Mar. 26, 2019 UPDATE

Popular Gyoza Hohei

- ぎょうざ 歩兵 -
Dumplings fit to be consumed by foot soldiers at Gyoza Hohei in Gion
Hohei is a gyoza place in the busy geisha district of Gion, and its named after the pawns, or foot soldiers, in a Japanese chess game. It’s only open at night, and pretty late at that: until 3 a.m.! Though there is often a line in front of the restaurant, the taste of these little gyoza-dumplings is definitely worth the wait. What makes this place special is not only the location in the middle of the geisha district of Gion (meaning that actual maikos and geishas sometimes pop in for some garlic-free gyozas), but how painstakingly carefully everything is made. The dumplings are equally sized, and each one of them is cooked to perfection.
Gyoza / ¥450 for 8
Hohei offers two types of gyoza, ones with garlic and leek, and ones with ginger in them instead of garlic. This is mainly because geisha and maiko are afraid that if they eat garlic they’d get the much-feared garlic-breath. The normal ones are best eaten with the gyoza-sauce, vinegar, and Hohei’s special chili oil, but the ginger gyoza are best had with Hohei’s special sweet miso sauce.
Cucumber in a vase
Cucumber in a vase / ¥350
This dish is pretty simple; you have cucumber in a vase. The cucumber is flavored with sesame oil and is very fragrant. This is a great palate-changer when you have had too much gyoza – after one vaseful of these, I’m sure you can go for another plate of gyoza. And I have to say, rarely you see cucumber served in a manner that is this photogenic.
Clam espresso
3Let's Try!
Clam espresso / ¥350
After a hard night of drinking, it is believed that clam soup will help your liver deal with all that alcohol. And here at Hohei they have gone one step further and made this soup into an espresso: a clam soup with a strong punch. So, if after a night of drinking in Gion you wander to Hohei, remember to down a cup of clam espresso. Your liver may thank you.
How to Order

how to order - Gyoza Hohei

This board is where you write your name, and how many people you have in your group. Then the staff of the restaurant will call you when it’s your turn. This board is set up in front of the restaurant 30 minutes before their opening time. 

Note that if you leave the vicinity of the restaurant you may lose your place. The best times to go would be writing your name on the board before the restaurant opens and after 10 p.m. Note that they may not have any dumplings left at 3 a.m. if it’s really busy. 

- Order Tips -

They have a nice selection of beer so be sure to order some. Stout would be my recommendation. 

3.2 food4.5 service2.5 atmosphere2.5
Overseas Tourist-Friendly
3.3 food5.0 service2.0 atmosphere3.0
The dumplings here are crisp and juicy, and it’s hard to stop eating them once you take a bite. I especially liked their boiled bean sprouts with miso-flavored minced pork, it’s a great appetizer, but it tastes even better if you pour some vinegar on it.
3.0 food4.0 service3.0 atmosphere2.0
These may be the best gyoza-dumplings I’ve ever had. But the most interesting thing I learned here was about a new way of eating gyoza that is in vogue among gyoza-connoisseurs right now: with black pepper and vinegar. This way of eating the gyoza makes the taste of the dumplings themselves stand out even more, and as someone who just loves vinegar, I don’t think I need to touch gyoza-sauce anymore. It’s vinegar and black pepper from now on.
3.8 food4.5 service3.0 atmosphere4.0
Overseas Tourist-Friendly
3.8 food4.5 service3.0 atmosphere4.0
Gyoza Hohei / ぎょうざ 歩兵
Category Gyoza (Dumplings)
Phone +81-75-533-7133
Address 373-3 Kiyomoto-cho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture
Directions A five-minute walk from Keihan Gion-Shijo Station.
Open Hours 6 p.m.-3 a.m.
Reservations Not accepted.
Closed Sundays and national holidays.
Notes When lining up for the restaurant you need to write your name on the board first. If the restaurant is crowded, you should leave the restaurant after 60 minutes so the next people in line can get in.
Price range
Credit cards Not accepted.
Good for Solo, With Friends
Overseas Tourist-Friendly
The staff understands some English, and what’s even better is that they have their menu in English.
Menu In English and Japanese.
Lanuages spoken Japanese and some simple English.
Number of seats 17
Private dining rooms No.
Non smoking / smoking Nonsmoking only during 6 p.m.-10 p.m. otherwise you’re allowed to smoke.
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