains hiding those inscrutable doorways, you needed introductions or, at the very least, prior reservations. These days most places are ...

Serious, formal and precise, Japanese cuisine at this level is much like classical music. Just as the score for a symphony is already written, the parameters of a kaiseki meal are fixed, and any variations in nuance tend to be subtle. Where Shichi Jyu Ni Kou stands out ...

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