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This is one of Kyoto's oldest and most famous restaurants, opened around 400 years ago as a teahouse to serve pilgrims on their way to Nanzenji Temple. It specializes in kyo-kaiseki, a multi-course meal that originated with the tea ceremony but has evolved into Kyoto's special cuisine. The setting is rustic and lovely, with individual teahouses, the oldest of which is 300 years old, spread around a beautiful garden with a pond. Kimono-clad women deliver your kaiseki meal to your private tatami room, much as they have been doing for centuries. The cuisine, the dishes they're served on, the outdoor scenery, and the gracious service all conspire to create the ultimate traditional Japanese experience.   For travelers who find the prices of kaiseki prohibitive, adjoining the main kaiseki restaurant is an annex to the left with its own separate entrance. It specializes in shokado bento (lunch boxes), which also change with the seasons and are served in a communal tatami room with views of a garden. In any case, to find the restaurants, look for a plain facade hidden behind a bamboo fence with a sign shaped like a gourd. There are also seasonal options. In July and August, a special breakfast called asagayu is available in the main restaurant from 8 to 10am for ¥6,000; in the annex it's available from mid-March through November from 8 to 11am and costs ¥4,500. From December to mid-March, the main restaurant offers the seasonal uzuragayu from 11am to 2pm for ¥12,100, while the annex offers it from 8 to 11am for ¥4,500. But no matter where or when you dine, boiled eggs, served to Hyotei's guests since its founding and considered one of its specialties, will be a part of your meal. Note that reservations are required for kaiseki, but it's also highly recommended for the annex. Note, too, that you should dress respectfully (no T-shirts, shorts, or sandals), and only children older than 10 are allowed. If you want a time machine to old Kyoto, you can't get any closer than this.