It’s weird: in every new location that we visited in Japan, the second day started with rain. This was, however, not a problem for us. While we hung out in a Starbucks (for Internet!) we made a reservation at a one-Michelin star restaurant called: Ikuta.
Restaurant Ikuta *
When we entered the restaurant, the two servers went on their knees (literally!) and bowed for us. We felt a bit uncomfortable about it, but in Japan everybody bows and thanks you extensively, so did we. It feels kind of normal to show your respect. But getting on your knees for us is just too much politeness that we can handle.
We were directed to a private room with views on a small Japanese garden, where we had a great lunch served in many different courses. The fish and vegetables tasted soft, smooth and fresh. It was a traditional Japanese kaiseki lunch and sake, for 8.900 yen in total. Not expensive at all for such an private dining experience. The service was good and in English, although the guy who served us looked somewhat nervous. It was a really great experience and we rate this place with an 8.5 out of 10.
Municipality museum Kyoto
After our fantastic lunch, we went to the Municipality museum. We did not see the regular exposition but we walked straight to the contemporary print art exposition. We saw many awesome illustrations and paintings made with different techniques. The museum building itself looks impressive too.
% Arabica coffee, best coffee in Kyoto!
We received a tip from our new friend in Tokyo (a barista herself) to go to a new coffee spot in Kyoto: % Arabica. The place had opened only two months ago, and it looked awesome! It’s situated in the touristic part of Tokyo, near Kinencho. The interior is modern and fresh with wood, glass and white coffee machines. Inside there are a few seats around a long table, which invited to have a nice chat with some Japanese people.
And then the coffee. That’s just a must-try when you visit Kyoto. I can recommend the single origin from Ethiopia. And if you like fresh beans to take away, they roast them on the spot with a fancy looking machine. It’s worth the 10-minute wait! They roast light to medium dark. The service is good as well! There are two guys, one guy from Texas and a latte art barista genius: Junichi Yamaguchi. Difficulty in finding this place? Just follow the great smell of coffee in this neighbourhood. Sometimes there is a cue outside. Don’t hesitate to join! I rate this place with a 10 out of 10. Please % Arabica: come to Amsterdam too!
After our great coffee experience, we went to another highlight: The international Manga museum in Kyoto. It’s basically a huge library with millions of Manga books and an exposition about the history of manga. And there was an expo about a new manga serie. It was a pity that there were not more paintings on the wall. I missed the screen projections, the large printed frames and there could have been done more with motion pictures.
Restaurant Sou 宗
Evening dinner at Sou was a true disappointment. The place looks cool and local from the outside. It is even located at a non-touristic spot. It’s packed with Japanese people and a reservation was needed to have dinner here. First, we had an amuse of the house, which was okay. But then we got our rice dishes with disappointing toppings. They looked and tasted like rice toppings you can buy at every supermarket. The rice tasted bitter and tasteless. The vegetable plate was extremely small. We didn’t understand it at all. And then we had to pay table charge of 1000 yen?! This is a place which should be forgotten as soon as possible. We rate it with a 3 out of 10.