Kyoto, a city exuding an adult atmosphere, is filled with many shops that may seem intimidating but are indeed known for their excellence. This time, we introduce 8 hidden gems with delightful atmospheres in Kyoto that adults would love to visit, even if these establishments are not widely known.
“Kyo gastronomy KOZO”
The first hidden gem in Kyoto that I’d like to introduce is “Kyo gastronomy KOZO,” located about an 8-minute walk from Marutamachi Station on the Karasuma Line. This restaurant is a stylish and trendy hidden gem.
The exterior combines the styles of “Wa” (Japanese) and “You” (Western), with black tiles and white walls resembling a traditional Japanese house. Inside, there is a modern counter seat painted with tin, a material used for sake vessels, and a calm table seat with beige and brown tones. The chef himself has created a traditional Kyoto garden, adding a touch of Kyoto’s essence to the atmosphere.
The cuisine is based on Japanese food with influences from French cuisine, offering visually stunning and surprising dishes. A highly recommended dish is the “Moss Terrarium” in the photo. Despite its appearance resembling moss, it is a luxurious dish made with a base of white miso mashed potatoes and foie gras cream. The bread, resembling rocks, is dried, and even the vegetables are homegrown. All components are handmade, creating a dish that can be enjoyed both visually and gastronomically.
They also offer sake pairing, allowing you to enjoy rare and hard-to-find Japanese sake along with the impressive cuisine. If you want to experience both exceptional dishes and unique Japanese sake, be sure to visit the hidden gem “Kyo gastronomy KOZO” in Kyoto.
“Kyoto Western Cuisine Matsumoto”
Next on the list is “Kyoto Western Cuisine Matsumoto,” located about an 8-minute walk from Hankyu Karasuma Station. This restaurant is a hidden gem Western-style restaurant with the atmosphere of a Kyoto townhouse.
The interior is very relaxing, creating a space where you can feel at home. At the counter seats, you can enjoy conversations with the chef while witnessing the artistry of cooking right in front of you, making it perfect for a date.
This establishment allows you to savor Kyoto-produced Black Wagyu beef, Kyoto Red Chicken, and locally sourced vegetables and eggs. Recommended is the “Black Wagyu Kyoto Meat and Kyoto Mochi Pork Ground Hamburger with Liver Chip in-house Demi-glace Sauce.” A hamburger with beef liver is quite unique, providing a chewy texture and enhancing the richness of the meat.
Other delightful options on the menu include steak, omurice (omelet rice), curry, and various exquisite Western dishes. Since they also serve lunch, you can enjoy their dedicated Western cuisine anytime. If you are searching for a place to savor exquisite Western cuisine in a hidden gem in Kyoto, “Kyoto Western Cuisine Matsumoto” is a must-visit.
Next on the list is “Sumika Tominokoji,” located about a 5-minute walk from Hankyu Kawaramachi Station. This hidden gem izakaya allows you to fully enjoy dishes centered around Kyoto vegetables.
The interior is calm, offering various types of seating. Especially recommended is the loft private room, making it truly feel like a hidden gem as it accommodates only one group per day. Since it’s limited to one reservation per day, early booking is recommended!
This establishment is dedicated to providing delicious Kyoto vegetables, sourcing them directly from several farms every day. A unique point is that you can choose vegetables from the menu and have them prepared in various cooking styles. For example, for Kamo eggplant, you can choose from “Stone-grilled Mabo,” “White Miso Takuwan,” or “Tempura.” Each vegetable has different preparation methods, allowing you to enjoy a variety of flavors.
If you want to savor Kyoto vegetables in a hidden gem in Kyoto, be sure to visit “Sumika Tomiko.”
Next on the list is “Kappo Yoshizen,” located about a 10-minute walk from Gion-Shijo Station on the Keihan Main Line. This establishment is a hidden gem kappo restaurant nestled in the quiet atmosphere of Higashiyama.
The interior is divided into a first-floor counter seat and a second-floor table private room, with the counter seats offering a view of the courtyard. The maple tree in the garden changes colors with the seasons, allowing you to enjoy the essence of Kyoto while savoring the cuisine.
The cuisine consists of an omakase (chef’s choice) course using seasonal ingredients exclusively. They source carefully selected seasonal ingredients from all over the country. The dishes, made with seasonal and exquisite ingredients, truly embody the concept of “adult luxury.” Being located in the Higashiyama area, a hub for tourist attractions, makes it perfect for those exploring Kyoto. If you want to enjoy a luxurious time in a hidden gem space with the essence of Kyoto, be sure to visit “Kappo Yoshizen.”
“The Cellar KYOTO”
Next on the list is “The Cellar KYOTO,” located about a 3-minute walk from Kyoto City Hall Station on the Tozai Subway Line. This establishment is a restaurant and bar where you can enjoy Japanese cuisine in private rooms.
All seats are private rooms, allowing you to use them according to the number of people and the occasion. Particularly recommended are the couple-only private dining space and sofa space in the photo. After enjoying a meal at the side-by-side table, you can move to the sofa to savor dessert or drinks, creating a romantic atmosphere.
The interior is modern and stylish, with a large built-in wine cellar catching your eye. The wine cellar stores a variety of wines, both domestic and international. Since the cuisine features Japanese dishes using seasonal ingredients, it’s enjoyable to consult with the staff to choose the perfect wine to complement your meal.
Moreover, the entrance is designed with an intercom system where you announce your name before entering, enhancing the hidden gem feeling. This makes it an ideal spot for a date, sure to elevate the excitement of any woman. If you want to enjoy a meal in a lovely private room, be sure to visit the hidden gem “The Cellar KYOTO.”
“Matsusaka Beef WHAT’S THE KITCHEN”
Next on the list is “Matsusaka Beef WHAT’S THE KITCHEN,” located about a 5-minute walk from Gion-Shijo Station on the Keihan Main Line. This establishment allows you to enjoy a meat kaiseki (Japanese multi-course meal) in a sophisticated hidden gem in Gion.
The interior has a Japanese ambiance, creating a chic space. There are counter seats where you can witness the cooking on an iron plate in front of you, as well as private rooms for one group only, both exuding a luxurious atmosphere suitable for special occasions.
This restaurant specializes in “Matsusaka beef,” as they procure the entire cow. This allows them to offer various cuts, including rare parts. A meat kaiseki featuring Matsusaka beef is truly a luxurious experience.
The menu is course-only, and there is a special “Matsusaka Beef Anniversary Course” perfect for special
Next, let me introduce a hidden gem in Kyoto, located about a 5-minute walk from the Keihan Main Line’s “Gion-Shijo Station” – “Bistro Grelot.” This establishment is a hidden French restaurant nestled in the narrow lanes of Gion, where traditional Kyoto townhouses line the streets.
The exterior is adorned with a chic black finish, complemented by a simple yet modern white curtain and lantern displaying the restaurant’s name. The overall appearance exudes a stylish atmosphere.
Inside, the ambiance is warmer and more inviting than the exterior suggests. At the counter seats, you can enjoy conversations with the chef about the dishes and learn about the pleasures of Kyoto while savoring your meal.
The cuisine is exclusively crafted with a focus on high-quality ingredients. Vegetables cultivated through pesticide-free, fertilizer-free, and organic farming, as well as seafood directly delivered from fishing ports and locally sourced black-haired wagyu beef from Tottori Prefecture, are highlighted. (Refer to the official website for details.) Needless to say, every dish is exquisite.
Whether you opt for a set course or à la carte, the prices are reasonable, allowing you to casually relish exceptional French cuisine. The wine selection is extensive, and there’s a menu featuring “This Week’s Cost-Effective Wine,” a selection curated by the chef, providing an affordable way to enjoy quality wines.
Additionally, they offer a cost-effective course for lunch, making it a perfect choice for a slightly indulgent midday meal. If you’re looking to relish exceptional French cuisine in Kyoto’s hidden corners, be sure to visit “Bistro Grelot.”
“Gion Shinbashi Nakatani”
Lastly, let me introduce another hidden gem in Kyoto, located about a 5-minute walk from the Keihan Main Line’s “Gion-Shijo Station” – “Gion Shinbashi Nakatani.” This establishment is a hidden traditional Japanese restaurant tucked away in the narrow lanes near the popular tourist spot, “Tatsumi Bridge” in Gion.
Truly fitting the description of a hidden gem, this establishment exudes the atmosphere of Kyoto’s machiya (traditional townhouses), providing a serene and sophisticated setting. The lovely white wooden counter inside allows you to witness the chef’s culinary skills up close, creating an atmosphere where you can savor a luxurious moment while feeling the charm of Kyoto.
The cuisine features fresh seasonal ingredients, and the restaurant prides itself on not compromising on ingredient selection, ensuring daily changes to the menu based on the availability of top-quality produce.
A recommended dish is the “Seasonal Rice” pictured here. The rice, cooked to perfection in a clay pot, is delightfully chewy and flavorful. As various seasonal ingredients are incorporated, you can enjoy different flavors throughout the year.
For those seeking a delightful experience of Kyoto’s charm in a wonderful hidden setting while indulging in exquisite cuisine, “Gion Shinbashi Nakatani” is a must-visit.
How about indulging in a luxurious moment in Kyoto’s hidden gems?
What did you think? This time, we introduced hidden gems in Kyoto, a city where you can feel a charming atmosphere, perfect for adults to enjoy a luxurious time. Please consider using these establishments for special occasions or anniversaries with your loved ones. You’re sure to have a wonderful time in the enchanting city of Kyoto!