Miho Shimizu is a Japanese freelance writer settled in Shizuoka with her husband and two rabbits. Fascinated with travelling at the age of 18, she has spent most of her long holidays exploring incredible spots around Japan. She also loves to listen to music, draw, and read novels over a cup of green tea.
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Kaiseki Ryori is a traditional Japanese multi-course meal that is often served at Japanese restaurants. Kyoto is home to a great number of top-rated Japanese restaurants that offer the best Kaiseki meal experiences that you won’t be able to find anywhere else! Ordering Kaiseki Ryori typically can be kind of expensive, but definitely worth the price and will be one of the most memorable dining experiences of your stay in Japan. Here is a list of 10 of the best Kaiseki restaurants that you should visit in Kyoto!
1. Wagokoro Izumi
Located within a short walk from Shijo Station on the Kyoto Municipal Subway Karasuma Line, Wagokoro Izumi is a quaint Japanese restaurant that newly opened in 2016 and since has received two Michelin Stars! They offer classic, delicious Kaiseki-style courses featuring seasonal ingredients and specialties.
The owner and head chef carefully chooses the freshest ingredients in person and directly purchase them from reliable producers who take pride in offering the best produce in season. They have both comfortable counter seats, and private rooms to choose from depending on the customer. The convenient location is also accessible from Kyoto’s must-visit tourist attractions, including Nishiki Market and Shinkyogoku Shopping Street!
Lunch: 12pm – 2:30pm
Dinner: 6pm – 9:30pm
(Closed on Mondays)
Lunch course: 6,600 yen
Dinner course: 17,250 yen
Gion district, widely known as Kyoto’s most beautiful neighborhood, is home to not only traditional teahouses, but also fancy Japanese restaurants where you can enjoy amazing Kaiseki meals. Hassun is one of Kyoto’s Michelin three-star restaurants which has drawn in foodies since it first opened in 1945.
Located about a 5 – 7 minute walk from Gion Shijo Station, they offer delicate, incredibly delicious Kaiseki courses. Kaiseki dishes here are served with the freshest, locally-sourced ingredients which reflect the seasonal changes in its flavor and taste. You will be amazed by not only the taste but also by how the dishes are beautifully presented on attractive plates designed by talented contemporary artists.
Lunch: 12pm – 1pm
Dinner: 6pm – 9pm
(Closed on Sundays)
Lunch course: 11,000 yen
Dinner course: 22,000 yen
Kiyama is an award-winning Kaiseki restaurant nestled in Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto. This cozy Japanese restaurant was opened by the talented chef Yoshiaki Kiyama in 2017. He spent fifteen years at Wakuden, one of Kyoto’s most renowned Japanese restaurants, where he got his sophisticated skills before establishing his own restaurant.
Kiyama was officially awarded one Michelin star in the following year 2018, and since then, has been getting more attention from passionate foodies across Japan. Elegant Kaiseki courses here start with a cup of flavorful Dashi soup made with fresh well water and bonito stock. Each of their dishes features carefully selected ingredients, including fresh seafood, locally grown vegetables, flavorful Matsutake mushrooms, and surprisingly tender Wagyu beef!
Lunch: 12pm – 3pm
Dinner: 6pm – 10pm
Lunch course: 12,100 yen ~
Dinner course: 24,200 yen
4. KYOTO KITCHO
If you are ready to spend a little bit more of your money on an authentic Kaiseki meal, make a reservation at KYOTO KITCHO. They offer an exceptional Kaiseki meal experience in the center of the world-famous Arashiyama area. Their dishes are served in private, traditional Japanese-style rooms which offer both a relaxing atmosphere and stunning views of a beautiful Japanese garden from the window.
Appreciate their freshly prepared Kaiseki dishes which feature the finest seasonal ingredients beautifully presented on plates. The prices are a little bit higher than other restaurants, but their outstanding dishes, great services, and beautiful setting are definitely worth the cost!
Lunch: 11:30am – 3pm
Dinner: 5pm – 9:30pm
(Closed on Wednesdays)
Lunch course: 40,000 yen ~
Dinner course: 50,000 yen ~
5. Gion Matayoshi
Another great Kaiseki restaurant that can be found in the Gion district is Gion Matayoshi. Opened in 2008 by an Okinawan head chef, they offer not only delicious Kaiseki dishes but also a comfortable space for customers to enjoy close communication with friendly staff.
Their dishes are served with seasonal specialties that are carefully selected from across Japan, ranging from the freshest seafood from Hokkaido to the chef’s favorites from Okinawa. Every time you visit them, you will find new tastes that precisely reflect the delicate smells and colors of each season. The ingredients are cooked in the traditional way, but at the same time combine modern cooking techniques. They also serve Japanese local sake brands that perfectly pair with their amazing dishes!
Lunch: 12pm ~
Dinner: 6pm ~
(Closed on Sundays)
Lunch course: 11,000 yen
Dinner course: 24,200 yen
Constantly selected among the best Kaiseki restaurants in Kyoto, Iharada is a perfect spot to enjoy an authentic, delicious Kaiseki meal on a budget! This lovely Japanese restaurant is located about 10 minutes northwest of JR Kyoto Station by taxi, or about a 20-minutes bus ride alternatively.
They offer a variety of Kaiseki courses which are reasonably priced at around 10,000 – 15,000 yen. Each course features the chef’s special selection including home-grown vegetables, high-quality Tajima beef produced in Hyogo prefecture, and the freshest seafood such as crab, abalone, sea breams, and eel. Comfortable counter seats are perfect to reserve for solo travelers or two people, while spacious table seats are conveniently available for groups on the second floor.
Dinner: 5:30pm – 11pm
(Closed on Sundays)
Dinner course: 11,000 yen ~
7. Tempura Endo
Located on Sakura-no Banba Street and down a lovely alley just a short walk from Heian Jingu Shrine, Tempura Endo offers special Kaiseki courses that feature some of the best Tempura dishes in Kyoto! Founded in 1885, they have been operating for over 140 years, and currently has four locations in Kyoto city which all specialize in serving delicious Tempura courses.
The coating of their tempura is surprisingly light, not too oily, but still has a crispy texture. Popular ingredients for their tempura include the fresh seafood from the Seto Inland Sea and Wakasa Bay, as well as Kyoto’s local specialties such as seasonal vegetables. At the counter seats, tempura is quickly prepared in front of you and served warm and fresh. They also welcome families with small children, making it a perfect place to enjoy memorable family dining!
Lunch: 11am – 4pm
Dinner: 4pm – 9pm
Varies depending on course selection
Kikunoi is a Michelin three-star restaurant located in Higashiyama area, Kyoto city. This long-established Japanese restaurant was originally founded in 1912 and has been operating for 100 years as one of Kyoto’s best and most known Kaiseki restaurants.
All of the dishes are served in spacious private rooms, so you can appreciate the authentic tastes of classic style Kaiseki in a relaxed atmosphere. They also have a tranquil, beautiful Japanese garden which you can appreciate from your room while enjoying your meals.
Everything you will find here, including food, ambiance, service, and cultural experiences is exceptional. Top tourist attractions such as Kiyomizu-dera Temple and Kodai-ji Temple are also located within walking distance.
Lunch: 12pm – 2pm
Dinner: 5pm – 8pm
Lunch course: 14,300 yen –
Dinner course: 22,000 yen –
9. Kyo Suiran
If you are planning on visiting Arashiyama, a beautiful area in western Kyoto which is home to Kyoto’s top tourist attractions such as a picturesque bamboo forest street and Togetsu-kyo Bridge, Kyo Suiran is a perfect place to enjoy refined Kaiseki! This restaurant is located in an elegant hotel “The Luxury Collection Hotel, Kyoto”, and offers a memorable dining experience for customers.
Their Kaiseki courses are prepared and served in a fusion of Japanese and French styles. Enjoy the best combination of locally-grown specialties and the finest ingredients from around the world, including truffle, caviar, and foie gras! You can also expect professional service and a comfortable atmosphere in an over 100-year-old traditional Japanese house built back in the Meiji Period (1868 – 1912). The lunch menu is affordably available for 7,000 yen, while the dinner menu is a little expensive but perfect for special occasions!
Lunch: 11:30am – 2:30pm
Dinner: 5:30pm – 9pm
Lunch course: 7,000 yen
Dinner course: 26,565 yen
10. Nanzenji Junsei
Originally built as a medical school during the Edo period (1603 – 1868), Nanzenji Junsei is a long-established Japanese restaurant that specializes in offering exceptional Kaiseki courses. This beautiful restaurant is located within the quaint grounds of Nanzenji Temple, a historic Zen Buddhist temple in Higashiyama area, Kyoto.
Their Kaiseki courses are particularly famous for the delicious tofu dishes, including Yudofu (boiled tofu) and Yuba (tofu skin). They have rich flavors and a unique texture and are served with the finest seasonal ingredients including tempura of seasonal vegetables, Kyoto’s local delicacies, and fresh Sashimi.
11am – 9:30pm
Yudofu Kaiseki: 11,000 – 16,500 yen
Yudofu course: (Hana) 3,300 yen
Shabu-shabu: 11,000 yen
To help you prepare for your next Kaiseki experience with confidence, make sure to check “What is Kaiseki? Complete Guide to Beautiful Art of Japanese Cuisine” before booking your seat at any of the Kaiseki restaurants above!
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