In many trips to Japan, Kyoto finds its way on to the itinerary of many travelers. For those that have a taste for the finer things in life, it is surprisingly easy for a bespoke individual to dine like royalty in Kyoto, as the following establishments are eminently skilled at making one feel special.
1) Yoshikawa Inn Tempura
Reputed to have the best tempura in all of Kyoto, this restaurant located in the Yoshikawa Inn may make you wait, but once you get your beautifully prepared food, you will that it was well worth the wait.
You’ll have a serving of tea in the interim, which will allow you to relax as you enjoy the company of your traveling companions. All food is made in front of patrons, and unlike other tempura, it has a crispy texture without being excessively oily in its plated form.
Looking to experience a kaiseki lunch? The perfect place to do this in Kyoto is at Hyoteihonten, as the multiple courses that they serve are elaborately constructed for visual beauty as well as allowing for a superior gastronomic experience.
While you do need to take two hours out of your day to enjoy this festival of food, the time and money spent on this experience will be well worth it, as not only does the food live up to its billings, the surroundings of a 400 year old tea house and the views of its interior garden will make it a truly memorable day in your travels.
3) Kyoto Kitcho Arashiyama
At Kyoto Arashiyama, one of the best regarded chefs in all of Japan holds court in its kitchen, building up a level of expectation that is met night in and night out at this intensely popular establishment. With diners having their own private room, one’s appreciation of the bleeding edge of Japanese cuisine will be heightened, and with an atmospheric garden on site, you will be singing the praises of this place to all your friends back home.
Just looking for a quick bite to eat, or an afternoon cup of tea in between seeing various attractions in Kyoto? Hiranoya is the best spot for this purpose, as the warm hospitality of the hosts within and the old bones of this traditional Japanese house will complement the food perfectly.
If you are looking for a local experience, you will find it here, as most patrons tend to be citizens of Kyoto instead of garden variety tourists.