Kyoto cuisine is very refined and its obvious with such a rich culture dating back 1,200 years. Kaiseki is easily characterized by its use of seasonal ingredients and the dedication to the nature and the spirit of zen Buddhism. The evolution of kaiseki hasn’t changed that much over time and the spirit of remains much the same.
West of Kyoto in Arashiyama, the sakura petals are falling into the river, and the image of spring has suddenly arrived. There you’ll find kitcho one of Japans most beautiful culinary experiences often described as Kyoto’s most exclusive restaurant specializing in kaiseki.
I first visited kitcho some 30 years ago and in those days it was even more impressive but there is one thing that hasn’t changed, and that’s the idea of micro-cosmic cuisine. The idea that kaiseki is a bridge between man and nature and it represents a very small part of our cosmos yet it impresses upon us the importance of who we are and where we are. It is one of the last remaining small-scale models of why seasonality is so important in cuisine.
Exquisite kitcho is, with many intricate details of spring served on a lacquer tray. The stage setting is impressive to most and the cuisine catches your eyes immediately.
I admire kitcho’s detail and dedication to their form of cuisine as it’s becoming more and more complex. I adore kaiseki and I used to travel to Miyimasou to be in nature and experience what I used to believe was among the best culinary experiences of my life. The owner Nakahigashi was a master of tea ceremony, he was dedicated to his forest, temple, family and his friends and clients. Unfortunately he died very young. His brother operates his own restaurant in Kyoto named Nakahigashi a very sought after table.
Many years ago kitcho opened in a hotel in Seiyo Ginza and was their first attempt at going mainstream but their was a clear division between Arishiyama and Tokyo. It still remains the same way and the only thing that has changed is in the past years kitcho was inaccessible to ordinary people.