Apr. 28, 2018 UPDATE

Extraordinary Kaiseki Dinner in Kyoto

What is “Washoku”? When posed with that question, what comes to your mind?
Sushi? Tempura? Or ramen? Japanese food comes in many forms. There is a diverse range of popular foods and trendy foods, and Japanese food has also rapidly undergone a myriad of changes in response to the trend of the times. But even so, can new cuisine that have evolved with incorporations of the current culture and trends be really called Japanese food? Does this “Washoku” that was registered as a UNESCO intangible cultural heritage in 2013 include ramen and curry rice?
UNESCO does not define “Washoku” as a reference to the menu itself. Instead, it refers to a hearty, balanced menu that cherishes the four beautiful seasons, respects nature and enjoyed with customs that seek its harmonious coexistence. These spiritual and aesthetic consciousness is a unique culture of Japanese cuisine and this is what was registered as a UNESCO intangible cultural heritage. In this way, it is precisely this expression of the transitions of the four seasons and respect for the original flavours of the ingredients that make a meal “Washoku”.

So, where exactly should one dine at in order to experience the charms of “Washoku”, the traditional food culture of the Japanese people?
The answer is none other than Kyoto. There are a few reasons for this, but the biggest one is because Kyoto is known as the “Home of Washoku”.

On that note, this time’s feature will be about the Washoku restaurants in Kyoto that have been loved in the past and is still loved today. I will write about the following four points to showcase the beauty of Washoku: “Kaiseki cuisine,” traditional Kyoto Washoku that more prominently brings out the allure of Washoku, hot and popular Washoku in Kyoto evolving day by day, Washoku that can be enjoyed lightheartedly, as well as ways to enjoy Sake, the perfect drink to go with Washoku.
Part 1The place to go for “Kyoto Washoku”! Classic, long-established Kaiseki restaurant
Firstly, let’s look at a long-established historical restaurant. Let’s highlight a classic restaurant. When you mention “Kaiseki cuisine of Kyoto…,” this restaurant name would surely come up. These are classic restaurants that one must visit if they were trying Kaiseki cuisine for the first time. The restaurant is also used to serving visitors from overseas as they are famous restaurants listed in the Michelin Guide. Rest assured …
Part 2Kyoto’s hot new restaurants! The forefront of Kyoto Washoku
Washoku in Kyoto are often those which have an ancient and honorable origin. Is that what you think? Alas, don’t underestimate Kyoto! There are also many “hot restaurants of the moment” that have a unique Kyoto style which incorporates trends of the time in a versatile way while preserving traditional tastes and culture. This is highly recommended for those of you who, instead of the classic Kaiseki cuisine, are more interested in learning more …
Part 3Enjoy Japanese cuisine! Who knew Japanese food could be this much fun?
Here, we will introduce some restaurants where you can enjoy Japanese cuisine while staying relaxed and unwind. When you hear the words, “high quality kaiseki restaurant” you probably expect a special experience, but that expectation also comes with a side of uneasiness. You may be left feeling intimidated by a sense of formality and an uncertainty about how you ought to behave. You get nervous …
Part 4How to enjoy “Sake,” the partner for Japanese cuisine
Finally, so that you enjoy and develop a taste for Japanese food, we’d like to introduce “Washoku and Sake.”Sake goes really well with Japanese cuisine. Made from rice, sake is packed with the sweetness of the rice and goes well with fish or salt-seasoned dishes. As there are about 5,000 breweries in Japan …

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