Japan: Kaiseki

Hidden away next to Kyoto’s river and bamboo forests in Arashiyama is a small restaurant Shoraian, serving traditional tofu multi-course Japanese meals (kaiseki).

While most kaiseki meals tend to be rather expensive ($100~300/person), Shoraian’s lunches are reasonably priced at $33~50/person (http://www.shoraian.com/menu/).  I picked the most expensive meal option Shofu ($50/person) to try as many dishes as possible.

Reservations is required.  If you can, request the window seats next to the river, because the view is amazing! 🙂

kaiseki (15 of 15)

Website: http://www.shoraian.com
How to get there: http://www.shoraian.com/access/randen-railway/ (it’s easy to get lost, but basically just follow the river, go up some steps until you see the sign below)

kaiseki (2 of 15) kaiseki (3 of 15) kaiseki (4 of 15) kaiseki (5 of 15) kaiseki (6 of 15)

Dried soymilk skin “OKE YUBA” and seasonal fried cuisine kaiseki (7 of 15) kaiseki (8 of 15)kaiseki (1 of 15) kaiseki (9 of 15)

Wagyu steakkaiseki (10 of 15)

Agedashi tofu (deep fried tofu served in a dashi broth)kaiseki (11 of 15) kaiseki (12 of 15)

Tofu ice cream with cinnamon mochi!kaiseki (13 of 15) kaiseki (14 of 15)

Hungry Cactus’ verdict: B+

Shoraian was a really nice place to have a kaiseki experience.  They were able to use tofu in a lot of ways, and it was unique (though you’ll have to expect it being a light meal and on the bland side).  It’s a great place to enjoy Kyoto’s tranquility after exploring the surrounding areas.