Jan. 18, 2019 UPDATE

Enjoy seasonal tastes at Kyoto's kaiseki restaurants

Kaiseki cuisine is famous for reflecting the four seasons. I’m going to introduce 5 restaurants in the home ground of Japanese cuisine, Kyoto, where you can enjoy beautiful seasonal kaiseki cuisine.
Enjoy seasonal tastes at Kyoto's kaiseki restaurants

Many people probably think of kaiseki cuisine when they hear the word Kyoto. The most alluring thing about kaiseki besides the taste has to be the way kaiseki reflects the four seasons in the seasonal dishes, tableware, and sometimes by the whole restaurants. If you want to experience something quintessentially Japanese you need to go eat kaiseki cuisine. I’m going to introduce to you five kaiseki restaurants in Kyoto recommended by Sharing Kyoto, which offer beautiful, delicious kaiseki cuisine.

1Jiki Miyazawa / じき 宮ざわ

Jiki Miyazawa

The first kaiseki restaurant I would like to recommend is Jiki Miyazawa that is almost bustling with patrons from Japan and abroad, and which is also popular on travel sites. 

Jiki Miyazaki is located in a quiet place

Close to that famous sightseeing spot, Nishiki Market, Jiki Miyazaki is located in a quiet place. The bamboo walls and thickly growing trees make the restaurant feel almost like an expensive ryokan. The feeling here is so quiet and serene it’s hard to believe you are in the middle of Kyoto. 


They don’t do any unnecessary work on the dishes, nor do they use unnecessary seasonings, so the taste of the ingredients stands out and the taste is just delicious. But Jiki Miyazawa’s charm is not only in their dishes. One of the reasons why many people want to go again and again to Jiki Miyazawa is in their service, in the “omotenashi,” the spirit of selfless hospitality can be seen and felt everywhere, which makes the restaurant feel gentle and have warmth.

If you come to Kyoto, taking the time to visit Jiki Miyazawa is sure to be worth your time. I hope you will go to this restaurant. 

Address 553-1 Yaoyacho Nakagyo-ku Kyoto
Open Hours Lunch 12:00-13:45 Last order Dinner 17:30-20:00 Last order

2Japanese Cuisine Sakai / 日本料理さかい

Japanese Cuisine Sakai

Next, I want to recommend to you Sakai. This is a restaurant offering Japanese cuisine that is recommended by Sharing Kyoto writers. It’s on the south side of the Kyoto Imperial Palace, a 10-minute walk from subway Marutamachi Station. Sakai is on the first floor of an office building, in the back, so at first you may hesitate whether to enter the restaurant or not. But I guarantee it is ok. The friendly chef welcomes you into the restaurant with delicious Japanese food, so please do go on in. 

Japanese cuisinesake

All of the dishes at Sakai have a feeling of politeness and warmth in them. There is a strong attractiveness in the dishes that is sure to leave all those who eat them satisfied. Another attractive thing about Sakai’s delicious Japanese cuisine is that it can be had for prices starting at 6,500 yen (normally a kaiseki dinner costs over 10,000 yen, so 6,500 yen is almost too reasonable!).

jelly-like omelet

One of the reasons why I really like Sakai is that even the rice and side dishes that come as the last dish are really delicious. The jelly-like omelet and the rice cooked in an earthenware pot are so good that I always have to have seconds even if my tummy is full already. Sakai is a kind of restaurant where you would like to take your loved one to, which is why I heartily recommend Sakai to all of those who come to Kyoto.

Address 553, Bishamoncho, Nakagyo-ku Kyoto-shi, Kyoto, 604-0981
Open Hours 12pm - 1pm | 6pm - 8pm ※The open hours was changed from 2020 May. 【Weekdays】  Lunch: Take-out only  Dinner: 18:00-20:00 (Last entry) 【Saturdays, Sundays, holidays】  Lunch: Reservations are possible  Dinner: 18:00-20:00 (Last entry)

3Nijo-Sokkon / 二条即今


Nijo-Sokkon is recommended by one Sharing Kyoto writer who has been to almost all good restaurants in Kyoto; he even says that “It was the best I went to in 2016!” This restaurant, Nijo-Sokkon, is a new restaurant close to subway Kyoto Shiyakusho-mae Station.

tatami counter table

Nijo-Sokkon is a new restaurant trying new things while carefully keeping the traditions of kaiseki cuisine. The restaurant is modeled after a tea ceremony room and this can even be seen in the tatami counter table. A tatami counter table is something you won’t see every day. 

They put a lot of emphases

They put a lot of emphases not only on their dishes but also on their tableware and interior of the restaurant which changes monthly, reflecting the season. It is a luxurious thing to be able to taste the delicious Japanese seasonal ingredients in a space that reflects the four seasons. 

a new classic Kyoto restaurant.

According to many writers at Sharing Kyoto, this restaurant is worth it even if you have to make a reservation. This is a new classic Kyoto restaurant.

※ This restaurant closed in September 2017.


4Godan Miyazawa / ごだん 宮ざわ

Godan Miyazawa

The first restaurant I told you about was Jiki Miyazawa. Did you know the chef of that restaurant has a second restaurant? That restaurant is Godan Miyazawa. It’s a popular restaurant a 3-minute walk from subway Gojo Station and it was even featured in the Michelin guide 2016. 

Japanese sakethe beautiful plates

The dishes overflowing with creativity and uniqueness and the beautiful plates are each and all just perfect! I take off my hat to the deliciousness and creativity. 

The bell-shaped Japanese sweet

Lastly, you get matcha tea stirred by the chef and a Japanese sweet. The bell-shaped Japanese sweet is one of the best desserts at Godan Miyazawa. At Godan Miyazawa you can have their lunch course menu for the reasonable price of 5,800 yen so having lunch here would be a good idea too. 

Address 557, Oecho, Shimogyo-ku Kyoto-shi, Kyoto, 600-8402
Open Hours Lunch 12pm - 13:45pm Last order Dinner 6pm - 8pm Last order

5Kyoto Wakuden / 京都和久傳

Kyoto Wakuden

Lastly I have a restaurant inside the department store JR Kyoto Isetan, Kyoto Wakuden

kaiseki cuisine

Wakuden is an extremely famous fancy restaurant in Kyoto. You can enjoy their kaiseki cuisine in a relaxed atmosphere for a reasonable price at Kyoto Wakuden. It can be accessed directly from Kyoto Station and they deal with foreign customers perfectly so you can go to the restaurant without worries. 

This does not end at their servicenoodles

This does not end at their service. The dishes are by the famous restaurant Wakuden so they of course also taste outstanding! Also one thing I like about this place is that you can choose the last dish from three different options, and they also have a course for children, so this restaurant is suited for all occasions.

This restaurant is more easygoing than the aforementioned four, and it’s a great place to enjoy kaiseki cuisine with family or friends, in a relaxed atmosphere. 

Address JR Kyoto ISETAN 11th floor, Higashi-shiokoji-cho, Karasuma-dori and shijo-sagaru, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto
Open Hours Lunch: 11 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (Please arrive by 2:30 p.m.) Dinner: 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. (please arrive by 8:30 p.m.)

Shiho[ Sharing Kyoto Staff ]
Kyoto is said to be the home of Japanese cuisine, so of course there are many delicious kaiseki restaurants! All of the restaurants I just told you about are great, I can guarantee you that. If you come to Kyoto, having delicious Japanese food in a restaurant with a relaxed Japanese atmosphere is a must-do! I hope you will have a great culinary experience at some of the restaurants I just told you about.
Related keywords
Kaiseki / Kyo Ryori (Kyoto Cuisine) Downtown

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