Kyoto, Japan

kaiseki ryori kyoto japan

Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto, Japan

Eat It: Sushi and ramen are popular around the world -- but one style of Japanese food isn't often found outside the country: kaiseki ryori, a refined meal that evolved from the tea ceremony to become aristocratic haute cuisine in this former imperial capital. A kaiseki meal focuses on fresh, seasonal ingredients, unfolding in a series of small courses, each served in an exquisite dish. Typically there is an appetizer, sashimi, a simmered dish, a grilled dish and a steamed course -- but chefs can add a number of other choices to create a parade of little delights.

Experience It: A kaiseki meal is best enjoyed at a ryokan (traditional Japanese inn), where it's served in your room. Tawaraya, Shiraume, Hiiragiya and Tamahan are all highly regarded, if pricey, ryokans in Kyoto. Haru Cooking Class gives you insights into Japanese cuisine, including making dashi (stock), and has an option to cook with famed Kobe beef. Uzuki Japanese Cuisine has classes to prepare multi-course meals, as well as sweets.

Japan Travel Guide