Nestled in the serene beauty of Kyoto’s Arashiyama, Kyoto Kitcho is a beacon of culinary excellence, a 3-star Michelin restaurant tracing its legacy back to 1948. Now under the guidance of Kunio Tokuoka, the third-generation maestro and grandson of the founder, the restaurant resonates with an authentic Japanese essence that’s both timeless and immersive.

From the moment you arrive, the experience unfurls as a meticulously curated cultural journey. Welcomed warmly, you’re graciously ushered inside and invited to slip off your shoes for the beginning of a remarkable evening. Seated in one of the 7 private tatami rooms, each step is a deliberate immersion into a three-hour celebration of authentic Japanese hospitality, where your every need is met with unparalleled attention and devotion.

The setting is elegantly simplistic, with an intrinsic “Japanese ” aesthetic. We are seated in a classic, traditional tatami room with legless chairs and a low table. (Be prepared to be stiff for the remainder of the evening)

Your culinary voyage commences with a thoughtful inquiry about dietary restrictions, accompanied by a serene sip of tea. Budget choices are presented earlier when reserving your dinner and go from expensive to very expensive and absurdly expensive. The rest affords a sense of anticipation and trust for the chef’s expertise and paves the way for an ultimate Kaiseki dinner of sublime culinary artistry that merges innovation with centuries-old culinary traditions.

The restaurant’s location is a masterpiece in itself, nestled in the exquisite Arashiyama region, adjacent to the river and near the famed bamboo forest. Its setting is in a peaceful ryokan and exudes tranquil charm. Earthy tones seamlessly blend with the surrounding gardens, a sight to behold during lunch.

The seasonal menu, a testament to Japan’s culinary finesse, unfolds in a succession of meticulously crafted dishes-appetizers, soup, sashimi, side dishes, grilled delicacies, slow-cooked specialties, steamed rice and pickle, fruits, green tea, and confectionery. Each dish is sourced from the finest ingredients across Japan. It’s a visual and gastronomic feast that captivates the senses.

Amidst the elegant feast, a remarkable sake (or wine) selection complements the flavors, enhancing the overall experience. However, it’s important to note that such an exquisite evening comes at a notable expense, making it a luxurious indulgence.

The dinner, an ode to Kaiseki artistry, predominately highlights seafood and fish, with an inclusion of a notable wagyu course. The staff’s exceptional attentiveness, paired with exquisite dishware and eloquent explanations in English enriches the overall dining experience.

Kyoto Kitcho Arashiyama stands as a preserved capsule of time, embodying culture, culinary finesse, and aesthetic beauty. It’s not just a gastronomic journey, it is a cultural odyssey. Undoubtedly an experience for those seeking the pinnacle of Japanese culinary artistry.


Happy dining,



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *