A new kind of Kyoto cuisine in a down-to-earth vibe


About 15 minutes’ walk south from Nijo Castle is this restaurant. Masaki is in a quiet residential street not far from the Sanjo shopping arcade, a place where locals come and go to shop. This inviting restaurant is run by a warm and friendly owner-chef.
The chef has a storied career preparing kaiseki-style cuisine at Kyoto restaurants like Kodaiji-Wakuden and Mizuki - The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto. His long years of training have produced an innovative cuisine that can be enjoyed at the 10,000 JPY m...moreark. It’s a delight to be able to enjoy authentic kaiseki cuisine at a reasonable price.
The standout appeal of Masaki is the generous portions of delicious food carefully selected and prepared by the owner.

If you want to relax, have fun, and eat Japanese food, this is it. What is great is that the chef is a fan of Western food, too, so he actively incorporates non-Japanese touches into the menu. All the same, the fare is decidedly Japanese, with these little twists kept to a subtle degree. Each and every dish at Masaki is unique in this way and well thought-out -- and they’re delicious and satisfying.

The chef does not speak English, but his hospitality cannot be beat. He will be sure to greet you with a smile. If you want to eat delicious Japanese cuisine in Kyoto, this is a great bet!
*You’ll need a reservation, so we recommend making one through your hotel’s concierge.
Our Comments
Average: ★★★★★3.5
Popular in Kyoto
Must-visit shops and spots for all first time tourists to Kyoto.
Highly Recommended
Top shops and spots loved by our editors and highly recommended to be listed on your itinerary.
Well Worth a Visit
Less known but widely loved by both tourists and locals. Recommended if your schedule permits.
Good for Fans
Hideaway shops and spots of worthwhile destination. Recommended if you are keen on these genres.
For Enthusiasts
Very popular among enthusiasts on these genres. Not always suitable if you are not particularly interested.
The chef’s enthusiasm for serving diners delicious items comes across in each and every dish. The portions are generous, making meals a satisfying affair.
The shop is small with just nine counter seats, but the ambiance created by the affable chef is wonderful. You feel right at home. You have to try Masaki’s Japanese cuisine and its careful touches.
Masaki is a popular Japanese restaurant near Nijo Castle. The courses are delicious from start to finish, so your body and soul alike will be satisfied!
Mr. Masaki, the eponymous owner of the shop, is a courteous and affable gentlemen, which is part of the appeal to the shop. If visiting Nijo Castle, this would be a great place to make a reservation at!
Evening kaiseki
1Must Eat !
Evening kaiseki / ¥10,000 (+ tax) contains about eight dishes and two dessert pieces.
The dishes incorporate seasonal ingredients. Pictured is deep-fried sweetfish.
It goes without saying that the idea to deep-fry sweetfish is a novel one. Not only that, but it comes with tomato sauce for a clean taste. These and other touches are a twist on the usual Japanese fare, making the entire course interesting.
The shop’s recommended sake
2Must Eat !
The shop’s recommended sake / ¥1,080 ~ ¥2,700
The chef will select sake pairings to go with your meal. This includes rare sakes that are hard to come by -- you might encounter very unusual sake that is seldom available! The owner hails from Aomori, so he also carries a stock of Aomori-exclusive sake.
In addition to sake, there is wine, shochu, fruit liquer, and more.
White rice cooked in an earthen pot
3Let's Try !
White rice cooked in an earthen pot
One signature rice dish at Masaki is the white rice cooked in a traditional earthenware pot.
Steaming rice in a pot like this lets the temperature rise slowly, giving the grains a fluffy texture not obtained with a normal rice cooker. That means the rice is simply delicious!
The accompaniment to white rice at Masaki is also unique and interesting. One is egg yolk steeped in soy sauce, which lends a gentle and fragrant flavor. The egg pairs perfectly with the rice.
How to Order & Eat
The shop emphasizes use of seasonal ingredients, so menus change slightly each day. That means you will almost never eat the same dish twice. This is a chance to eat dishes that are genuinely one-of-a-kind for that day only.
- Order Tips -
・If you have allergies or dietary preferences, tell the shop when you make your reservation.
・If you want to leave the sake selection to the shop, tell them this:
“Osusume no Osake wo Onegaishimasu.”
(Please give me your recommended sake.”)
Masaki Interior Photo
The shop has just nine counter seats. The owner prepares fish into sashimi before your eyes and plates dishes. Just waiting for your food is a feast for the eyes.
Proceed through the back alleys of a residential district to reach Masaki. If you get lost, look for a sign with the characters “柾木” -- this is your landmark.
Masaki Appearance Photo
Categories Kaiseki/Kyo Ryori(Kyoto Cuisine)
Phone +81 75-777-4556
Address 15-20, Mibu Bambacho, Nakagyo-ku Kyoto-shi, Kyoto, 604-8805
Directions 7-minute walk from JR Nijo Stn.
Hours 6pm - 9pm
Reservations This restaurant requires advance reservations. You’ll need to have your hotel’s concierge or someone else book it for you.
Closed Irregular holidays
Notes Make sure to be absolutely on time for your reservation.
Since the shop is in a residential area, observe quiet so as not to disturb the nearby residents.
Price range
  • ★
  • ★
  • ★
Credit cards Not accepted
Good for Romantic, With Friends
Friendly for Overseas Visitors
  • ●
  • ○
  • ○
There is no menu in English, and the owner does not speak English, but he will gladly communicate as best he can with you through gestures.
Menu Japanese only
Languages spoken Japanese only
Number of seats 9 seats
Private dining rooms Nothing
Non smoking / smoking Non smoking
Masaki +81 75-777-4556 -1/3

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