Gion Karyo, Kyoto

Set in an old Kyoto house, Gion Karyo is a kaiseki restaurant located in the heart of Gion.  It is a great kaiseki place for people who are not as familiar with Japanese cuisine or not adventurous (like myself). The food served at Gion Karyo is nothing bizarre or unique to the taste buds. If you have any food restrictions or allergies, you can inform them in advance, and they will prepare your food accordingly.  The staff speaks sufficient English, and there are English menus available.

The interior decorations were simple, with not much ambiance.



I made reservations in advance. When you are presented to your seat, a menu will be ready on the table. The price for the lunch course is ¥ 5000.







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The dishes were beautifully presented. However, for me, it lacked taste. Most of the dishes tasted similar and were a bit bland. There was no wow factor for me.

The highlight for me was the dessert and coffee. I had some matcha arrowroot dessert accompanied with ice cream and caramel cake. My brother had the Crème brûlée. The matcha arrowroot dessert tasted like matcha jelly with evaporated milk and soybean flour – very fragrant.

Overall, the food was basic and average, especially for the price. But it is definitely a foreigner-friendly restaurant.


Gion Karyo


Opening hours: Monday to Sunday, 11:30 Am to 8 PM

Telephone: +81 75-532-0025

Address: 605-0074 Kyōto-fu, Kyōto-shi, Higashiyama-ku, Gionmachi Minamigawa, 東山区祇園町南側570-235


Kaiseki, Negiya Ryofukaku, Kobe

One of Japan’s specialties is Kaiseki, a traditional multi-course meal known as Japanese haute cuisine. The prices vary depending on where you dine.  Lunch is cheaper, ranging from 4,000 to 10,000 yen, and dinner from 10,000 yen onward.  I had my first Kaiseki experience at a Ryokan (traditional Japanese inn) in Kobe. I initially planned to have a Kaiseki meal in Kyoto, but I decided to try it since it was part of the Ryokan package.

The Ryokan I stayed at was the Negiya Ryofukaku at the famous hot spring town – of Arima Onsen in Kobe.  The Kaiseki dinner is served in the room, and 20161220_145935breakfast is at the public dining hall. The Ryokan provided a set of yukata for my sister and me to wear during our stay. It was so comfortable and wearing the yukata while dining made the experience extra special. The staff who served us our dinner was amiable and warm. She introduced every dish to us. The presentation of the food was simple yet enticing. The ingredients used were fresh. Some dishes were an acquired taste for us, and some were delicious. My favorite was the tempura and matcha jelly with cream.  The shrimp tempura was scrumptious! The shrimp was cooked perfectly; the outer layer was crusty and crispy. The outer layer of the tempura was different from what I usually have. It was flaky and reminded me of deep-fried wontons. The baby eggplants were so cute!

The kaiseki dinner was truly a unique culinary experience for my sister and me.

This is the public dining area where we had our Japanese breakfast.

Negiya Ryofukaku


Telephone: +81 789040675

Address: 1537-2 Arimacho, Kita Ward, Kobe, Hyogo 651-1401, Japan