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Kaiseki at Tokyo? Kyoto? with kids? 2017/2/19 02:59
I am researching for my trip coming up in the summer for Japan.
I love to try different types of food and came across Kaiseki as a must try for Kyoto.
I realize it is expensive... so
1. Is it kids friendly? My youngest is will be 7 by the trip. All kids very adventurous with food, so will eat sashimi, snake.. etc. No problem. But, does it have to be very formal and quiet?
2. If it is do-able with kids, lunch or dinner? Dinner will be more expensive, so maybe lunch?
3. We will travel to both Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka. Where do you recommend? price/value/food.

Any suggested restaurant that you can think of will fit our needs?
perhaps with private room? or not as formal as the ones I have seen? No need for famous.. just good to try.

Thank you for your suggestions!
by 1234Kidsintow  

Re: Kaiseki at Tokyo? Kyoto? with kids? 2017/2/19 14:33
1. Can your kids stay at the table and eat quietly? Another thing would be whether your kid is OK at the quiet pace at which the food would be served. (It is not that everything gets served at the same time so they can have adventures with the food.)

Upon doing some googling, I see restaurants listing such as "kids-friendly Kaiseki restaurants," for family get-togethers and other family events. That tells me some people (locals) do worry about the kids being loud in a relatively quiet environment.

Having said that, I can personally recommend (on the casual side):
Ume-no-hana (Japanese cuisine with a bit of emphasis on tofu/yuba):

Another restaurant that came up through the search and sounds interesting for the location (in Ikebukuro):
by ....... (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Kaiseki at Tokyo? Kyoto? with kids? 2017/2/19 15:41
Have you thought about staying in a ryokan and getting it there? Ultimately what you would pay $100 plus a head for in a restaurant is essentially part of the price in a ryokan, and in many you eat in your room.

We stayed at Lalaca, Gora (Hakone) which had a huge japanese/western room that you could fit 4 in easily, and the food is awesome there and the price is reasonable. The ryokans at Bessho Onsen (not far from Tokyo) are very cheap - we stayed at Uematsuya and the food is extraordinary for the price of the room, and you get to stay in a lovely little town as well. Probably my biggest recommendation for first time ryokan experience would be Tsuruya at Karuizawa (about an hour out of Tokyo by shinkansen), also great rooms, great food, and cater really well to foreigners.
by Lazy Pious (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Kaiseki at Tokyo? Kyoto? with kids? 2017/2/20 06:40
Many nice restaurants will straight up tell you "no kids under 10 yrs" or whatever the exact policy is there. When you book a reservation, you'll want to ask.
I also agree staying at a ryokan for one night is a great way to experience kaiseki cuisine. Many serve their meals right in your room so once the hostess leaves in between courses, your kids can get up from the table if they want to without seeming rude.
by Anon (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Kaiseki at Tokyo? Kyoto? with kids? 2017/2/20 13:26
Kitcho, one of the world's most expensive kaiseki restaurants, has a more moderately priced branch in the Hotel Granvia in Kyoto Station ( ), and since it's a hotel restaurant I'd guess that they'd be more accommodating for children. (You'd have to confirm for yourself though.)

That said, though, kaiseki dinner service tends to be rather long, and I don't think most children would really appreciate it. Lunch would probably be a better bet.

BTW the restaurant recommended above, Umenohana, is not a kaiseki restaurant, but a chain of tofu restaurants. They're quite good, but the food is nowhere near what you'd find in a kaiseki restaurant (even though they have menu items that use the word "kaiseki").
by Umami Dearest rate this post as useful

Re: Kaiseki at Tokyo? Kyoto? with kids? 2017/2/20 17:43
I am a Japanese. I think Kaiseki is more kids-friendly as compared to, well, though I am not familiar with it, French cuisine. Some Kaiseki restaurants are only for adults, but most of the local Kaiseki restaurants are for families celebrating something, like birthday, graduation, or Japanese traditional Shichi Go San.

So I would recommend local Kaiseki restaurants such as Manshige at Nishijin (Kyoto).

Basically, you need to reserve the cuisine beforehand, via their reservation form or telephone.

by frog1954 (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Kaiseki at Tokyo? Kyoto? with kids? 2017/2/20 21:09
I'm sure that the restaurant info you've been given is all good.

However, I'd absolutely repeat the advice to do a ryokan stay as well/instead.

Our child loved staying in a ryokan at age 3 (and also age 4 and 6). You sleep on the floor, with the most amazingly fluffy duvets, and the whole family sleeps together. She thought it was the best thing since camping.

There's also the thing about having checked in, got into your yukatas, and having had a bath before dinner (another thing our little one LOVED), which means that by the time you're having dinner you are about the most chilled out that it's humanly possible to be.

As has been said, when you're eating in your own room in a ryokan then a child can be a bit more at ease than in a restaurant (although, as has also been said, there are restaurants with private rooms).

You're not really going to find much in the way of a city centre ryokan in Tokyo which does full kaiseki dinner. You'll find a little bit in central Kyoto, but right at the high end of pricing, and of course with no views from your bath. A better bet would be somewhere more rural (you've had some suggestions above which are in easy reach - or you could set aside a day to go somewhere else more rural to contrast with two big cities and give some balance to your trip).
by Winter Visitor rate this post as useful

Re: Kaiseki at Tokyo? Kyoto? with kids? 2017/2/23 14:22
Thank you all for your help.
We had our hotels already so cannot do the ryokan route.
However, I did get a reservation for shojin ryori at Shigetsu.
I think that will be the extent of our exploration of formal Japanese food with kids. :)
by 1234Kidsintow (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Kaiseki at Tokyo? Kyoto? with kids? 2017/2/28 13:11
Looks like you are sorted, but kids (and adult) would enjoy Zauo fishing restaurant! They have shops across Japan.
You catch your own fish, and they have sushi workshop as well.
by Nori sushi (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Kaiseki at Tokyo? Kyoto? with kids? 2017/3/10 08:49
Yes, I looked into the Fishing restaurant.
It was the Fishing restaurant or the Ninja restaurant.
After talking to the kids, we went with the Ninja one.
:) We only have one dinner time open.. so, we had to pass on the fishing restaurant.
by 1234Kidsintow (guest) rate this post as useful

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