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Ratings and reviews

#271 of 8,083 Restaurants in Kyoto
RATINGS
Food
Service
Value
Atmosphere

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PRICE RANGE
$350 - $450
CUISINES
Japanese, Asian, Kaiseki
Meals
Dinner, Lunch
Reviews (103)
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Reviewed July 13, 2019

I went to Kyoto Kitcho Arashiyama today and it was just outstanding. The seasonal food was perfect and often left us speechless. The flavours and textures were outstanding and well balanced. We were looked after by Mari who was graceful and answered all our questions...in English. The view from our private room was a gorgeous little garden and the sake we ordered perfectly matched the dishes. This was so much more than a delicious meal, it was a wonderful experience. I would definitely recommend it and will certainly go back again.More

Date of visit: July 2019
Helpful?
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed May 30, 2019 via mobile

We had dinner there this evening. This is an elegant restaurant in a beautiful setting. The service is outstanding. The ingredients used were good and in some cases very good. The food is traditional Japanese Kaiseki. The problem is that a Michelin 3 star restaurant...with prices of this exorbitant magnitude should deliver a once in a lifetime experience. This restaurant fails in that regard. Having eaten at comparable places around the US ( French Laundry,Alinea, Le Bernadin, etc) and Paris (L’Epicure), I can unhesitatingly state that this restaurant is NOT at that level. And tellingly, this conclusion was predicted by natives of Kyoto. I strongly suggest that you find another restaurant that might deliver what the price promises.More

Date of visit: May 2019
Helpful?4  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed May 9, 2019

This is a three hour cultural immersion. Part theater, part art exhibition, part history lesson, it is an epicurean experience not to be missed. Let me say upfront that the price tag is astronomical and so this experience will be way out of reach for...the budget, average or even premium economy traveller. We were a party of three and the price tag was over $2,200 US dollars. Now before you look away in disgust consider the opening salvo to this review. What are we paying today for tickets to Broadway or West End shows? I know Hamilton tickets were going for one thousand dollars a pop...it's getting common to pay $500 for most top shows & second seller concert tickets often go for the same. Considering that having a fine meal and then going to a hot-ticket show, plus transportation can easily add up to 2 grand night, you can understand why you'd have no buyers remorse spending this kind of money on this meal in the exotic location of Kyoto & for something that is sure to become the most memorable part of your Japan trip. When you make your reservation you are asked to chose between three options of price fixe menus. 45,000, 52,000, or 60,000 Yen per person, before tax & gratuity. We went the whole hog. The setting is in a classic traditional Ryokan; so sitting on floor, low lacquer table, beautifully simplistic. You may be the only party in the room & you may even be the only party in the whole house, for all I know. We used a phone to create some background music, which I felt was missing. The room was a little too quiet and having a good playlist going really made us feel more at home, which is what the staff wants. There are several servers, one of whom is the owner, wife of the chef. They talk to you over tea about allergies and things you may not like, but forewarned, there will definitely be some things - out of the literally 50 bites of things you are trying - that you won't like. Although everything is the highest quality and you learn a little about the sourcing and tradition of many dishes, it is all traditional Japanese food, which includes many dishes Westerners will be unfamiliar and even uncomfortable with. It is a fish heavy meal (like their diet), although there were vegetables served with every course, plus there was a chicken and two beef courses (one Kobe and the other a more local Wagyu). Each course was brought out displayed so artistically and beautifully it felt a shame to ruin by eating. So a tray would arrive one of the sushi courses and it was arranged like and under-the-sea diorama. The next, also sushi, had a cherry blossom theme and by this I don't just mean cherry blossoms were on the tray, I mean the food was made to look like the flowers....pieces of lump lobster, with a dot of pink roe atop, arranged in a clump of three, sitting beside green spiced leaf veg, artfully interspersed with delicate twigs of fried kelp, to create the perfect allusion of the a bough & blossoms. Art. One of our favorite courses came when our main server, came in carrying a large, covered steaming silver tureen, which grand's un-lidding, proved to be a smoking bamboo shoot heart. A special table was set up, where the master of the ginzu knife, set about carving it up for us. It was delectable - somewhere between artichoke heart and heart of palm. We were presented our portion with amazing and varied sauces for dipping. On and on it went, course after course, saki sip after saki sip. And although you leave full, you are not sick the way you would be when you eat the same amount of food off one plate in a half hour, as you did here, eating a little at a time over 2 1/2 hours. You will remember this meal for a long time.More

Date of visit: April 2019
Helpful?4  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed April 25, 2019 via mobile

Everything about this restaurant is mind blowing. The food is impeccable presented, and tastes even better than it looks. The setting - along the river near the bamboo forest - is enchanting, and the staff are exceptionally attentive without being pushy. Be warned, it’s pricy!...But well worth it.More

Date of visit: April 2019
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Reviewed April 21, 2019 via mobile

Ladies and Gentlemen, here is the nicest case of 2019. making a reservation at this so called placed Kitcho. Not attending. BUT Getting charged a no show fee + service and consumption tax for 4 menus. (53,000 Yen) You can be the greatest chef of...all time, the best service, having the best ingredients still having FLEXIBILITY in this current high competitive food market is key. How will your ingredients been thrown away, if you are full for a whole week? Charging a certain penalty fee is understandable but the whole amount + taxes. How can you charge an invoice for a product you haven’t even sold. Wishing the Chef Arashiyama the greatest success. But remember the best times always come to an end.More

Date of visit: April 2019
Helpful?4  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed July 13, 2018 via mobile

Kitcho was one of the restaurants we wanted to try on our first visit to Kyoto but after reading the very mixed reviews on Trip Advisor we were disuaded from making a reservation. Luckily we received a list of favorite restaurants from one of our...top foodie friends and at the top of the list of 15 restaurants it said “***Arashiyama Kitcho (if you only go to one restaurant in Kyoto, go here!)” so we made the reservation. Every single dish we ate was exquisite in taste and presentation. I have never seen food there could be this delicious and still look like art (please see pictures we felt compelled to take for our own records). The service was on par with the best restaurants globally. The ambience of tranquil Japanese tradition was wonderful. I really don’t understand how anyone who is proper foodie could not absolutely adore this meal and the people who wrote negative reviews make no sense to me; the only point I can somewhat understand is the cost of the meal is around $1,000 for two people which is not a low amount but at the same time this expense is known up front before the meal and I feel very good saying the meal is well worth it. For us the visit to Arashiyama Kitcho was easily one of the ten best meals of all time. If you are lucky enough to visit Kyoto and secure a booking do not miss a meal here!!More

Date of visit: July 2018
Helpful?11  
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Reviewed June 20, 2018

We had a wonderful meal at Kitcho Arashiyama. We were served in a private room with a view of the garden. The food was very good, but not all our dishes were amazing. Before writting this review I have taken some time to think about...our meal and review our pictures of each dish. After the meal it did not feel like a three star restaurant. We had some special dished: the white and green asparagus cooked at our table, the toro (belly of tuna) was unbelievable maybe the best we have eaten on this trip, a dish that included some of the freshest crab I have ever found in a restaurant. Not all the dished hit these high notes. For example we had a vegtable suop that was tasty, but not special, as part of a bigger arrangement of food a piece of beef, againt not special The platting was beautiful, the service was good mybe not over the top. We had the sake that was recommended, it went perfectly with all our dishes. You will have to decide if you want to spend your time and money on this restaurant. It was a close call for me but not five stars, but some very special dishes.If you go EnjoyMore

Date of visit: June 2018
Helpful?2  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed June 4, 2018

We have dined at exquisite 3-star Michelin restaurants in Kyoto, Tokyo and around the world. (We are also experienced with 2-star, 1-star, and no-star restaurants.) We can tell when we are getting good value and when we are not. When compared with Kichisen, Hyotei, Nakazawa,...and Kikunoi (which are other 3-star restaurants in Kyoto), Kitcho cannot justify its immense price. The portions are not as generous and the artistry in the food is somewhat lacking. In order to feel full, we had to load up on the final rice dish. The setting was also unsatisfying -- we were given a noisy room that faced the loud driveway, street, and parking area. Definitely avoid Kitcho.More

Date of visit: May 2018
Helpful?2  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed May 26, 2018

We had dinner here during our 2 weeks and a total of crazy 21 Michelin stars in Japan. This is the most expensive meal ever for us at a Michelin restaurant (our Table 55 dinner at the St Regis New York was more), and yet...we loved it. It also was super convenient to our Suiran hotel, just a block away! For me, Kitcho was worth every penny--as it was absolutely delicious, absolutely authentic, and absolutely was genuine Japanese dinner theater in every way. The private tatami room, the private garden, the spectacular furnishings and dishware and table settings and glassware, the kimono clad servers, the precision of service, the friendliness and obvious pride and pleasure of the entire service team. It was overwhelmingly the most memorable meal for us in Japan and certainly will be one of our most memorable of all time. Go. Don't think. Just go--assuming you can afford it. It's amazing. For us, this was better even than Yoshitake and Narisawa in Tokyo and the incredible food/presentation (but not service) at Hajime in Osaka. To us, Kitcho was the quintessentially sublime Japanese dining experience. You can't get a meal like this anywhere else in Japan or the world. Incredible.More

Date of visit: May 2018
Helpful?8  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed May 21, 2018

We went tonight to Kitcho expecting a transcendental experience. Instead we paid 1500 dollars--1500 DOLLARS for a meal that I would say was fine at best. We have dined at other 3-star restaurants. This was not that. We were seated in what felt to us...like an empty room of a banquet hall in a chinese restaurant. Overlit and bedraggled. The first few courses were nice--sashimi and vegetables. Then 2 courses of "sweet fish", which we had had a few nights before in Narisawa in Tokyo. Right now the sweet fish are anything but sweet, as they have moss in their guts (don't ask) so to serve that twice was a bit of an unhappy shock. Then before we were started, the meal was over. They cannot justify the price based on ingredients and the service was fine but not special. It felt like a rip off. So, save your dollars. Go eat some other amazing Kyoto food, but don't do this!More

Date of visit: May 2018
Helpful?8  
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Reviewed January 14, 2018

I was there for a business dinner and everything was perfect, the service the drinks the food and the atmosphere! we felt completely surrounded by the Japanese tradition and all was so magic. I wish to go back there soon! Definitively worth trying it for...a luxurious Japanese-traditional culinary experience. TOP!More

Date of visit: August 2017
Helpful?5  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed July 13, 2017 via mobile

Booking for dinners in this 3 - star Michelin has to be done well in advance and it is better to try lunch , if your schedule allows . There is also an advantage having the delicacies at day time as the beautiful garden view...makes your culinary journey that much more enjoyable . We were in the largest of the rooms which could accommodate 12 guests . Actually , it is not a room with a view , but several views , all memorable. The Japanese garden is generously displayed through four large panel of glasses , from floor to ceiling . The landscape artist must have graduated with a prize . Don't just appreciate it from your seat as resting yourself at the corner of the glass and looking at the lovely bushes and plants outside definitely generates a sense of tranquillity. Exploring the other two views have to be done through thin curtains of bamboo . They are on different sides of the room and looking through the space among the bamboo , with the gardens outside , somehow produces two colorful paintings out of your wildest imagination . One may wonder when this review will start with the cuisines . Well ,it will be boring as every dish deserves the rating of excellence , and can challenge the best of kaiseki food . It is summertime and the appetizers are purported to be geared to the very hot whether , which on this day , is between 36 to 37 degrees Celsius . They fulfilled the purpose nicely . All the dishes came with very well matched cutlery and dishes and I suspected the chef attempted to compete with nature , as aforementioned, with his own coloring and display . In one case , the fish rested comfortably on a green elongated ceramic container and amply emphasized the shape of the fried fish . The tofu with sea urchin on top was also well presented in a little bright yellow bowl . None of the courses could be said to be ordinary . However , the enjoyment did not come cheap and would be around Yen 49, 000 per person. You will certainly remember this restaurant because of its artistic excellence, represented by the gardens / the views as well as the chef's interpretation of food , vegetables and fruits .More

Date of visit: July 2017
Helpful?1  
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Reviewed July 10, 2017

If you want to have an elegant experience and if you want to eat beauty you will like it ,the best is the girl that serves you ,she is very sweet. It is a performance of an esthetic experience,the price is totally absurd, do not...go .More

Date of visit: July 2017
Helpful?10  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed April 20, 2017 via mobile

We had a decent kaiseki meal at Kitcho. The private room and service were elegant and impeccable. The overall experience reasonably enjoyable. But we spent $1250 for the two of us with minimal alcohol. And the food was not even close to worth it. Mediocre...is the best description. The Michelin three stars in Kyoto are not comparable to three star restaurants in the US or Europe. The menu was very traditional but lacking any creativity or luxurious ingredients, except a small toro serving. Lots of steamed vegetables and fried fish. Frankly, you can eat in a high end Japanese restaurant in SF or NYC for $350 for two and have dramatically better food. We also had meals in Tokyo for half the price that were also much better -- try Narisawa or Ryugin. I think Kitcho lives on tourist business. Even wealthy Japanese know to avoid restaurants like this and some locals we spoke with told us as much (unfortunately after the fact). If you go, you won't have a bad experience but you will feel taken advantage of.More

Date of visit: April 2017
Helpful?14  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed April 20, 2017 via mobile

Kitcho was truly a wonderful experience. Very peaceful, delicious with creative food. We had two bottle of home sake which was really wonderful and refined. Very pleasant. Less pleasant was the bill. $1200 for two people for this meal was a complete ripoff. I'm sorry....I could have had a nice dinner in Paris with a nice bottle of wine and have a much better food. I think the 2 and 3 Michelin stars restaurants in Kyoto are just not at the same level as the 2-3 level Michelin in Europe or the US. If you are in Kyoto - go to a non Michelin stared sushi and shabu shabu. Much better and way much cheaper.More

Date of visit: April 2017
Helpful?7  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Questions & Answers
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ovee l
August 8, 2015|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from ChrisF_Sydney | Reviewed this property |
Hi website usually provides a guide - cost of food around A$500 then wine which is expensive everywhere in Japan. Definitely worth every cent.
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KYOTO KITCHO ARASHIYAMA - Western Kyoto - Menu, Prices & Restaurant Reviews - Tripadvisor

Frequently Asked Questions about Kyoto Kitcho Arashiyama

Kyoto Kitcho Arashiyama is rated accordingly in the following categories by Tripadvisor travelers:
  • Food: 4.5
  • Service: 4.5
  • Value: 4
  • Atmosphere: 5