Visiting Kyoto is one of my top trips. You can beat the intense mix of history and food packed together is such a small area. Be sure to include a day trip to Arishiyama.
Reservations are recommended in Japan in general, even if they are hard to make for non-native speakers.
Eighty percent of the Japan experience with the food eaten with friends, while a 20% is visiting everything else.
Start at Ponto cho in the Evening
Ponto cho alley is the starting street for food in Kyoto. This alley is adorned with cute lanterns and full of tiny restaurants on each side. Only pedestrians can walk on this street. No cars allowed.
Izakya with Obanzai special Kyoto food Kinpira Gobo (Braised carrots and burdock root).
This restaurant just specializes in Tofu, and it is worth trying Tofu made in multiple ways.
Soba Noodles & Donuts
Honeke Owaria Soba Noodle Restaurant
One of the coolest noodles in Japan is Soba noodles. Kyoto has a special looking and special tasting Soba noodle restaurant. This place is 550 years old! The noodles are served in layered noodle baskets that you open and prepare your noodles one by one. Accompanied with the Soba noodles, are many additional items to mix in such as strips of egg omelets and sea weed, shrimp plus sesame seeds. Take a bit of everything and mix it with the Mentsuiyu soup and dip the noodles in. Be sure to slurp when you are eating the noodles. It is not impolite!
Nicotto & Mam Donut for dessert
Down the street is a donut shop featuring Kinako flavored donuts 🍩 (soybean powder) that make a good after meal dessert if you can fit it in your stomach. This is a strong 💪🏻 recommendation from my Japanese friend, and you won’t be disappointed with the quality of donuts. Not too sweet, they contain the perfect balance of sugar.
Here some of my favorited places in Osaka unfortunately I haven’t had a chance to track down their names and address yet.