A feast for the Senses: Kyoto Jügen Offers Ryotei-style Dining in a Traditional Setting
September 25 marked the grand opening of Kyoto Jügen, a traditional Japanese ryotei-style restaurant in Higashiyama, Kyoto.
Kyoto Jügen is housed just south of the iconic Tower of Yasaka in a renovated complex that incorporates the old Mitsui villa along with a traditional ryokan (Japanese inn) once favored by literati and prominent society figures. The impeccable interiors and quietly expansive gardens throughout the site create a refined, unhurried atmosphere conveying a deep respect for tradition. One of the guest rooms in the ryokan was a favorite of Japanese Nobel laureate Yasunari Kawabata; in fact, he is said to have written his late masterpiece The Old Capital there.
Grand chef Michihito Sugawara’s menu evolves with the seasons to showcase ingredients at their freshest and display the beauty of Kyoto in a modern style. As in any Japanese restaurant, rice was a key concern, and after much deliberation Sugawara finally decided on “Iwashimizu,” recipient of the highest award at the 2016 Okome Banzuke Selection. Iwashimizu’s grains are larger than usual, meaning that each individual grain has a stronger presence in the dish.
In summer, the kitchen uses meat farmed locally in Kyoto; in winter, game is preferred, also from the city and its surrounds. Everything from deer to wild boar can be found in the rich natural forests around Kyoto and Tamba, and the game is at its most fragrant and delicious after the heat of summer fades, having feasted all year on the bounty of the mountain. Seafood dishes, naturally, are made with ingredients carefully selected from the nets of the most knowledgeable fishermen.
On your next visit to Kyoto, why not follow in the footsteps of Yasunari Kawabata and enjoy the finest flavors of the season in this unmistakably Kyoto setting?
Address: 385-8 Yasaka Kamimachi, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto (Postal code: 605-0827)
Access: 15 minutes’ walk from Hankyu Kawaramachi Station, 10 minutes’ walk from Keihan Gion-Shijo Station
Hours: Lunch: 11:30 a.m.–3:00 p.m. (arrival by 2:00 p.m.)
Dinner: 5:30–11:00 p.m. (arrival by 9:00 p.m.)
Closed: Sat/Sun/Public holidays
Contact: +81 (0)75-533-8791
http://www.kyotojugen.com/ (Japanese site)