A Michelin 1-star rated French restaurant located inside a traditional Japanese machiya house
Rated highly among the most memorable ways that Kyoto can be experienced is a visit to one of the remaining Japanese machiya houses which can be found in the region. Located inside one such 100-year old machiya house in the Tominokoji Nijyo area is MOTOI, a French restaurant which holds 1 Michelin star. Taking inspiration from traditional Japanese tea ceremonies, MOTOI operates with the fundamental belief that a harmony between host and guest is vital for the best possible service to be provided.
Chef Motoi Maeda began his career by spending 10 years training in a Chinese restaurant before relocating to France. There, he trained extensively within Michelin-rated restaurants around the Burgundy and Franche-Comté regions, acquiring vast knowledge and experience of the way French chefs work with ingredients to create their world-famous dishes. After returning home to Japan, Chef Maeda opened MOTOI in 2012 having gained additional experience while working at Hajime in Osaka, and Pistrek in Kyoto’s Hotel Okura - both exceptionally well-known and highly-rated restaurants within Japan. MOTOI quickly made a name for itself by providing a unique blend of French cuisine with Chinese twists and has held a Michelin star rating since opening every year without exception. Due to Chef Maeda’s insistence on pursuing an evolution of styles, the menu is constantly being updated with new recipes and seasonal ingredients. This in turn ensures a unique experience for every visit.
With a strong emphasis on the ideology of French cuisine made with a taste of Kyoto, Chef Maeda selects only the highest-quality, locally-sourced vegetables from producers in the Ohara, Shizuhara, and Kamigama areas which he personally visits several times a week. Other ingredients sourced from within Kyoto include fish from the local central market, Hirai beef, Nanatani duck, along with venison and boar meat from Tamba. There are roughly 350 different kinds of wine on the menu, mainly from France, along with a wide-range of soft drink and non-alcoholic options. With spacious seating and a traditional atmosphere, a visit to MOTOI will make any trip to Kyoto even more memorable, whatever the occasion may be.
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