Located in central Kyoto with its machiya traditional houses and venerable Japanese inns, Yoshikawa Inn opened as a ryokan more than 50 years ago and has the largest garden I've seen in downtown Kyoto. It's famous for its tempura kaiseki cuisine, served to guests staying at the inn but also available to 12 lucky diners at its tempura counter, where they can watch the chefs prepare deep-fried morsels made with the freshest seasonal ingredients. For a splurge, you can also dine in a private tatami room with views of the garden (lit at night), though you'll pay more for the privilege. Needless to say, reservations are required no matter where you'd like to dine.