Located in the Gion-Maruyama district of Kyoto, Kikunoi Honten is a popular Japanese fine-dining restaurant. The place Gion-Maruyama is always known to house many entertainment activities and quality restaurants throughout the day. The Japanese style interior provide for a graceful refinement and the seasonal delights served at Kikunoi makes you visit more than once.
The restaurant comes with a seasonal menu and only natural ingredients are used for cooking some of the finest Japanese cuisine. The interior is modified every season to reflect the beauty of the current season with help of flower arrangements and artwork related to that season. This also allows the customers to soak into the kind of environment outside and feel as if dining at home.
Kikunoi in Japanese means “chrysanthemum well” and the name originates from the belief that the wife of a famous king in the feudal era used the water from the well for making tea and the water burst out in the form of a chrysanthemum. Established in 1912, the Kikunoi is being headed by the 3-rd generation owner Yoshihiro Murata.
The Kaiseki restaurant in Kyoto also has one branch in Tokyo along with a kappo style restaurant in Kyoto itself. Initially, Chef Murata was inclined towards French cuisine and even went to France to learn the intricacies of making French dishes, but later after his return to Kyoto changed his mind and joined his family business.
The Kikunoi restaurant is one the most traditional Japanese restaurants that you need to remove your shoes after entering the restaurant and dine in a private room decorated with calligraphy on the walls along with a beautiful flower display. The dining rooms have a beautiful view of the gardens and comes with low bench seating common in many Japanese restaurants.
Born in a family that has been successfully running a traditional Japanese restaurant since 1912, Chef Murata was not inclined towards Japanese cuisine initially. Even though his family resisted the idea, he travelled to France to gain more knowledge about the French cuisine. But soon after returning to Kyoto, he started to realize the importance and greatness of Japanese cuisine and entered his family restaurant as a Japanese Chef.
According to Chef Murata, his ambition is to promote the greatness of the Japanese cuisine to the whole world and to help his guests nurture some of the finest dishes from his kitchen. He also works towards dietary education with his “shokuiku” movement by lecturing about the importance of it in schools and colleges.
He was awarded with "Gendai no Meiko" meaning the Contemporary Master Craftsman in 2012 along with the "Kyoto-fu Sangyo Korosha" award meaning "Kyoto Prefecture Industry Distinguished Service" along with many other accolades.
Michelin Guide Kyoto 2018: Three Stars ☆☆☆
Four different kaiseki options at JPY 16'000-30'000++