Situated in the north-eastern corner of Kyoto prefecture, Sakyo Ward is home to some of Kyoto’s most iconic landmarks as well as some of its most secret treasures. The Silver Pavillion (Ginkakuji) and the massive Nanzenji temple mark the northern and southern limits of the famous Philosopher’s Walk. This area is home to a number of unique restaurants that are steeped in history and brimming with old-world charm. In these hallowed streets, ritual and ceremony is revered so expect outstanding service from gentile kimono-clad women.
Experience the formal intricacies of real Kyoto kaiseki fine dining at Hyotei, a 300-year-old restaurant that feels frozen in time. Originally a tea house, the restaurant emerged from the austere tea ceremony 170 years ago. With exquisitely prepared and presented food and impeccable service by elegant kimono-wearing ladies, this multi-course meal is very expensive but also a very memorable experience. Hyotei has been awarded 3 Michelin stars and reservations are as important as the dress code.
- Opening Hours: Daily from 11am to 9pm (closed 2nd and 4th Tuesday of every month)
- Location: Nanzenji Kusagawacho, Sakyo, Kyoto, 606-8437, Japan
- Tel: +81 (0)75 771 4116
This 400-year-old inn is most famous for its kamaburo clay steam bath and most patrons opt for this most relaxing activity before slipping into a cotton kimono and retiring to the dining room. Heihachi Tea House serves traditional Heian Period cuisine and is famous for its duck hot pot which is only served during the winter months. In summer, the mugitoro bento lunchbox includes mountain potato salad served with barley rice. Year round, the restaurant offers an excellent kaiseki dinner with all the trimmings. It’s a 5-minute walk from Shugakuin Station, near Kyoto City Art Museum. Reservations are essential.
- Opening Hours: Daily from 11.30am to 9.30pm
- Location: 8-1 Yamabana Kawagishicho, Sakyo-Ku, Kyoto 606-8005, Japan
- Tel: +81 (0)75-781-5008