Kyoto is a magical place. Wisely not bombed during WWII, it overflows with the arts, architecture, and atmosphere of antiquity. It is a place where the pillars in the great temples started out as trees hundreds of years old, to be lovingly cared for and caressed by hands for hundreds of years after, such that they are smooth and soft to the touch today


At Kichisen, there is a purity—of ingredients, of technique, and of purpose. The singular purpose is to strive for perfection in the kaiseki meal. We visit each time we’re in Kyoto, and each time we are awed by the profundity of the meal and the experience

5 Tadasu-no-mori (Morimoto-cho), Shimogamo, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto

+81 75-711-6121


Shiraume Ryokan

A 400-year old teahouse converted into a ryokan, this lovely canel-side property on a Gion back street is a brilliant place to experience Kyoto elegance and hospitality. The proprietress Tomoko-san brims with excitement to explain Kyoto to foreign visitors. The egg rolls at breakfast are a special treat, intensely savoury and beautifully textured

+81 75-561-1459


Shoren-in Temple

It’s not one of the most famous temple in Kyoto—all the better to experience a truly lovely garden over a frothy, bitter bowl of matcha. It has a wonderful air of nobility and tranquility


Nanzenji Temple

A great zen temple, rambling and austere. A highlight is the karesansui (dry garden) of the Hojo. Another is Oku-no-in, a small shrine deep in a forest clearing, beside a waterfall. The atmosphere here is magical and profound. Follow the red brick aqueduct and then continue on the steps into the forest


Kagizen Yoshifusa

This confectionary store and teahouse is, for us, quintessentially Kyoto. Take something really simple, like bean paste or arrowroot starch, labour over it with precision, and create sublime, elegant sweets to pair with bitter matcha. The warabi mochi is exceptional

On the main street in Gion



An incredible shop in Kyoto's NIshiki market--a wonderland of food and kitchenware--Aritsugu makes wonderful knives for the kitchen. The balance of the knives are beautiful, and there is special romance in having your name engraved on the blade by 18th generation sword makers