Japanese food is known around the world for its freshness, quality, and deceptive simplicity. One of the most popular national cuisines in the world, Japanese food comes in many different forms, but its fresh flavors and unique combinations offer something for absolutely everyone. If you’re traveling through Kyoto, you certainly won’t have to worry about finding something good to eat.
And while train stations aren’t usually considered culinary hubs, Kyoto Station has some great places to eat no matter if you’re arriving in the city for an extended stay or just passing through. You don’t have to settle for fast food and convenience options here. Leave your bags behind at a Bounce luggage storage in Kyoto and check out some of these fabulous eateries in and near this major transportation hub.
Easily reached from Kyoto Station with just a couple minutes’ walk, this izakaya restaurant is a great place for Japanese favorites. The minimalist design, with its bare white walls and unobtrusive furniture, provides the ideal setting to let the food really shine. The dishes are a little on the small side, so you may want to order two per person, but that just lets you try more of what’s on offer.
Don’t miss the Yuba Soba, a dish of dried tofu noodles, or the Yuba omelet and Kyoto-style pizza. Really, whatever you order here, you’ll be able to try something new and experience the creativity of Japanese cuisine close to the station.
Located just to the north of Kyoto Station, this is another traditional izakaya that provides fresh and delicious Japanese recipes to hungry travelers. Yuba and mochi fu dishes are popular here, as is the fresh seafood. It’s all served to your table where you grill it yourself, so if there is a mistake in the cooking, you only have yourself to blame. However, the recipes here are designed to be easy to cook, which makes this a fun place to come with the family. They also offer an all-you-can-drink special that makes this a popular place with locals after work.
Donburi and Noodle Restaurant Hashitate
Admittedly, this restaurant is part of a chain, but don’t let that put you off. The recipes here are as authentically Japanese as any others you’ll find in the city, and the understated location is a great place to grab a meal while you’re passing through or spend a little longer as you begin your exploration of Kyoto.
The menu is in Japanese, so you’ll need to bring your sense of adventure with you if you don’t speak the language. At this popular location, staff don’t always have the time to help you, but the pictures on the menu can provide you with some guidance. Try sushi, noodle dishes, or even a wagyu beef rice bowl at this local favorite. They also offer a set menu for lunch which can make your decision easier and also help you save some money while eating near Kyoto Station.
Located on the 11th floor of the station itself, this restaurant provides beautiful views of Kyoto to go with an exceptional meal. During lunch, they provide a set menu that includes seabream, fugu, and rice cakes served with freshly poured sake. At dinner, you can choose from a wide range of popular local options with a focus on the exceptional seafood Japan is known for.
With quick service, this is a good option if you’re looking for something good to eat on the go and you have a train to catch since you don’t need to leave the station itself. On the other hand, the food here is good enough that many locals will happily come here for dinner, too, so you don’t need to worry that you’re settling for an inferior meal.
Kyoto Takabashi Daiichiasahi Main Shop
Forget what you think you know about ramen noodles. In Japan and across Asia, ramen noodles are a much-loved food item that is elevated far beyond the cheap packets of ramen you’ll find in college dorms throughout the Western world. If you want to try Ramen noodles as they should be, visit this shop just outside Kyoto Station to experience the authentic flavors of Japan.
Tonkotsu ramen made with soy sauce and pork broth is the thing to try here, along with crispy gyozas that simply pop with flavor. If you want a satisfying and hearty meal at a restaurant where you’ll find more locals than travelers, this is the place to come.
Yakiniku Hiro – Kyoto Station
This elegant restaurant is a great place for committed carnivores. Japanese beef is famous for its quality, and this is a great place to try it for yourself and see why it’s so highly regarded. With an English-language menu as well as a Japanese one, it’s easy to figure out what you want to eat and grill the perfectly cut and marinated pieces of meat on your own tabletop grill. Food doesn’t come much fresher or tastier than this, so bring your appetite with you. Because this place is so popular, you may even want to book in advance.
Dining at Kyoto Station
Train stations aren’t always the best places to get a meal, but in the beautiful city of Kyoto, you don’t need to worry. These and other restaurants both in and around the station can provide you with high-quality Japanese food whether you’re in a hurry or have a little more time to spend. Leave your heavy bags behind and immerse yourself in the world of tasty Japanese food at these popular restaurants.