The Three Michelin Star Restaurant Hyotei is located across the street from the famed Nanzenji temple, nestled away on a little street 15 minutes away from downtown Kyoto. The 450-year-old restaurant was once utilized as a teahouse for visitors, and the chef is the 5th generation chef in the region, which is very noteworthy.
First and foremost, the restaurant is a full throwback to the past, and it transports you to feudal Japan 450 years in the past. When you arrive on the premises, you will not be permitted to enter until you have verified your identity and reservation. Following confirmation, you will be shown to your individual room, which is constructed of wood, bamboo, and stone. Each accommodation has a view of either a pond, waterfall, or woods, which makes for a nice and serene experience for all guests. At no point throughout my eating experience did we hear or see anybody else outdoors.
The service was also typical in terms of what it was like 450 years ago, according to the participants. All of the women on the team were dressed in traditional Kimonos. As soon as the staff members removed our coats, they placed the man’s coat in a basket and the woman’s coat on the ground. When it comes to meal service, men are served first and are given larger servings of both food and drink.
Undoubtedly, team GTE supports gender equality, but they took this event with a grain of salt to recognize that it is the restaurant’s way of maintaining an experience and tradition that dates back over 500 years.
Cuisine Type: Japanese
Address: 35 Nanzenji-kusagawacho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, 606-8437, Japan
Phone: +81 75-771-4116
Website: Hyotei Official Site
Hours: Closed: Wednesday
Michelin Stars: 3