Azekura – Italian Restaurant

I was planning to visit the Kamigamo shrine and environs, so decided to reserve lunch at this old farmhouse nearby. The huge darkened beams and white plastered walls of the former farmhouse this Italian restaurant occupies create a sophisticated rustic atmosphere, known as wabi, the Japanese love. A kimono merchant moved the structure here from Nara a generation ago. The set menu changes with the season and sometimes the month, but from simpler pasta courses to more elaborate meat and fish dishes, the food is always fresh, flavorful, and skillfully presented.

Azekura is fully licensed and makes an excellent stop for lunch, after which you can tour the impressive grounds and gallery, which has occasional displays of fine kimonos.

This 18th century building was formerly a sake warehouse located in Nara that has been moved and faithfully recreated. Its 300-year-old frame is supported by thick beams of pine and cypress. Inside there are 5 tatami mat rooms that can be used as party spaces. You can use all of them, or any combination. Your party might include a concert of Western music followed by a Japanese-style buffet, or displays of kimono and flowers. The ability to mix Japanese and Western elements makes this an exciting venue.