Along with finding a lovely place to stay and visiting the beautiful temple complexes, eating sushi was at the top of our list of must-dos in Kyoto. Extensive research led us to Chojiro, which boasted absolutely delicious sushi photos, great reviews, reasonable prices, and image-based ordering via iPad. For two sushi lovers with less than fluent Japanese skills, as you can imagine, the latter was quite attractive.
We don’t often ask for assistance from the concierge, but in Kyoto (and later in Tokyo), we took full advantage of this service. I’d recommend doing the same. At our request, the Hyatt Regency Kyoto concierge reserved a table for us at Chojiro, and while we were out for the day, she left us a note in English and Japanese detailing the time and location of our reservation. This note came in quite handy when communicating with both the taxi driver who transported us to central Kyoto and the restaurant’s hostess.
Once at Chojiro, we were seated right away and provided with an iPad, which made ordering a breeze. We also completely lucked out in that a very friendly sushi chef spoke fluent English. After I inquired about tamari or gluten-free soy sauce, which she readily provided me with, she went the extra mile and advised about which menu items were unsafe for a gluten-free eater. The silky smooth seared scallop with basil was by far my favorite, and the salmon and fluke nigiri were fantastic as well.
We left Chojiro with full bellies and wallets, as a large meal for two cost only about ￥3000 ($30), a total bargain. Chojiro is located in central Kyoto, an easy stroll to daytime shopping and nighttime drinking in Gion. We opted for a leisurely walk through the narrow alleys of Gion, along the quiet Kamo River, and back to our oasis just south of the center of town. Kyoto in the summer, especially during the Star Festival, was gorgeous, and we can’t wait to go back next year.
Check back next week for our experience in Tokyo!
Where? Chojiro is located near Gion in central Kyoto: 103-2 Hashimotocho, Kyoto (+81-75-708-2037).