Well praised by locals, a Chinese cuisine in traditional Kamishichiken area
Itosen, a restaurant serving Chinese cuisine is tucked inside Kamishichiken, the oldest Maiko Geiko district in Kyoto. It is a quiet area where locals reside for generations and are familiar with each other. Locals know this restaurant as a place for comfort and simply delicious Chinese food. Because many Maiko and Geiko of Kamishichiken regularly eat at this restaurant, the food served does not include strong spices in it thought retaining elegance. Within the simplicity are chef’s warmth, determination, and loyalty towards cooking that are shown through the dishes. Chinese cooking have its own particular style in Japan. Many Japanese people feel familiarity for Chinese dishes such as Spring rolls and Subuta (sweet and sour pork). Cooking for 35 years, the chef stands in the kitchen when the restaurant is open. Aside from cooking, he is also in charge of Kamishichiken community developing organization, “Takumi Kai.”
Subuta (Sweet and sour pork)
Subuta (Sweet and sour pork) / ¥750
The chef’s style reflects on this Subuta, or commonly known in U.S., as Sweet and Sour Pork. You will not find anything like it anywhere else. The golden color of the sauce is slightly sweet and very simply presented. Lean pieces of meat are fried and combined with sauce and some pineapples.
Harumaki (Spring rolls)
Harumaki (Spring rolls) / ¥800
The chef rolls each one by hand filling it with a good ratio of mushrooms. They are crispy fried and can be enjoyed with some soy sauce and chili or soy sauce and vinegar combination. There are no rules in how to eat it; you can even just simply eat it by itself and still tastes exceptional. They are cut in bite size pieces making them very easy to eat.
Kashiwa Tamagoyaki (Egg and chicken omelet)
3Let's Try!
Kashiwa Tamagoyaki (Egg and chicken omelet) / ¥650
A dish full of sauce is something to crave about in Chinese food. This is an egg dish with several pieces of white-meat chicken and onions. Fluffy egg and moist chicken cooperates together in the sea of “an” sauce. It goes well together with any dish.
Ankake yaki soba (fried noodles)
4Let's Try!
Ankake yaki soba (fried noodles) / ¥700
The chef hand makes the noodles from scratch! The process is rather tedious. After the noodles are formed, it is semi-dried then goes into the steamer. From there, it is dried again and used for noodle dishes on the menu. It’s a yakisoba you can only have it here. Ankake means that noodles are covered with thick sauce.
How to Order

English is very limited. We recommend going with a Japanese speaking person.

- Order Tips -
Japanese language must be used when making a reservation.
3.0 food3.0 service2.0 atmosphere4.0
Overseas Tourist-Friendly
3.0 food3.0 service2.0 atmosphere4.0
It was very interesting to eat Chinese cuisine in a very traditional area of Kamishichiken. It's an area of Maiko and Geiko, so the cuisine are adjusted for their preference. At Itosen, the cuisine is overall light and very well made full of flavors that are not overpowering. The chef is very dedicated to his cooking and the community as well. I love this place! Many locals do as well, and it's difficult to get a reservation during busy times.
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Itosen / 糸仙
Category Chinese
Phone +81 75-463-8172
Address 729-16 Shinsei-cho, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto-shi
Directions ・4-minute walk from Kyoto city bus Kamishichiken stop ・10-minute walk from Randen Kitano Hakubaicho station
Open Hours 5:30pm - 9pm (L.O. 8:30pm)
Reservations Yes
Closed Tuesdays and 3rd Wednesdays
Price range
Reasonable price
Credit cards Not accepted
Good for With Friends
Overseas Tourist-Friendly
May be difficult to communicate with staff without Japanese
Menu Japanese
Lanuages spoken Japanese
Number of seats 14 seats + 10 seats room, 32 seats room upstairs
Private dining rooms Yes
Non smoking / smoking Smoking
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