japan kyoto

But we were ready for a lovely evening in Kyoto with delicious food.

An evening out in Kyoto

Either way, we wanted to go out for a lovely evening and treat ourselves to a meal. We’d been travelling for quite some time and thought Japan was the country to eat some incredible food.

We read about the best area of Kyoto to go and dine, but as usual, we wandered the tiny cobbled streets, glancing over a few different menus, looking for something authentic.

We found a place that felt right and walked inside to be greeted by the sweetest little Japanese girl dressed in a kimono requesting that we take our shoes off at the door, replace them with complimentary soft slippers, and follow her inside.

It feels like another world in here

We were taken upstairs; the restaurant’s interior was built in a dark wood, complemented by the glow of many candles and Japanese lanterns that set the mood. I was quietly getting excited, as this is the reason I travel.

She led us into a room with big round plastic tables.  In one corner, many mature-aged Western tourists were sitting, eating, and were quite loud, trying to talk to each other.  In the other corner was another group of Westerners eating, a mirror image of the other table.

My heart sank a little, and my expectations almost shattered.

I looked at Marty, noticing her disappointment, too. I asked the young girl if this was the only room for dining or if they had a more authentic Japanese-style dining room with tables low to the floor like the ones I’d seen in movies, etc.

She giggled nervously and replied, ‘Oh, of course, follow me’.

She led us around to the right, behind another silk curtain.

evening in kyoto - japan tuna

Pulling the curtain across was like entering another world. I felt joy immediately as I saw small, intimate bamboo tables adorned with red lanterns and soft, colourful cushions to be seated on.

The room was full of local Japanese couples and friends enjoying delicious sashimi, soups, and noodle dishes.

Now we were in the right place! We enjoyed beautiful sashimi, tuna tataki (this dish I will never forget; it was perfect), and super fresh sushi.

We paired wine with our meal, and the cosy atmosphere was exactly how I’d imagined it should go.

Japan is foodie heaven. The food is healthy, clean, and delicious. I highly recommend you try these 20 Incredible Foods from Japan.

The people are polite, helpful, and very respectful. I am already planning another trip for the very near future.

For my next trip, I’ll reserve my Japan Rail pass online before I arrive. This is the best and most affordable way to get around the country.

If you love food and culture, mark Japan on your bucket list. Put it right at the top!

Japan is on our list of the 10 Best Countries for Food Lovers, and when you consider we’ve visited every country in the world, that’s a big call!

evening in kyoto - japan sushi

Travel Tips for Japan

First of all, make sure you get connected the easy way in Japan – and buy an eSIM! It’s easy, affordable and convenient. View eSIM for Japan Data Packs here.

Don’t miss reading our Food Map of Asia – Delicious Food to Try in 39 Countries and this ULTIMATE Packing List for Asia.

We love travelling in this region of the world, and to be honest, the cuisine is a major motivator for our travels here.

One destination that reminded us of Japan was Taiwan. Perhaps it was the cuisine, the people, the sights, or all these things combined. The bottom line is that we LOVED Taiwan and highly recommend you consider visiting before or after your trip to Japan.

You may even be inspired to visit the beautiful Taiwan Islands if you watch our 5 short Travel Vlogs about the Taiwan Islands. And for the foodies out there, you’ll appreciate our Food Lovers Bible to Taipei.