A project by Meraviglia Paper. With Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO).
Gion has the magical sound of Japanese metropolis. Although a tourist hub, you cannot help but being drawn to it, especially in Kyoto. You will love the row of traditional dwellings that directly abut the river and the pedestrian street lined by cherry blossoms. Our magnet in Gion is Kiln, we can reach it eyes closed. In the café on the ground floor they serve the most amazing breakfast: handmade rosemary biscuits, dried fruit cakes, scones with sultana and filtered coffee. You can leisurely enjoy it at the big table to share. In the evening, at Kiln restaurant, on the first floor, the Philippines-born Chef Marc and his team welcome you with a warm smile. The menu includes perfectly round bread baked in the wood oven, vegetable and feta pissaladière and citrus creme brûlé. It’s a spot, where Europe meets Japan and the rest of the World and falls in love with them.
It will not suffice travelling the narrow streets beyond the big main roads, full of cinematographic cues, going up the Kyoto Tower at sunset, visiting the many temples and shrines, or getting lost in the peaceful Zen gardens. In order to comprehend the hidden charm of Kyoto, even the less adventurous palates should try at least once the kaiseki cuisine, which boasts an age-old fame in this city. Wakuden Muromachi is the address to keep in mind. Dinner resembles a ritual in the ceremony of its gestures, the extreme elegance of its ceramics, and the extraordinariness of its courses composed of precise sculptures. A mix of sweet, sharp, extreme, strong, and subtle flavours. Easy or not, they will touch you and give you a deeper understanding of Japanese culture.
Kyoto is what you would expect Japan to look like: low houses along the river, old temples surrounded by amazing gardens, hand-stretched noodles and for the luckiest (it’s not easy to see them), geishas walking with silent and short strides and disappearing behind a door made of rise paper. To make the most of this magical experience, sleep in one of Kyoto’s historical houses, now open to tourists. Staying in one of the traditional machiya (old townhouses with workshop) is an experience in itself. Relax on the unexpectedly comfortable futons, enjoy take-away sushi on a low table, try the sauna with views on the zen courtyard. Not only it’s cheap, it’s well worth the expense.