When planning your Japan trip and searching for things to do in Kyoto, you’re probably imagining all the delicious Kyoto Japanese cuisine you’ll be able to eat, too. But with so many restaurants in Kyoto, Japan, it can be hard to find what you’re looking for!

To help you out, we’ll share with you the top 5 Restaurants around Kyoto Station – picked by the locals (AKA the MACHIYA INNS & HOTELS team)! These are our favorite Kyoto restaurants to visit for lunch near the JR Kyoto Station area.

Kyoto Station is not just the main train station to explore the city of Kyoto from, but is also home to numerous restaurants and shops. It is also close to many sightseeing locations, like the Kyoto Tower, Toji Temple, and Higashi Honganji Temple, as well as giving easy access to Arashiyama Bamboo Forest, Fushimi Inari Taisha, and many more of Kyoto’s sights.

Take a look at our list of favorite Kyoto restaurants to visit for lunch, which includes some unique and fun Japanese cuisine!

1. isoism (Healthy Kyoto 'tsukemono' Restaurant)

Just a 5 minute walk from JR Kyoto Station, isoism is a Kyoto restaurant that embraces the ‘zuke’, or pickled, food culture in Japan and takes it to a whole other level.  This restaurant is also a part of the ISOYA group, a group of restaurants in Kyoto, Japan which are well-known for the delicious Japanese food  using fresh and local Kyoto vegetables and adding a unique spin to it. 

There are 2 floors inside the restaurant, with an open-kitchen with counter seating on the first, and roomier table seating on the second floor. The food menu centers around various pickled vegetables and dishes using them, but don’t be afraid to try the fish and meat dishes!  Each Kyoto Japanese cuisine offered has a special touch that can only come from isoism, bringing out the flavor of the various ingredients.

STAFF RECOMMENDATION

If you’re visiting for lunch, we highly recommend trying their set lunch with 12 different types of pickled ‘tsukemono’ vegetables. It also comes with fresh and delicious ‘donabe’ gohan, or rice cooked in an earthen pot. For vegetarians traveling to Japan and looking for Kyoto Japanese cuisine, there are many options without meat and meat products, making isoism a great pick.  Using local Kyoto vegetables and ingredients, and with a focus on veggies throughout the menu, if you’re looking for healthy Japanese food, isoism is a great choice out of the many Kyoto Japanese restaurants in the Kyoto Station area.

Name (English): Tsuke-yasai isoism

Name (Japanese): 漬け野菜 isoism

English address:
114 Nakaicho, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto, 600-8219

Japanese address:
京都市下京区七条通烏西入中居町114

Telephone: 075-353-501

Opening hours:
 Lunch: available during 4 time slots respectively at  11:30、12:00、13:00、13:30 
 Dinner: 17:00〜23:00(last order 22:00)

Access:
5 minutes walk from JR Kyoto Station

2. Camos (Italian & Japanese Fusion)

At first glance, Camos may not look like a normal recommendation for travelers in Japan looking to try Japanese foods in a Kyoto restaurant, but the theme of the restaurant makes this one of our favorites in the Kyoto Station area.  Camos reopened in February of 2022 after undergoing renovations, and is an Italian restaurant with a Kyoto twist.  Using fermented dishes and local Kyoto vegetables throughout their menu items, the Kyoto restaurant manages to combine classic Italian dishes enjoyed around the would with Kyoto Japanese cuisine. Fermented dishes like pickles, miso, soy sauce, vinegar, and wheat gluten have a long history in Japanese foods. 

This Kyoto restaurant is also located in a relatively quiet area within walking distance of Kyoto Station. You can enjoy a leisurely lunch in the fashionable restaurant, or maybe choose one of the terrace seating available during nice weather.  Camos is also located close to Toji Temple and the Kyoto Aquarium, making it a great stop during sightseeing.

STAFF RECOMMENDATION

Trying traditional Japanese food and Kyoto Japanese cuisine is a must during your travels, but the unique collaboration between familiar Italian dishes and Kyoto food culture is definitely worth a visit.  Even better, the prices for the lunch sets are fairly reasonable here at this Kyoto restaurant.  Try a pizza topped with Japanese pickles, or a pasta dish made using fermented tomatoes.  If you’re in the mood for a drink, they also have a selection of wines, Japanese whisky, and Japanese sake.

Name (English): Camos

Name (Japanese): 京の発酵イタリアンCAMOS(カモス)

English address:
290番地 Daikokucho, Minami Ward, Kyoto, 601-8402

Japanese address:
京都市南区大宮通八条上ル大黒町290

Telephone: 050-5872-5641

Opening hours:
 Lunch: 11:00~15:00 (last order at 14:00)
 Dinner: 17:00〜22:00(last order at 21:00)

Access:
12 minutes walk from JR Kyoto Station

3. Kamado-Takitate-Gohan Doi (Traditional Japanese Cuisine - Buffet)

This unique restaurant has a long history behind the delicious Japanese food served here. Kamado-Takitate-Gohan Doi is operated by Doi Shibazuke Honpo, which has over 100 years of experience and history in making Kyoto style pickles in Ohara, a mountain village in Kyoto, Japan. The pickles buffet is a must, as you can try many different types of Japanese tsukemono pickles. The location of the restaurant is also convenient, as it is located at the Hachijo south exit of Kyoto Station, near the Shinkansen ticket gates as well as Kintetsu, JR, and subway gates. This Kyoto restaurant is a great addition to your list of places to visit during your travel in Japan!

STAFF RECOMMENDATION

When ordering the lunch set, we recommend trying one of the grilled fish dishes.  The sets come with freshly cooked rice, miso soup, and the all-you-can-eat Kyoto pickles buffet.  Try various types of tsukemono pickles at this Kyoto restaurant, including shibazuke, yuzu radish, and red turnip, to find your favorite. And before leaving, be sure to take a look at the pickles available for purchase near the cash register for a souvenir of your favorite pickles to enjoy later on!  Tsukemono pickles are delicious and make a great addition to any meal or a quick snack as you enjoy a drink, not to mention being a great option for healthy Japanese food.

Name (English): Kamado-Takitate-Gohan Doi – Kyoto Station Hachijo Exit

Name (Japanese): 竈炊き立てごはん 𡈽井 京都駅八条口店

English address:
290番地 Daikokucho, Minami Ward, Kyoto, 601-8402

Japanese address:
京都市下京区塩小路高倉町8-3 アスティロード京都 1F

Telephone: 075-634-8545

Opening hours:
9:00~22:00 (last order at 21:30)

Access: Located at the Hachijo southern exit of JR Kyoto Station

4. Tempura and Temari-Sushi Miyako

Japan is known for cute and adorable foods, and that goes for traditional Japanese food as well! Here at Tempura and Temari-sushi Miyako, you can find authentic and cute Kyoto Japanese cuisine in the form of temari-sushi.  Temari-sushi is a bite size sushi, said to have originated from making small sushi that even small-mouthed maiko could enjoy delicately. While enjoying the delicious and beautiful temari-sushi along with freshly made tempura using seasonal ingredients, enjoy the view from the 11th floor looking out over the area to the south of Kyoto Station.

STAFF RECOMMENDATION

When ordering the lunch set, not only can you enjoy tempura and temari-sushi, but you also receive warm red miso soup and a dessert.  Eye-catching and visually pleasing, the  temari-sushi is carefully made one by one.  As each one is small in size, you are able to enjoy a larger variety of flavors all at once. This Kyoto restaurant is located on the 11th floor of CUBE, which is connected to JR Kyoto Station, making access while exploring the city a breeze.  Be sure to arrive early for lunch to ensure a table, as the delicious food and great view make this one a popular destination! 

Name (English): Tempura and Temari-Sushi Miyako

Name (Japanese): 天ぷらと手まり寿司 都

English address:
〒600-8216 Kyoto, Shimogyo Ward, Higashishiokojicho, 901, Kyoto Station Building, 11F ザ・キューブ

Japanese address:
京都市下京区烏丸通塩小路下ル東塩小路町901 京都駅ビル専門店街 ザ・キューブ 11F

Telephone: 050-5872-7249

Opening hours:
11:00~16:00、16:00~22:00

Access: On the 11th floor of CUBE, connected to JR Kyoto Station

5. Lorimer Kyoto (Traditional Japanese Cuisine)

Lorimer Kyoto is a restaurant with a Japanese traditional atmosphere while also maintaining a modern touch.  Located in a renovated Kyoto machiya, or traditional Japanese townhouse, this Kyoto restaurant lets you feel the unique atmosphere of being in Kyoto City even as you dine. Serving traditional ‘washoku’ style Japanese cuisine, they pride themselves on using fresh fish and vegetables, local to Kyoto and the surrounding area. Lorimer Kyoto is also popular with locals for the delicious taste and eye-catching wa-modern interior design.

STAFF RECOMMENDATION

When visiting for lunch, we recommend trying the ICHIJU SANSAI lunch set, which includes rice, miso soup, fish of the day, and 3 side dishes made using fresh, local ingredients.  The fish of the day is purchased every morning freshly from Maizuru, a port city in the north area of Kyoto.  If you’re looking to try healthy Japanese food using fresh, local ingredients, Lorimer Kyoto is a must visit!

Name (English): Lorimer Kyoto

Name (Japanese): ロリマー京都

English address:
143 Hashizumecho, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto, 600-8183

Japanese address:
京都市下京区橋詰町143

Telephone: 075-366-5787

Opening hours:
平日 8:00~16:00(L.O.15:30)、 土日 7:30~16:00(L.O.15:30)

Access: 5 minute walk from Gojo Station, 10 minutes from JR Kyoto Station

Although the Kawaramachi and Gion areas may be famous for the numerous Kyoto Japanese restaurants, there are also delicious restaurants in the Kyoto Station area.  If you’re visiting some of the many sightseeing spots close to the area, be sure to visit one of our recommended Kyoto restaurants!

We hope to see you in Kyoto, Japan soon!

MACHIYA RESIDENCE INN KYOTO

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