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Daitoku-ji Ikkyu, Kyoto

See the Kyoto Guide ›
20 Daitokujimae, Murasakino
Japan 603-8215
Tel: 81 75 493 0019
view web site ›'s insider take:

You're no monk, so why should you put up with shojin ryori? The Zen Buddhist cuisine contains no meat, no fish, no eggs, no dairy, and no assertive spices or herbs such as garlic. For the persuasive answer, park yourself on a zabuton cushion in one of the garden-view tatami rooms at Ikkyu, a restaurant just outside the southeast gate of the sprawling Daitokuji Zen temple complex. For more than 500 years, Ikkyu Tsuda's family has been feeding Daitokuji's priests and monks, and it's nothing short of a miracle what they can do with tofu, root vegetables, and rice. The lovely setting doesn't hurt a bit, and neither does the service, which includes a head-buzzing jolt of powdered green tea, whisked, brewed, and presented in a beautiful bowl—a miniature tea ceremony that's all part of the price. Reservations necessary.

Open daily noon to 6 pm.

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