Hana Kitcho, Kyoto

May 21, 2010

On April 20, 2010 Setsuko joined Linda and me for dinner at Hana Kitcho. Read the rest of this entry »

From my first visit to Japan in 1962 my finest memory was the visit to the Katsura Imperial Villa. It seemed to capture the exquisite best of Japanese aesthetics in its gardens and architecture. Its purpose as a retreat from the Imperial Court for tea ceremonies, moon viewing etc was intriguing and satisfying. On my next visit to Kyoto, in 1982, I was frustrated that I could not get the necessary permission from the Imperial Household Agency to visit. However, this time our friends at Real-Japan were able to secure the permission two months in advance. Linda and I went on April 20, 2010, in a slight drizzle.  Read the rest of this entry »

Hyotei, Kyoto

May 15, 2010

Hyotei has been a restaurant on this spot since 1837 and a tea house for centuries before that. I had the good fortune to dine there in 1962. Years later the two places in Japan that had left the deepest impression on me were Hyotei and the Katsura Imperial Villa. On my other visit to Kyoto, in 1982, I wasn’t able to visit either one so in planning this trip I made sure that we had reservations at both. Read the rest of this entry »

Akai, Kyoto

May 13, 2010

On April 17, 2010, we were invited by Hiroshi and Harumi to dinner at Akai, a restaurant near their art gallery. Akai was opened three years ago by its chef, Hiroki Abe. It may be the smallest Michelin one-star restaurant in the world with only seven places, expanded unusually to eight for us so that we could all sit together in the back three-seat section. Read the rest of this entry »

We have recently had two excellent meals of elaborate shojin-ryori, or Zen Buddhist vegan cuisine, at Kajitsu in New York. We were eager to try it at a source, a Zen temple in Kyoto, Tenryu-ji, which includes Sigetu, a restaurant open to the public, on its grounds. Read the rest of this entry »

Kikunoi Honten, Kyoto

May 9, 2010

When I read that René Redzepi, the celebrated chef at noma, had answered Steve’s question about his best meal of 2009: Kikunoi in Kyoto, I quickly arranged a reservation for Linda and me to dine there on April 16, 2010. I had originally thought that we would limit our Michelin three-star experience in Japan to Hyotei, but then couldn’t resist adding the three-star Kikunoi Honten. Read the rest of this entry »


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