The 10 unmissable restaurants in Kyoto and Nara area, July 2019

Publish-date: Jul 10 2019 Update-date: Aug 06 2019
Author: SAVOR JAPAN

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The 10 unmissable restaurants in Kyoto and Nara area, July 2019

Planning a trip to Kyoto and Nara area and looking for something specific to eat? There are plenty of restaurants to suit every tastes. Discover the best places to eat here, from traditional meal and quintessentially comfort food to western-style dishes and varied ethnic cuisine.

1. Kaguratori

Kaguratori cuisine
Kaguratori floor
[Kaguratori] opened in March 2019. This restaurant is specialized in [Takhanmari (Korean chicken stew], which is the latest Korean dish using the whole simmered [Kyoto Red Jidori-Chicken]. Enjoy the fresh savory chicken prepared that morning. They are stocked via a route developed by the owner, and slowly simmered with the secret golden broth, to finish into the melting skin and tender meat with a deep taste. At the end of your meal, add [Kalguksu (classic Korean fresh noodles)] directly-imported from Korea. With its rich yet mild flavor, you can enjoy until the last drop of soup. They also offer as many as 20 kinds of  Kimchi pickles with the authentic taste. They also offer other healthy and savory Korean dishes. The restaurant with a calm atmosphere is suited for various occasions, such as girl's parties, banquets, dates, and family gatherings.    

Kaguratori

Open: Dinner 5:00 pm - 11:00 pm (L.O. 10:00 pm) *L.O. is negotiable.
Closed: Irregular
Average price: [Dinner] 5,000 JPY
Access: 5 minutes walk from [Ginkakuji-dori] Bus Stop on Kyoto Municipal Bus. Go south along Kaguraoka-dori Street
Address: 37-2 Yoshida Kaguraoka-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto city, Kyoto (Map)
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2. Ushigen Main Branch

Ushigen Main Branch cuisine
Ushigen Main Branch floor
Ushigen Honten serves dishes such as sukiyaki and shabu-shabu made from Yamato Haibara beef, the restaurant's very own brand. A butcher shop is located on the first floor, while the third floor is a restaurant that both locals and regional customers visit to try the delicious beef served here. An attractive point of this restaurant is that they raise their cattle in their own cattle barn, and aim to use every part of the cow. This means you can try some rare cuts of beef you don't see every day! Yamato Haibara beef has earned great reviews for its refined flavor with a sweet accent, complex aroma, and umami flavor. Located in a building passed down over three generations, guests can relax in a wonderfully spacious dining room. This is perfect for family celebrations or a special occasion with a loved one.

Ushigen Main Branch

Open: [Monday, Wednesday - Sunday, National Holidays, Day before National Holidays] Lunch 11:30 am - 3:00 pm (L.O. 2:00 pm) / Course Menu 11:30 am - 10:00 pm *Reservations required from 7:00 pm onwards.
Closed: Tuesday
Average price: [Dinner] 10,000 JPY / [Lunch] 3,500 JPY
Access: Exit at the [Hagihara Station] South Exit and head southeast along the Ise Main Road (Ise Hon-Kaido), then turn left at the Hagihara roundabout. Restaurant is located around 50 meters further on the right.
Address: 2482, Hagihara, Haibara, Uda city, Nara (Map)
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3. Hanabishi

Hanabishi cuisine
Hanabishi floor
Gomadofu 'sesame tofu' is a staple of Buddhist vegetarian cuisine. Made of sesame seeds and kudzu, the meticulous care and diligence with which the ingredients are raised comes through in the flavor. At Hanabishi, they hand-pick the sesame and kudzu with which they create the special gomadofu sesame tofu. In particular, the kudzu dishes feature kudzu flour from the town of Yoshino, said to produce the highest-quality kudzu. Their heartfelt hospitality is grounded in techniques and skills that have been handed down from generations in Mt. Ryozen and its thousand-year history. This restaurant welcomes the customers and want you to enjoy the blessings of the season-and to savor your visit to the restaurant as a memory of your stay at Mt. Koya. They were founded in the early Meiji era, in the days when Mt. Koya was off-limits to women. Successive visits by the Emperor and Empress in the Showa and Heisei eras allowed the restaurant's head chef to showcase the full range of Mt. Koya cuisine. They offer not only Buddhist vegetarian cuisine, but a variety of other skillfully-executed Japanese dishes.

Hanabishi

Open: [Opening hours] 11:00 am - 6:00 pm. Booking required after 6:00 pm.
Closed: Irregular
Average price: [Dinner] 2,000 JPY / [Lunch] 2,000 JPY
Access: At Koyasan station, take the bus bound for "Okunoin" for about 10 minutes. Directly in front of Senjuimbashi bus stop.
Address: 769 Koyasan, Koya-cho, Ito-gun, Wakayama (Map)
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4. Gallery Cafe Ikarugagakusya

4. Gallery Cafe Ikarugagakusya
The 10 unmissable restaurants in Nara and Kyoto area, July 2019
In the Gallery Cafe Ikarugagakusha with the interior done by Shinkosha, a construction company specializing in temples and shrines, the miniature shrines, temples, and rafters on display allow you to experience "Miyadaiku" or tradition Japanese shrine and temple construction up close. The concept of the shop is local production for local consumption. You can enjoy the "Yakuzen Lunch" prepared by Mr. Atsuko Takahashi, internationally certified in traditional medicinal cooking (yakuzen). You can also feast on delicious sweets prepared by the very own Madam Shuto. She uses only locally sourced ingredients and takes advantage of all the charm the areas seasonal fruits have to offer. This establishment is loved by the neighborhood patrons as a place where you can get power from the fresh seasonal ingredients they use, as well as a place to feel refreshed and relaxed. It is perfect for a quick break when visiting the Fujinoki Tombs or the World Heritage Site "Horyuji."

Gallery Cafe Ikarugagakusya

Open: [Wednesday-Sunday, National Holidays, Day before National Holidays] 9:00 am - 4:00 pm (Opening hours: 9:00-until dusk)
Closed: Monday, Tuesday
Average price: [Dinner] 1,600 JPY / [Lunch] 1,600 JPY
Access: Get off the train at the [Horyuji station], the JR Kansai main line. 10 minutes walk toward West from the Horyuji temple: approx. 200 m north from the Ikaruga Town Hall.
Address: 1-3-3 Horyuji-nishi, Ikaruga-cho, Ikoma-gun, Nara (Map)
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5. Omigyu Sosaku Dining Kubotaya

Omigyu Sosaku Dining Kubotaya cuisine
Omigyu Sosaku Dining Kubotaya floor
This dipping sauce comes with the popular grill special and sirloin steak menu items. The dipping sauce, made after years of experimentation, is Omi Gyusosaku Dining Kubotaya's original blend and it is a hit with customers. Local ingredients are used for the dishes, such as the popular Omi beef sirloin steak. Taste the difference that freshness makes. Delight in the flavor of perfectly prepared quality Omi beef and the presentation that dazzles you from the moment the food is brought to your table. The staff strives for a refined hospitality that can be seen in the care put into each and every dish, allowing you to get the most out of your dining experience. Omihachiman is a tourist location, so many elderly customers visit the restaurant each year. This is another reason you can expect to be served the most tender, delicious cuts of meat available.

Omigyu Sosaku Dining Kubotaya

Open: 10:30 am - 5:00 pm
Closed: Thursday
Average price: [Dinner] 2,000 JPY / [Lunch] 1,450 JPY
Access: 5 minutes by car from JR Omi-Hachiman Station
Address: 14 Suwaichonaka, Omihachiman, Shiga (Map)
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6. Izakaya Tsunofuri

Izakaya Tsunofuri cuisine
Izakaya Tsunofuri floor
This old-established izakaya (Japanese pub) is in a convenient location, 1 minute by foot from Kintetsu Nara Station. This restaurant, with its flowing stream and sophisticated modern-Japanese space, was fully renovated in July 2011, to create a more convenient space with all private rooms, so that the guests could relax and fully enjoy popular creative Japanese cuisine made with seasonal local ingredients from Nara. These ingredients are cooked in various ways by the first-rate French and Italian chefs in the kitchen. Also enjoy a very wide variety of alcohol, including rare seasonal local sake (Japanese alcohol) from small breweries in Nara prefecture, plum wines from all over Japan, and various shochu (Japanese liquor). In this time and age sticking to high-quality ingredients, the concept [to use safe vegetables handled by themselves as much as possible] is highly accepted.   

Izakaya Tsunofuri

Open: With reservations: 10:00 am - 3:00 am (L.O. 2:30 am) [Weekdays] 5:00 pm - 1:00 am (Drink L.O. 0:30 am) [Saturday, Sunday, National Holidays, Day before National Holidays] 4:00 pm - 1:00 am (L.O. 0:30 am) 
Closed: None
Average price: [Dinner] 2,850 JPY
Access: 1 minute walk to the south (to the direction of Nara Park) from Exit B of [Kintetsu Nara Station] on Kintetsu Line / 10 minutes walk to the east along Sanjo-dori Street from [Nara Station] on JR Lines 
Address: B1F, Nara Kanko Kaikan, 21 Higashimuki-minamimachi, Nara city, Nara (Map)
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7. Salon Bar Thistle

Salon Bar Thistle cuisine
Salon Bar Thistle floor
Their original Ishida Mitsunari, Otani Yoshitsugu, and Shima Sakon cocktails are inspired by the rich history of military commanders in ancient Hikone. These craft cocktails are made with the freshest ingredients, with the perfect balance of sweet, sour, and savory tastes. The cocktails are made with seasonal fruit to bring a fresh taste to every sip. Some of the most popular menu items are the locally sourced smoked venison and Omi Beef bolognese, each bursting with the flavors of the meat. They pay attention to the needs of every guest that comes into the establishment, and work hard to see that they feel comfortable while they are here. This is the only cigar bar in all of Shiga Prefecture and they warmly welcome guests who are new to cigars. They serve many cocktails that pair well with cigars. In addition to seats at the bar, they have private rooms that can be reserved for four people. These private spaces with jazz piping through the speaker are perfect for relaxing with a drink. Use the space for a girls party, after party, or any other excuse to kick back with friends.

Salon Bar Thistle

Open: [Weekdays, Saturday, Holidays, Day Before Holidays] Opening Times 6:00 pm - 1:30 am (last order 1:00 am)
Closed: Sunday
Average price: [Dinner] 3,000 JPY
Access: Located on the first floor of Hotel Sunroute Hikone in front of Hikone Station.
Address: 1F Hotel Sunroute Hikone , 9-14 Asahimachi, Hikone, Shiga (Map)
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8. Ristorante Borgo Konishi

Ristorante Borgo Konishi cuisine
The 10 unmissable restaurants in Nara and Kyoto area, July 2019
Thick, hand-rolled pici pasta is tossed in a rich combination of tomato sauce and sauce Americaine. Please enjoy the specialty Pici. Their vegetables are organically grown in nearby Uda City. They use a trusted distributor in Hokkaido to source authentic Ezo venison. Their Japanese tiger prawns are shipped directly from the port, meaning they get them even fresher than the market, so you can enjoy the freshest possible flavor. They want the customers to relax and enjoy their meal, so they focus not only on the flavor of the food but also on not interrupting conversations with unnecessary services. Their spacious restaurant has only counter seating at the beautiful lacquered bar. When the weather is nice, they also offer terrace seating. Nara is an old city without many tall buildings, so you can take your time and enjoy your meal while looking out over the low Nara skyline.

Ristorante Borgo Konishi

Open: [Tuesdays-Sundays/Holidays] Lunch 11:00 am - 3:00 pm (last order 2:00 pm) / Dinner 6:00 pm - 11:00 pm (last order 9:30 pm)
Closed: Monday
Average price: [Dinner] 6,000 JPY / [Lunch] 2,000 JPY
Access: 1 minute walk from Kintetsu Nara station; go straight down Konishi Sakura street, and it will be on your right.
Address: 2F Flats Konishi, 24 Konishi-cho, Nara, Nara (Map)
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9. Oryori Enseki Chikuyutei

Oryori Enseki Chikuyutei cuisine
Oryori Enseki Chikuyutei floor
Situated in the town of Hino in Gamo District, Shiga Prefecture, Oryori Enseki Chikuyutei is a community-oriented restaurant serving authentic kaiseki course menus and nabe (hotpot). The Seasonal Kaiseki Course is the most popular choice on the menu and offers an extravagant way to enjoy several dishes stunningly presented to celebrate the four seasons in Japan. Many of the customers use this space for large gatherings, as their seating mainly consists of Japanese-style private rooms with tables. Large parties are no problem in the large banquet room that accommodates up to 34 guests. They also offer a variety of bento boxes to go, so they are a convenient choice for a gathering at home with family or friends. Enjoy the flavors of the restaurant in the comfort of home. They also serve nabe hotpot dishes that warm the body and soul, and platters that let you sample several delicious dishes, making this place a great choice for men and women of all ages.

Oryori Enseki Chikuyutei

Open: [Tuesday - Sunday, Holidays, Day Before Holidays] Lunch 11:00 am - 3:00 pm (last order 2:30 pm) / Dinner 6:00 pm - 10:00 pm (last order 9:30 pm) Reservations required for both lunch and dinner
Closed: Monday
Average price: [Dinner] 5,000 JPY / [Lunch] 3,000 JPY
Access: A forty-minute walk from Hino Station.
Address: 2255 Nishioji, Hino-cho, Gamo-gun, Shiga (Map)
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10. Benvenuto

Benvenuto cuisine
Benvenuto floor
This restaurant has a high ceiling, stone walls with a warm atmosphere, and wide tables. Old lumber from a 150-year-old bridge in the U.S. was installed for the wooden frame of the building and the wine rack. The restaurant is filled with the mild sunlight in the daytime, and illuminated at night, which creates another charm. They offer a wide variety of authentic Italian dishes created by the chef with a sense and tongue, who accumulated experiences in Italy. Their large-sized restaurant of approximately 21,000 sq ft, with spacious parking, faces the road. Even when it is very crowded, you do not have to worry about parking. Thoroughly enjoy a luxurious moment, forgetting your everyday life, with great cuisine at the spacious restaurant.

Benvenuto

Open: [Monday, Tuesday, Thursday - Sunday, Day before National Holidays] Lunch 11:30 am - 2:00 pm (L.O. 2:00 pm) / Dinner 5:30 pm - 9:30 pm (L.O. 9:30 pm)
Closed: Wednesday, National Holidays
Average price: [Dinner] 7,000 JPY / [Lunch] 1,500 JPY
Access: 1,210 meters from Gakuenmae Station by car
Address: 1-2-14 Tomigaoka, Nara city, Nara (Map)
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Disclaimer: All information is accurate at time of publication.
Publish-date: Jul 01 2019 Update-date: Aug 06 2019
Author: SAVOR JAPAN

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