Gion Yoichi

Place to enjoy tastes of aging chicken, fresh vegetable and friendly companions

Text: A. Sasaki / Photo: Kanako Takimoto 

Strolling north from the Shijo Kawabata junction, you will find a rope curtain swaying next to a funny looking mask of 'Gion Yoichi'. This restaurant was named after a famous samurai Nasuno Yoichi who fought along the Minamoto clan, and had successfully shot down a fan placed on a rocking ship by the enemy Taira in the Battle of Yashima (1184). Yukio Takeuchi, the owner, had hoped for his wishes to make its goal, too.

The counter table is often full of regular customers, but new people are also very welcome, with friends of by themselves. Thanks to the small space and the shape of the bar table, customers often start a conversation and enjoy each other. I guess social people come here', says Yukio. Part of the wall is covered by business cards that customer pins in.

People gather for the good food, of course. Vegetable and chicken is purchased from a very selected producers. 'Aging meat is on the trend now, but the method and period differs with beef and chicken. I can say that there is no other place that does aging chicken' he confidently says while putting them on char-grill.

Chef's yakitori (BBQ chicken) set is 1,500 yen for 5 sticks. It included the day's recommendation like leg, tail, wing, etc. You should definitely try them with salt only, no sauce, to taste the richness of the meat. 

There is a shabu-shabu  (sliced meat to be lightly boiled in hot soup) menu of breast and seasonal vegetable. This chicken is also aged. Don't forget to drink the hot soup, too.

You can come to fully enjoy dinner, for a light drink or to finish up the night. Ramen noodle with a delicious chicken soup is also one of the popular menu. The owner doesn't call this place 'yakitori' or 'ramen' restaurant. He only orders the fresh and good ingredients so there may be a time that he cannot offer them when good material is not in the market. He is experimenting ham and char siu, BBQ chicken, with sausage in the next list. You can meet a great food in a small casual restaurant.

ADDRESS: 149-1 Kawabata Shijo Higashi Iru Hitosujime Iru Tokiwamachi, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto (map)
TEL: +81(0)75-531-7741
HOURS: 18:00-30:00
CLOSED: Sunday