Best Izakaya Guide Kyoto: 5 Izakaya to Visit in Gion, Kyoto
Dining and drinking at an izakaya is one of the most traditional things you can do in Japan. Whether it’s your first time in Kyoto or you’ve been frequenting here, missing izakaya is an inexcusable mistake. If you haven’t been to one, in this guide, we will walk you through the best izakaya in Kyoto, particularly the Gion area.
Izakaya is a traditional pub or tavern where locals meet up for some casual drinks, eating, and socializing. Ultimately, the core idea of izakayas is to have a good time with friends or colleagues over alcoholic beverages like sake, beer, and shochu paired with small dishes ranging from a variety of yakitori (grilled chicken) to edamame to gyoza to karaage (fried chicken) to tsukemono (pickles). Nevertheless, it’s not a bad idea to make friends with strangers at an izakaya at all!
The atmosphere of izakaya is relaxed and cozy with its traditional interior. Some izakaya may have counter seats (called “kaunta-seki”), private booths (called “koshitsu”), or low tables with floor seats (called “zashiki”).
If you have no idea where to go or how to start, here are the best izakaya in Gion, Kyoto that you should keep in your notes:
1. Gion Yuki
One of the most foreigner-friendly izakaya is Gion Yuki. They have an English menu and staff that can speak English. Try their omakase (chef’s choice) for a surprise!
Price: From 250 yen
Hours: 4:00 PM - 9:30 PM (Mondays to Fridays) | 3:00 PM - 10:00 PM (Saturdays) | Closed on Sundays
Contact: +81 75-525-2666
Location: 111-1 Tominagacho, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Japan
2. Gion Kappa Restaurant
Another foreigner-friendly izakaya, Gion Kappa offers a range of Japanese favorites—from sushi and grilled meat to sake and wine. You don’t need a reservation to come here, so just drop by and enjoy!
Price: From 350 yen
Hours: 6:00 PM - 2:00 PM (Tuesdays to Saturdays) | 5:00 PM - 12:00 MN (Sunddays) | Closed on Mondays
Contact: +81 75-531-1112
Location: 77 Sueyoshicho, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Japan
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If you are looking for an izakaya that has private booths, look for Yorozu-Enraku. This quaint little place serves outstanding sashimi, tempura, and some of the best agedashi tofu you will ever taste in an izakaya.
Price: From 400 yen
Hours: 5:00 PM - 11:00 PM (Mondays to Saturdays) | Until 10:00 PM only on Fridays | Closed on Saturdays/Sundays
Contact: +81 75-533-1511
Location: 570-143 Gionmachi Minamigawa, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Japan
4. Gion Bansan
As one of the most popular izakaya in Gion, this restaurant can get busy, especially during rush hour. Expect full seats! Gion Bansan’s exterior is a Kyoto-style townhouse, but it does have a cozy traditional interior. Don’t miss their grilled chicken and vegetables!
Price: From 200 yen
Hours: 6:00 PM - 11:30 PM (Mondays to Saturdays) | Closed on Sundays
Contact: +81 75-541-5523
Location: 95, Sueyoshicho, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Japan
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5. Yataizushi Gionhanamikojimachi
If you want to know where the locals eat, this one is one of them. Yataizushi offers good food and excellent customer service. Go try their luxury sushi platter and fried octopus!
Price: From 359 yen
Hours: 244-2 Nakanocho, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Japan
Contact: +81 75-525-2089
Location: 4:00 PM - 1:00 AM (Mondays to Sundays)
That’s a wrap for the best izakaya in Gion, Kyoto! Which one are you visiting?
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