The city’s signature cuisine is Kyo-ryori, a catch-all term that encompasses the sophisticated multicoursekaiseki and chakaiseki feasts associated with the tea ceremony, as well as the nuanced vegetarian fare that constitutes the Buddhist—in particular, Zen—culinary arts. Directly translated, it simply means “Kyoto food,” yet the phrase is synonymous with the ultimate in quality, service, refinement, omotenashi hospitality, and luxuriant style.
Kyo-ryori emerged from a unique combination of historical, artistic, and geographic factors. An abundance of natural spring water and fertile soil provided the essentials. However, the inland city’s remove from the ocean posed, in the centuries before refrigeration, a serious logistical problem. Kyoto chefs had to find new ways of salting, preserving, and pickling seafood, and using soybeans and local vegetables to satisfy the dietary demands of the ubiquitous Buddhist clergy. Thus, from its very outset, Kyo-ryori has been associated with innovation.
Hana Kitcho http://kyoto-kitcho.com/shoplist_en/hana/room/index.html
Ranmaru at 28-5 Sanno-cho, Shogoin, Sakyo-ku; 81-75/761-7738;