Travelogue: Eating Out in Kyoto

Japan Press Trip Part 12

As the imperial capital of Japan for 1,000 years, Kyoto has a rich and varied culinary tradition that runs the gamut from palace fare fit for an emperor to the ascetic vegetarian dishes favoured by monks.

Travel Writers from Hong Kong spend three days in Kyoto,  a city with a rich culinary tradition thanks to its imperial past.

On the night of our arrival, we eat dinner at a charming Japanese restaurant, which specializes in traditional dishes made from local ingredients.

We dine at 2 more Japanese restaurants as well as a fine dining Italian restaurant as a group.

On my free day, I explore the gastronomic underworld of Kyoto Station, which has a mind-boggling array of food options.



After being taken to our hotel and freshening up, we head to Sepporai, a popular Japanese restaurant serving traditional Kyoto dishes – with an emphasis on ingredients that are local and organic.

Our mouth-watering meal is accompanied by sake. We finish off with green tea ice cream.

901 Higashishiokojicho, Shimogyoku, Kyoto, Japan. 


Kyoto Kitchen

Breakfast at the hotel’s Kyoto Kitchen is included so we eat there each morning during our 3 night stay. There is a small buffet with Japanese and a few international dishes.

The dining room seems more like a canteen than a coffee shop, with seating that suggests that most guests are solo travellers.

Curry Shop Spicy Masara

After shopping, I have a yearning for some Japanese style curry. I see a place in the netherworld under Kyoto Station and give it a try. You have to buy a ticket first, and an elderly man shows me how to do it.

The pork cutlet curry has a mouth-watering gravy, but the pork cutlet itself is a bit mushy.

Rigoletto Smoke Grill and Bar

I return to my hotel and spend the rest of the afternoon in my room working at my computer. I am late for dinner because I forgot to change the time on my computer so I think it is one hour earlier than it actually is.

We have dinner at an upscale Italian restaurant. The food and wine are absolutely first rate. It’s somebody’s birthday, so our hosts arrange a birthday cake for him.

570-192, Gionmachiminamigawa, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto, Japan. 


Omen Kodaiji-ten

We have a mouth-watering set lunch at a Japanese restaurant, which is full of diners who appear to be working in the neighborhood – always a good sign!

358 Masuya-cho, Kodaiji-dori Shimokawara Higashi iru, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto, Japan. 


Following a fascinating day exploring the city, it’s time for dinner. I’m asked if I like chicken. It’s a good thing I say yes, because practically everything on the menu at this eatery features chicken.

584 Hiiragi-cho, Takakura-dori Oike Agaru, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto. 

Kanku Shokudo

If airports are known for overpriced but not memorable food, but the airport in Osaka must be an exception. At the suggestion of another Hong Kong travel writer, I have lunch at Kanko Shokudo, which is one of many establishments at a sprawling food court.

OMG! Is the food yummy or what?



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