Is there anybody planning to visit Kyoto in this summer vacation?
Some of you might are excited to take a picture with “Geisha” or “Maiko”.
But Today in Kyoto, The Gion Festival 2017 finally started! It is very famous as one of the three biggest festivals in Japan.
This festival is said to have its origin in a purification ritual to save people from an epidemic of plague and pestilence occurred in Japan 1100 years ago and it’s already become a part of the culture in Kyoto.
Though this traditional and one-month-long festival has begun, you still have chances to enjoy its essence. Actually, the highlights of this festival are parades, “Yamaboko Junko”, on July 17th and 24th. The name perhaps reminds you of a Japanese girl’s name, but it has nothing to do with it. In addition to the parades, the eve of the festivals, called “Yoiyama”, which will be held for three days before each parade, is also enjoyable to visitors. In the parades, you can see 33 floats and they are divided into two groups. The smaller ones are called “Yama” which means a mountain, and the big ones are “Hoko” which means for a halberd. These 33 floats will parade in the center of the city and along “Kamo-gawa” river.
Of course, to get some “Takoyaki” or “Okonomiyaki” at the street stall while the festival sounds good, but Pocket Concierge would like to recommend you to enjoy the finest cuisine which you cannot experience outside of Kyoto! You can reserve these restaurants through Pocket Concierge. Before you come to Japan, please get the seats as soon as possible.
|Restaurants around Gion, Kyoto|
|1. Sushi Matsudaya (寿し 松田家)|
|2. Hyotei (瓢亭)|
|3. Uosaburo (魚三楼)|
|4. Sushi Wakon (鮨 和魂)|
|5. Gion Hanasato (京料理 祇園 花郷)|
Sushi Gion Matsudaya (寿し 祇園 松田家) | Pocket Concierge
“Original and imaginative nigiri sushi in Matsudaya style”
Sushi Gion Matsudaya is an Edo-style sushi restaurant located on a corner of the Hanamikoji in Gion. The fish procured are all natural and either from Tsukiji or the Nishiki market in Kyoto. There is no fixed menu, as Matsudaya provides only the best fish of the day. A must-try dish is “caviar sushi.” You will be impressed by both its appearance and flavor. Other dishes are also very well elaborated and original.
Name: Sushi Gion Matsudaya (寿し 祇園 松田家)
Address: 570-123, Gionmachi Minamigawa, Higashiyama-ku Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
Hyotei (瓢亭) | Pocket Concierge
“Michelin 3-star award, historical well-established Kyoto restaurant.”
Hyotei‘s history is long and could track back about four hundred years ago. It is said to have started as a tea ceremony house at Nanzen-ji temple. Since its founding, Hyotei has a thatched roof tea room referred to as “kuzuya” greeting guests even to today. Found here are witty epigrams by Aritomo Yamagata and Yajiro Shinagawa, figures active during the Meiji Restoration. There are tea jars at the entrance that also date back. These and other decorations are rich remnants of the restaurant’s history. The subtle hospitality and harmony of seasonal cuisine have continued to enchant persons of culture, tea masters, financiers, Kyoto gentlemen, and many more.
Name: Hyotei (瓢亭)
Address: 35 Kusagawa-cho, Nanzenji, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
Uosaburo (魚三楼) | Pocket Concierge
“Traditional Japanese restaurant in Fushimi, Kyoto with a long history, and a continuous Michelin star holder”
Established during the Edo period, this restaurant is a Kyoto fixture with a history of over 250 years, standing strong in its location near Fushimi-Momoyama Station and Momoyama Goryo-mae Station at Kyoto. This is one of most famous restaurants in Kyoto, attaining Michelin-star on a yearly basis.
Fushimi is known as a place for sake, and the restaurant uses the local, high-quality natural well water. As for ingredients, they use fresh fish delivered directly every morning from the wholesale market and Akashi, as well as Kyoto vegetables, which guests can enjoy the combination of Kyoto-style Kaiseki course and local Fushimi sake.
Name: Uosaburo (魚三楼)
Address: 3-187 Kyomachi, Fushimi-ku, Kyoto 612-8083, Japan
*20 minutes by train from Gion Area
Sushi Wakon (鮨 和魂) | Pocket Concierge
“Experience the history of a Kyoto garden and two-star Edo-style sushi at a five-star hotel”
The five-star Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto opened in October 2016 in Higashiyama, Kyoto, a location with a large number of temples and other historical buildings. Sushi Wakon is a stunning location next to the beautiful 800 year old Sekisuien pond garden. The restaurant was created by Michelin stared master sushi chef Rei Masuda. Chef Masuda has assembled and trained a world class team that focus on providing a truly unforgettable Edo-Mae style sushi dining experience.
Sushi Wakon uses only the finest ingredients available from Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo which are flown in daily. The restaurant provides a sublime omakase course, offering dishes especially selected by chef Masuda, focusing on seasonal ingredients, and showcasing a perfect combination of cooked dishes and nigiri sushi. There is also a wide variety of premium Japanese sake and wines available, all carefully selected to be the perfect accompaniment for sushi. It would not be an exaggeration to say that this type of Edo-style sushi —combined with the absolutely stunning interior designs, furnishings, and artworks by some of the nations foremost craftsmen— is an experience for all the five senses that can only be encountered at Sushi Wakon.
Name: Sushi Wakon (鮨 和魂)
Address: FOUR SEASONS HOTEL KYOTO, 445-3 Myohoin Maegawa-cho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto
Gion Hanasato (京料理 祇園 花郷)| Pocket Concierge
“Seasonal Kyoto cuisine and hospitality to taste”
Kyoto cuisine “Gion Hanasato” located at Hanamikoji street, Gion, Kyoto, an area you may meet Maiko or Geisha. Authentic Kyoto cuisine is provided here with traditional atmosphere . In Gion area, rarely could you find a place like here to enjoy the food easily.
The chef selects the ingredients carefully from local supplier, purchases seasonal vegetables in Kyoto and fresh fish from ”Katsugi” shop. Changing the foodstuffs to a masterpiece of the finest taste, the chef magically present them into a kaiseki dish, with the admiration of the seasons in Japan. Exploring the cuisine with colorful appearance, smells and the taste. Japanese Sake, such as a famous brand ”Sake Breweries in Fushimi” is also highly recommended for a combination to Kaiseki food.
Name: Gion Hanasato (京料理 祇園 花郷)
Address: 570-235 Gionmachi-minamigawa, Higashiyama-Ku, Kyoto
※These restaurants are currently difficult-to-book, but if you register as a member of Pocket Concierge you will be able to receive update information of various restaurants.
※As for the other biggest festivals, The Kanda Festival in Tokyo was over, but Tenjin Festival in Osaka will be held in the middle of July and we are publishing blog as well.