Honke Owariya

Honke Owariya (the ‘Original’ Owariya) is very popular for it’s noodles as well as confectioneries. The main restaurant is located on a quiet street just south of the Imperial Palace. The confectionery shop is located in the same neighborhood, one street to the west on Karasuma Street.

Owariya is a very ‘Kyoto’ establishment, centuries old, excellent food and atmosphere, yet very approachable. If you want to experience ‘Kyoto’ and ‘soba’, you cannot go wrong with Owariya.

Honke Owariya, like a lot of other folks in Kyoto, is very, very particular about the water that they use. They won’t open a restaurant in Tokyo because the same dashi cannot be made with Tokyo water. When they opened their Shijo Teramachi branch which is in a department store, one of their terms was that they would drill their own well for water. In the new Shijo Kawaramachi branch (on the 7th floor of Takashimaya Department Store) a well could not be dug, so dashi is made every morning at the honten (main store) and laboriously transported over.

Honke Owariya was established in 1465. The restaurant started out making confectionery, but its noodles proved more popular. 

This is the noodle restaurant that the Japanese Imperial family eats at when it returns to Kyoto from Tokyo. 

I thoroughly enjoyed my meal here, choosing the Hourai Soba meal that consisted of five stacked trays of soba with a soup base and a variety of condiments. It even came with instructions in English for eating it.