Top Lunch Spots in Famous Tourist Locations of Kyoto

Publish-date: Oct 21 2018 Update-date: Nov 16 2018
Author: SAVOR JAPAN

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Top Lunch Spots in Famous Tourist Locations of Kyoto

Kyoto - a leading tourist destination in Japan. There are naturally many picturesque spots for tourists to see, as well as delicious foods you must try. Here are some recommendations for Kyoto’s best tourist locations and lunch spots in the surrounding area.

1. Nijo Castle

1. Nijo Castle

The historical Nijo Castle was built in 1603. This important structure reveals much about the culture and architecture of the time in which it was constructed and has been registered as a World Heritage Site. Another must-see is the Ninomaru Palace, a national treasure. Vibrantly-hued decorations and gleaming golden wall paintings adorn this dazzling building. Other attractions are the 3 gardens, including Ninomaru Garden, designated as a place of scenic beauty, and the Kara-mon (gates) that are popular for their visually stunning appearance. This area is also well-known for cherry-blossom viewing; peak season is typically between late March and the end of April.


Open: 8:45 am - 4:00 pm (closes at 5:00 pm)

Closed: December 29 - 31

*Ninomaru Palace closing days: December 26 - 28, January 1 - 3, Every Tuesday in December, January, July, and August
*If any of these days fall on a public holiday, then Ninomaru Palace will be closed the next day instead.
Average price: Entrance Fee

(General) 600 JPY
(Junior High School, High School) 350 JPY
(Elementary School) 200 JPY
(Children Not Yet in Elementary School) Free
Address: 541, Nijojo-cho, Horikawa Nishi-iru, Nijo-dori, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto (Map)

Source: Official Homepage

2. LUDENS (Nijo Castle / Italian)

2. LUDENS (Nijo Castle / Italian)Top Lunch Spots in Famous Tourist Locations of Kyoto

LUDENS is an Italian restaurant located in an old house built over 100 years ago that has been renovated to create a modern Japanese aesthetic. They offer healthy course options with a medicinal aspect. The ingredients are strictly selected from Kyoto and the surrounding areas, and the menu changes to keep up with the change in season. The [Straw-wrapped Grilled Beef] is the star attraction here. Diners will enjoy the fragrant aroma of the Omi beef, a brand of Wagyu (a type of high-quality beef) brought in directly from the farm, cooked with straw. The pasta course, featuring noodles handmade with domestic whole wheat flour, is another recommended lunch dish.

LUDENS

Open: Lunch 12:00 pm - 2:30 pm (L.O. 1:30 pm) Dinner 6:00 pm - 11:00 pm (L.O. 8:00 pm)
Closed: Monday
Average price: [Dinner] 15,000 JPY / [Lunch] 5,800 JPY
Access: 7 minutes walk from Karasuma Oike Station on the Karasuma subway line. Take  Exit 1.
Address: 560-8, Ainomachi-dori Nijo-agaru Ebisu-machi, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto (Map)
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3. Nijo Kizuki (Nijo Castle / Italian)

3. Nijo Kizuki (Nijo Castle / Italian)Top Lunch Spots in Famous Tourist Locations of Kyoto

Nijo Kizuki is a restaurant that specializes in sushi, a traditional Japanese dish. The chef personally selects the fresh fish at the market and prepares it in various ways, such as konbu-tsuke (pickling it with salt and seaweed), creating dishes that are satisfying just to look at. Course menus offered here include creative dishes, and for lunch, you will certainly enjoy the [Sushi Lunch Course] that is centered around 6 pieces of sushi. The restaurant is cozy, with only 8 counter seats and 2 tables, and the welcoming, wooden interior creates a calm atmosphere as the refreshing smell of hinoki (Japanese cypress) wafts through the air.

Nijo Kizuki

Open: [Weekdays, Saturday] Lunch 12:00 pm - 2:30 pm (L.O. 1:30 pm) / Dinner 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm (L.O. 9:00 pm)
Closed: Sunday
Average price: [Dinner] 6,000 JPY / [Lunch] 1,500 JPY
Access: Go to the east for approximately 15 meters along with Nijoyanagibaba Street, then on the 1st floor of the condominium on the south side facing to Nijo Street. (Across the street is [Nijo Orthopedic Clinic])
Address: 1F, Vine Oak Fine, 659, Seimeicho, Yanagibaba Higashiiru, Nijodori, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto (Map)
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4. En (Nijo Castle / Kaiseki)

4. En (Nijo Castle / Kaiseki)Top Lunch Spots in Famous Tourist Locations of Kyoto

Taste the flavors of ingredients like wild game and foie gras used in the unique Kyoto culinary creations of En. The chef studied at Hyotei - an old, highly-respected hotel in Kyoto - and has been captivating gourmands' attention for over 50 years. The course menus served here place great value on seasonal flavors, offering dishes handmade from scratch like the [So] (an ancient dairy product). The chef's refined skills create dishes that are simple yet deeply flavorful. Even the utensils have been given careful thought, making eating here a feast for the eyes as much as for the palate. The 4 select brands of sake (Japanese alcohol) offered here also pair extremely well with the food.

En

Open: [Monday-Wednesday, Friday-Sunday, Holidays, Days before holidays] Lunch 12:00-13:00 Customers can enter until 13:00/Dinner 18:00-21:00 Customers can enter until 21:00
Closed: Thursdays
Average price: [Dinner] 15,000 JPY / [Lunch] 6,000 JPY
Access: Kyoto City Subway, Karasuma Line 5 minutes from exit number 6 of Imadegawa Station.
Address: Tatsumae-cho 589 (South of Karasuma Ichijo Intersection), Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto (Map)
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5. Arashiyama

5. ArashiyamaTop Lunch Spots in Famous Tourist Locations of Kyoto

Arashiyama is an iconic picturesque spot in Kyoto. Starting with the Togetsu Bridge, which can be regarded as the symbol of the whole area, there are many other popular tourist locations in Arashiyama, such as the photogenically green Bamboo Grove and the registered World Heritage Site of Tenryu-ji Temple. There are lots of fun activities to do here, too, such as riding in a pulled rickshaw or taking a small boat down the Hozu River's rapids. The area is also a renowned spot for viewing fall foliage, with throngs of tourists gathering here between the end of November and the beginning of December for the spectacle.

6. Arashiyama Kumahiko (Arashiyama / Japanese Cuisine)

6. Arashiyama Kumahiko (Arashiyama / Japanese Cuisine)Top Lunch Spots in Famous Tourist Locations of Kyoto

Arashiyama Kumahiko is located right next to the Togetsu Bridge, and has a deeply Japanese aesthetic. Drink in Arashiyama's scenic beauty while enjoying kaiseki (Japanese banquet cuisine with alcohol) course created using many local Kyoto ingredients. The dishes carefully preserve traditional flavors, offering delicate and elegant tastes. Careful attention has been paid not only to the flavors, but also to the eating utensils and food arrangement so diners can enjoy their meals with all five of their senses. Another attractive feature here is the local sake and wine, which pair very well with the meals. Lunch is more reasonably priced than dinner, and the recommended choice is the [Afternoon Kaiseki].

Arashiyama Kumahiko

Open: [Monday - Wednesday, Friday - Sunday, Holidays, Day Before Holidays] Lunch 11:30 - 14:30 / Dinner 17:00 - 21:00 
Closed: Thursday
Average price: [Dinner] 18,000 JPY / [Lunch] 10,000 JPY
Access: 5 minute walk from Arashiyama Station on the Keifuku Railway Arashiyama Main Line. In front of Togetsu bridge, to the west.
Address: 5-1 Susukinobaba-cho, Sagatenryuji, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto (Map)
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7. Kyo Suiran (Arashiyama / Japanese Cuisine)

7. Kyo Suiran (Arashiyama / Japanese Cuisine)Top Lunch Spots in Famous Tourist Locations of Kyoto

Kyo Suiran is a restaurant of the top-of-the-line hotel, Suiran Luxury Collection Hotel Kyoto. It is located in the venerable Enmeikaku, an old mansion whose high-class, modern Japanese aesthetic permeates the inside, while outside, Japanese gardens stretch beyond the windows. This restaurant combines traditional kaiseki food preparation techniques with a French aesthetic in order to create a new dining experience. The refined flavors and luxurious presentation will certainly make for an extravagant meal to remember.

Kyo Suiran

Open: Breakfast 7:00 am -10:00 am (L.O. 9:30 am) / Lunch 11:30 am - 2:30 pm (L.O. 2:00 pm) / Dinner 5:30 pm - 9:00 pm (L.O. 8:30 pm)
Closed: None
Average price: [Dinner] 18,000 JPY / [Lunch] 6,000 JPY
Access: 6 minutes walk from Arashiyama Station on Keifuku Arashiyama Main line.
Address: 12 Sagatenryuji-susukinobaba-cho, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto (Map)
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8. Fushimi Inari Taisha

8. Fushimi Inari Taisha

Fushimi Inari Taisha stands out as a particularly popular destination amongst Japan's various attractions. The shrine was built over 1,300 years ago and is known, among other things, for bringing prosperity to businesses. The most significant highlight is the Senbon Torii (1,000 Shrine Gates), wherein countless vermilion torii stand in a line, creating a tunnel of sorts, as well as an extremely photogenic location. The closest access points are from Keihan Fushimi-Inari Station, a roughly 5-minute walk, and JR Inari Station, which is approximately 7 minutes away on foot. There are many restaurants throughout the area, and strolling along while eating food from the stalls lining the street is also fun.

Fushimi Inari Taisha

Open: Visitors allowed in the afternoon and evening.
*On-site shop is open from 7:00 am - 6:00 pm
Closed: None
Address: 68, Fukakusa Yabunouchi-cho, Fushimi-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto (Map)
Source: Official Homepage

9. Doi Katsuman (Fushimi / Japanese Cuisine)

9. Doi Katsuman (Fushimi / Japanese Cuisine)Top Lunch Spots in Famous Tourist Locations of Kyoto

Having opened in March of 2018, this restaurant that specializes in eel dishes is a 3-minute walk from Fushimi-Inari Station. The owner used to be in the wholesale river fish business and therefore has both the experience and connections to bring in the finest of ingredients. The [Unaju Nami] (eel on rice in a lacquer box) is a must-try. The eel is cooked over charcoal and split in two, then placed atop warm rice. The skin is crisp while the inside is soft, and the traditional tare sauce, whose recipe has been preserved for many years, makes for an outstanding combination. The fragrant scent of the charcoal will also certainly stoke your appetite. Another popular choice is the extravagant [Deluxe Unaju], which uses an entire eel.

Doi Katsuman

Open: [Weekdays, Saturday, Sunday] Lunch 11:00 am - 2:00 pm
[Friday - Sunday] Dinner 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Closed: None
Average price: [Dinner] 3,000 JPY / [Lunch] 2,500 JPY
Access: 3 minutes walk from [Fushimi Inari Station] on Keihan Main Line. Immediately after going north along Shidan-Kaido Highway. On the 1st floor of Howa Mansion on the left
Address: 1F, Howa Mansion, 2-2, Suzutsuka-cho, Fukakusa, Fushimi-ku, Kyoto city, Kyoto (Map)
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10. Wagyuuu - Ultimate Meat Bread of Yakiniku Shop (Fushimi / Yakiniku)

10. Wagyuuu - Ultimate Meat Bread of Yakiniku Shop (Fushimi / Yakiniku)Top Lunch Spots in Famous Tourist Locations of Kyoto

Wagyuuu is conveniently located only 1 minute on foot from Fushimi-Inari Station. This restaurant specializes in nikupan - Kuroge Wagyu (a type of high-quality beef) sandwiched between bread slices - as well as hot dogs. Take-out is available, and relaxed dining-in is also an option. The most popular item is the [Kujonegi Dog]. Sweet Kujo onions, a traditional Kyoto vegetable, combine with the meat's umami (Japanese savory taste) for a perfect flavor. The [Deluxe Nikupan] is also recommended, as it features a special spice blend that brings out the flavor of the meat. The restaurant also offers frozen whole strawberries for a unique and luxurious dessert.

Wagyuuu - Ultimate Meat Bread of Yakiniku Shop 

Open: 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
Closed: None
Average price: [Dinner] 500 JPY
Access: 1 minute walk from [Fushimi Inari Station].
Address: 12-2 Ichinotsubo-cho, Fukakusa, Fushimi-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto (Map)
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11. Kyoto Tower

11. Kyoto Tower

Kyoto Tower is 131m tall and is located on the main entrance side of JR Kyoto Station. It is the tallest building in the city, and is well-known as a Kyoto landmark. There is a 360-degree viewing deck within the tower where you can take in all of the sights with just one sweep of your eyes. In addition, the tower also contains a hotel, bathhouse, and a facility where you can experience making Japanese sweets and traditional Japanese crafts firsthand. The commercial Kyoto Tower Sando area also opened in 2017, and the first underground floor became a food court. There are a number of gourmet locations here that simply can't be missed, so stopping here for lunch is highly recommended.

Kyoto Tower

Open: 9:00 am - 9:00 pm (last entry at 8:40 pm)
Closed: None
Average price: Observation Deck Admission Ticket
(Adults) 770 JPY
(High School) 620 JPY
(Elementary, Junior High School) 520 JPY
(Children Over 3 Years Old) 150 JPY
Address: 721-1, Shichijo-sagaru Higashi Shiokoji-cho, Karasuma-dori, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto (Map)
Source: Official Homepage

12. Kyo no Yakinikudokoro Hiro Kyoto Tower Sando Branch (Kyoto Tower / Yakiniku)

12. Kyo no Yakinikudokoro Hiro Kyoto Tower Sando Branch (Kyoto Tower / Yakiniku)Top Lunch Spots in Famous Tourist Locations of Kyoto

This restaurant focuses on two key concepts: "ever simpler" and "ever more familiar". The yakiniku (Japanese BBQ) skewers are recommended here. The restaurant buys whole Kuroge Wagyu cattle and uses only the best cuts from them. The [Chef's Choice 5 Skewer Set] is a great option. The [Stewed Wagyu Beef Tendon] is slow-boiled until soft and tender, and is another popular choice. Make sure to try the excellent combination of raw Wagyu beef and egg featured in the standout [Wagyu Yukke] as well!

Kyo no Yakinikudokoro Hiro Kyoto Tower Sando branch

Open: 11:00 am - 11:00 pm
Closed: None
Average price: [Dinner] 2,500 JPY / [Lunch] 1,000 JPY
Access: 2 minutes walk from the central exit of JR Kyoto Station, in Kyoto Tower
Address: 721-1, Higashishio-Koji Cho, Karasuma Dori Shichijo Sagaru, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto  (Map)
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13. Gyoza-Dokoro Sukemasa Kyoto Tower Sando Branch (Kyoto Tower / Yum Cha, Dim Sum, Gyoza)

13. Gyoza-Dokoro Sukemasa Kyoto Tower Sando Branch (Kyoto Tower / Yum Cha, Dim Sum, Gyoza)Top Lunch Spots in Famous Tourist Locations of Kyoto

This restaurant specializes in gyoza (dumplings). The gyoza here is famous for using katsuo dashi (bonito broth) for the base and royally-recognized miso to create uniquely Kyoto-flavored gyoza. Gyoza-Dokoro Sukemasa believes in locally-produced and locally-consumed food, and therefore uses large amounts of local ingredients like Kyoto cabbage, marbled pork, and Kujo onions. Unlike most gyoza, the superior ones here are made without Chinese seasonings and do not have an overpowering smell of garlic. You can naturally order them a la carte, but having them with the beer set menu is also recommended. The sui-gyoza (boiled dumplings), limited to 20 servings a day, are also popular. The chicken broth soup with clam extract pairs with the ginger-filled gyoza for an outstanding combination.

Gyoza-Dokoro Sukemasa Kyoto Tower Sando branch

Open: 11:00 am - 11:00 pm
Closed: None
Average price: [Dinner] 1,000 JPY / [Lunch] 800 JPY
Access: 2 minutes walk from the central exit of JR Kyoto Station, in Kyoto Tower
Address: 721-1, Higashishio-Koji Cho, Karasuma Dori Shichijo Sagaru, Shimogyo-Ku, Kyoto (Map)
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14. Torisei Kyoto Tower Sando Branch (Kyoto Tower / Izakaya)

14. Torisei Kyoto Tower Sando Branch (Kyoto Tower / Izakaya)Top Lunch Spots in Famous Tourist Locations of Kyoto

This izakaya (Japanese pub) uses domestic branded chicken in their colorful dishes. It is directly managed by an eminent sake brewer, which explains why it can offer many kinds of refined, deeply flavorful local sake. You can even directly pour yourself a glass from the tank installed in the restaurant! The go-to choice is the [5 Skewer Set], which is accompanied by the restaurant’s special tare sauce that is finished off with sake. There is also a full lunch menu that offers unique options like the [Sakekasu Ramen], featuring a soup made with sake lees and koji (malt).

Torisei Kyoto Tower Sando branch

Open: 11:00 am - 11:00 pm
Closed: None
Average price: [Dinner] 2,500 JPY / [Lunch] 1,000 JPY
Access: 2 minutes walk from the central exit of JR Kyoto Station, in Kyoto Tower
Address: 721-1, Higashishio-Koji Cho, Karasuma Dori Shichijo Sagaru, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto  (Map)
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15. Curry Shop JUNAYNA KYOTO TOWER SANDO (Kyoto Tower / Steak, Hambuger Steak, Curry)

15. Curry Shop JUNAYNA KYOTO TOWER SANDO (Kyoto Tower / Steak, Hambuger Steak, Curry)

This restaurant aims to provide curry that is easy on the body. The base of the roux consists of bouillon that contains over 200 spices and is primarily made from organic vegetables. It also contains no wheat. The [Spicy Chicken Curry] has a rich, irresistible allspice aroma and is always a good choice. If you don't do well with spicy food, the sweet [Butter Chicken Curry] - a popular choice with kids - is recommended.

Curry Shop JUNAYNA KYOTO TOWER SANDO

Open: 11:00 am - 11:00 pm
Closed: In accordance with Kyoto Tower's closing days
Average price: [Dinner] 1,000 JPY
Access: 2 minutes walk from the central exit of JR Kyoto Station, in Kyoto Tower
Address: 721-1, Higashishio-Koji Cho, Karasuma Dori Shichijo Sagaru, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto  (Map)
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16. Kyoto Steak Wagyu - Gottie's BEEF (Kyoto Tower / Steak, Hambuger Steak, Curry)

16. Kyoto Steak Wagyu - Gottie's BEEF (Kyoto Tower / Steak, Hambuger Steak, Curry)Top Lunch Spots in Famous Tourist Locations of Kyoto

The lines of beef up for display at Gottie's Beef will immediately catch the eyes. Enjoy dry-aged Wagyu at this yakiniku restaurant! The beef is aged for around 40 days for sealing in the umami and minimizing the fat to create its special tenderness. The [Sirloin Steak] is a popular choice here. This steak is seasoned simply with rock salt, allowing the meat's flavor to speak for itself. The recommended item for lunch is the set menu, which includes rice and soup. Savor the smells and sounds of your meat being prepared right in front of you!

Kyoto Steak Wagyu - Gottie's BEEF 

Open: 11:00 am - 11:00 pm
Closed: None
Access: 2 minutes walk from JR Kyoto Station
Address: B1F, Kyoto Tower Bldg., 721-1, Higashishiokoji-cho, Karasuma Dori, Shichijo Sagaru, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto (Map)
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If you're going on a sightseeing trip to Kyoto, be sure to use this list when making your plans!

Disclaimer: All information is accurate at time of publication.
Publish-date: Oct 21 2018 Update-date: Nov 16 2018
Author: SAVOR JAPAN

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