Meet the theme restaurant that is a love letter to the city of Kyoto.
So, you find yourself in Tokyo for a quick business trip or a couple days’ stopover. You want to see as much as you can—and explore as much Japanese cuisine as possible—in a limited amount of time. Well, if this is your predicament, there is some good news to share—and that good news goes by the name of Kyomachi Koishigure. Without stepping outside of Tokyo’s Shinjuku district, this theme restaurant will transport you to the streets of Kyoto and give you the opportunity to taste the dishes that have put Kyoto dining on the map.
Before we get into the food, let’s talk atmosphere. Without a doubt, this restaurant has a comfortable, cosy ambience. Tokyo is known for its lights, busy streets and fun attractions, but stepping into this space is like entering a whole other world. Kyoto, although a large city in its own right, was the imperial capital of Japan for over a thousand years. It is a city steeped in history, and it’s visually spectacular with its traditional buildings and lush surroundings. Kyomachi Koishigure seats 365 patrons, but captures the romanticism of ancient Kyoto’s streets and architecture. Be prepared to go up some stairs, cross a couple of bridges, gaze at the beautiful cherry blossoms and walk along a stream en route to your private dining area. Venturing into this theme restaurant is like venturing into another corner of Japan—all without leaving Tokyo, of course!
In terms of cost, especially when considering that the cost of the average theme restaurant can run higher than other establishments, this pick is really a winning choice.
Guests can expect to pay a 500-yen (about five dollars for us Canadian folk!) seating fee- reasonable by theme restaurant standards. After that, a meal can run around $40 to $50 (depending on how hungry you are). Considering what it would cost to get yourself to Kyoto, this is a bargain. Best of all, the food at this theme restaurant is hearty and delicious. So, let’s explore what’s on the menu!
Before deciding on your dishes, take some time to peruse the appetizers and the drinks menu, which Kyomachi Koishigure is known for. Guests are invited to try one of the many pairings—bringing out the flavours of the sake as well as the scrumptious appetizers. Tofu and fresh vegetables are highlighted in many of the dishes, and the winter hot pot is no exception: this is a creamy, soy-based favourite that allows diners to warm their stomachs. If you’re more in the mood for sushi, you’re in luck! The sushi options at Kyomachi Koishigure are plentiful and each option is a combination of delicious tastes with visually pleasing colours. It’s kind of like eating little pieces of art (it’s not uncommon to see diners snapping photos of their meals at this restaurant!). Finally, make sure to choose a dish that includes tofu—Kyoto is well-known for its tofu, an ingredient which has become an important part of many dishes. Whatever you choose, be mindful … you’ll want to save some room for dessert!
So, if you’re looking for something a little different, while sticking with an experience that lets you explore Japanese food and culture, make sure to add Kyomachi Koishigure to your list of things to do in Tokyo. Spend the day exploring the excitement of Shinjuku only to relax on the peaceful streets of Kyoto by night.
Some facts for your night on the town
- Kyoto was the imperial capital of Japan from 794 until 1868 AD
- Kyoto contains approximately 2,000 shrines and temples within its city limits
- It’s known as being an academic hub in Japan, containing 37 centres of higher learning
- Kyoto is the capital city of Kyoto Prefecture in the Kansai Region of Japan
- Yudofu is a popular Kyoto dish—it contains Kyoto-made tofu (a city specialty!) simmered in a broth of vegetables (yum!)
- Obanzai Ryori is a traditional style of cooking from Kyoto. It is comprised of a number of small dishes that are easily prepared, but very tasty!
Kyomachi Koishigure Honkan
Located a two-minute walk from JR Shinjuku Station. Take the east exit and walk toward Shinjuku Sanchome. The restaurant can be accessed from Shinjuku Sanchome Station as well.
Musashino Hall Bldg. 6th floor,
3-27-10 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Sun–Mon 5 pm–11 pm • Tue–Sat 5 pm–4 am
This restaurant is closed until September, 2016 due to construction of the building.