Shabu Shabu at Junidan-ya

I thoroughly enjoyed my lunch at this restaurant. The prices are definitely more reasonable at lunch. I did not have a reservation, but arrived early enough to first explore the immediate area near the restaurant.

Located close to the Minamiza Theatre,  people enjoyed kabuki at the theatre and then came to Junidan-ya for a delicious dinner.  Since one of the most famous kabuki pieces, Chushingura, is made up of 11 chapters, the owner hoped to welcome many people after they finished watching the eleven chapters of kabuki so he named his restaurant Junidan-ya, or the Twelfth Chapter.  It is said that the famous Japanese shabu-shabu dish was born here.  It was such a sensation for people in those days to savor extremely thin slices of beef cooked in hot water for just a few seconds.

Japanese beef called “Wagyu” is famous all over the world. Kyoto especially is famous for branded beef such as Matsusaka-beef, Omi-beef, Kobe-beef and Kyoto beef. They also serve a reasonably priced lunch box.  Both the Beef Sukiyaki Bento and Grilled Beef Bento feature meat from Japanese black cattle.  Noteworthy is the fine interior decoration, some of which are by Kanjiro Kawai and Shiko Munakata (both renowned craft artists in the 20th century).

Shabu-shabu is one of the most traditional Japanese pot meals in which paper-thin slices of meat are blanched in a boiling Japanese broth made with Kombu (a type of seaweed), and eaten with a special dipping sauce made from sesame or soy sauce mixed with citrus vinegar. Sukiyaki is another popular traditional pot cuisine. In this, thin slices of beef and vegetables are cooked in sugar, soy-sauce and Japanese broth in a pot.

In addition, other Japanese cuisine such as tempura and donburi which are also very popular are served here. Therefore, in this old fashioned Kyoto house, you can really enjoy a variety of delicious, traditional Japanese cuisine. 

The restaurant is located in a Kyoto-style house called “Machiya” built more than 100 years ago. They use the old house as it is with special folk art décor made by historically famous craft artisans in Japan.