10 Best Omakase In Kyoto For The Sushi Connoisseur

Gin Seah is the voice of AAB Kyoto. His journey in Japan began at age 11 in Miyazaki and led him through many cities including Tokyo, Osaka, and Sapporo. It was in Kyoto, rich with history and culture, that he found his second home.
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Craving an unforgettable culinary journey through Kyoto? We’ve curated a list of the best omakase spots in this vibrant city. From traditional sushi to innovative fusion creations, get ready to tantalize your taste buds with exquisite flavors and expertly crafted dishes that showcase the essence of Japanese cuisine.

Discover hidden gems and renowned establishments that offer top-notch omakase dining, each promising a gastronomic journey like no other. So, if you’re eager to explore Kyoto’s culinary scene and indulge in premium seafood delights, scroll down for reviews of our top picks.

Key Takeaways

  • Visit multiple top-rated omakase restaurants in Kyoto like Mizai, Sushi Matsumoto, and Sushi Iwa to experience a diverse range of flavors and techniques.
  • Immerse yourself in the traditional ambiance and expert craftsmanship at renowned spots such as Gion Sasaki and Nishiki Sushi Shin for an authentic omakase dining experience.
  • Delight in exquisite culinary artistry and refined settings at upscale establishments like Kitcho Arashiyama and Nakamura for a luxurious omakase meal.
  • Enjoy unique and specialized offerings such as tempura at Yoshikawa Tempura, adding a distinctive touch to your omakase culinary journey.
  • Tailor your omakase adventure based on your preferences by selecting from a mix of traditional, modern, upscale, and specialized restaurants across Kyoto.
  • Make reservations in advance at these top omakase destinations to secure your spot and ensure a memorable dining experience.

10 Best Omakase In Kyoto

a modern omakase experience where traditional sushi-making artistry meets contemporary culinary innovations

1. Mizai

Mizai offers a traditional omakase experience with a modern twist, combining the art of sushi-making with innovative techniques. The restaurant prides itself on using fresh and seasonal ingredients sourced locally, ensuring every bite is a burst of flavor.

With skilled chefs at the helm, guests can expect expertly crafted sushi that delights both the eyes and taste buds. Each piece showcases precision and dedication to the craft, making dining at Mizai an unforgettable culinary journey in Kyoto.

Located at 613 Maruyamacho Yasakatoriimae Higashi Iru Higashiyama-Ku, Kyoto, Mizai is open from 18:00 to 22:00 from Monday to Sunday. The restaurant has a high rating of 4.5 based on 18 reviews.

The restaurant offers a unique dining experience where customers are served each dish at the best time for them to enjoy it. The meal lasts for about 3 hours, allowing customers to savor each dish. The cost of the meal is 70,000 yen (excluding tax). Please note that the restaurant only accepts cash payments.

For reservations, Mizai accepts them a year in advance. However, please be aware that the phone lines may be busy during business hours. If you need to cancel your reservation, please be informed that cancellation fees apply. The cancellation fee is 50% if cancelled 7 days before the reservation, and 100% if cancelled 5 days before.

When visiting Mizai, customers are kindly requested to dress in smart casual attire or above, including traditional Japanese clothing. Overly casual clothing is discouraged. The restaurant also welcomes children who are middle school age or older.

Please note that the area around the restaurant can be crowded, especially during the tourist season. If you’re coming by taxi, you can tell the driver to go to “Higashiyama-Ku” or “Maruyamacho Yasakatoriimae Higashi Iru.” It’s recommended to arrive by 17:45.

2. Sushi Matsumoto

Sushi Matsumoto offers an intimate and cozy setting, perfect for sushi lovers seeking an authentic omakase experience. The restaurant’s counter seats provide a front-row view of the culinary artistry. The interior of the restaurant is designed to ensure a relaxing atmosphere, with a counter that seats eight and a private room.

The chef is known for a creative and innovative approach to crafting sushi pieces that tantalize the palate. Each sushi piece is meticulously prepared, adding an extra layer of delight to every bite. The chef’s sharp sensibility, honed through numerous experiences, shines through in the playful and calculated contrast between traditional Edomae sushi [1] and appetizers.

At Sushi Matsumoto, expect a wide selection of premium seafood delicacies sourced from top suppliers. This ensures that each dish not only tastes exceptional but also showcases the freshest ingredients available in Kyoto.

The restaurant also offers a variety of sake to complement the dishes. The atmosphere is relaxed, with jazz playing in the background. To ensure the most enjoyable sake experience, the chef alternates between snacks and nigiri.

Whether you are a seasoned sushi connoisseur or new to the omakase scene, Sushi Matsumoto promises a dining experience that transcends mere food consumption; it is a journey through flavors and textures carefully curated by the chef himself.

The restaurant offers only Omakase courses, starting with a rich clam soup to relax your heart, followed by witty appetizers and traditional Edomae sushi.

Sushi Matsumoto is located at 570-123 Gionmachi Minamigawa, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto, 605-0074. It is open from Monday to Sunday, with lunch hours from 12:00 to 14:00 and dinner hours from 17:30 to 21:00. For reservations, you can contact them at 075-531-2031.

The restaurant has strict sanitary measures during the sushi-making experience. The wearing of masks, gloves, and other clothing suitable for restaurants is mandatory and regulated by law. Sushi Matsumoto is a one-star high-quality cooking restaurant in the 2023 Michelin Guide Japan.

3. Sushi Iwa

Renowned for its exquisite Edomae-style sushi, Sushi Iwa in Kyoto offers a culinary journey like no other. Each piece of sushi served at this establishment reflects meticulous attention to detail and precision in preparation. The flavors are harmonious, presenting the essence of Kyoto’s culinary expertise.

With a focus on fresh fish and seafood dishes, Sushi Iwa caters to the curious foodie seeking a unique dining experience. The sea urchin delicacies here are particularly noteworthy, showcasing the chef’s mastery in creating dishes that delight the palate. Visitors can expect an immersive dining experience that goes beyond just a meal; it is an exploration of flavors and textures.

Sushi Iwa believes that Japanese food is based on the cycle of the four seasons. Therefore, they strive to use seasonal ingredients in their sushi and other cuisines. They think that it is especially important for their customers to be able to taste the season and provide dishes that serve to accentuate the flavor of natural ingredients.

For the chef’s recommended course, the price for lunch starts at 8,000 yen per person. For the evening course, you can choose from 12,000 yen, 17,000 yen, 22,000 yen, 30,000 yen, and 50,000 yen. If there are any ingredients that you do not like or are allergic to, Sushi Iwa will do its best to accommodate you. They also offer low-sodium and low-oil dishes, as well as gluten-free soy sauce.

The overall dining experience at Sushi Iwa is elevated not only by the cuisine but also by its stylish interior and warm hospitality. From lunch to dinner servings, each dish is crafted with care and precision to ensure guests leave with unforgettable memories of their visit. If you are looking for unique flavors presented in an elegant setting, Sushi Iwa should be on your list when visiting Kyoto.

4. Gion Sasaki

Gion Sasaki is a three-Michelin-starred restaurant located in the Gion district of Kyoto. The restaurant serves modern Kaiseki cuisine, full of bold flavors. The owner-chef, Hiroshi Sasaki, pursues dishes from an approach he calls “rakumi,” or both fun and delicious. He overturns the rules of Kyoto cuisine, serving items on large plates and offering nigiri and fried rice done in a wok.

The restaurant is known for its modern open kitchen, where more than half a dozen chefs prepare dishes at multiple stations. The head chef isn’t directly involved in the cooking at all. This setup is more Western-style.

The cost of the tasting menu ranges from 22000 to 44000 JPY. The restaurant received its third Michelin star only recently, in 2019. Despite its popularity, Gion Sasaki maintains an understated facade, with its name only displayed in kanji.

The interior of the restaurant is decorated with light-colored wood. The main dining room has around ten counter-seats facing a large open kitchen. Compared to traditional Japanese Kaiseki counters, the setup here feels more modern.

Gion Sasaki’s entertaining and delicious meals quickly drew crowds, making it among the most popular restaurants in Kyoto. It’s worth noting that dinner reportedly features ingredients that are of “higher quality” than lunch. However, dinner is twice the price of lunch and is almost impossible to reserve unless you know the chef personally.

For those seeking an immersive dining adventure that celebrates Kyoto’s rich culinary heritage, Gion Sasaki stands out as a top choice for experiencing omakase at its finest.

an authentic Edomae sushi restaurant emphasizing the skilled preparation of Edomae sushi and a variety of seafood dishes

5. Nishiki Sushi Shin

Nishiki Sushi Shin is a highly-rated sushi restaurant located in the heart of Kyoto, Japan. It is situated at 169-2 Higahsiuoyacho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, 604-80551. The restaurant is known for its authentic Edomae sushi and offers a variety of seafood dishes.

The restaurant operates from 11:00 to 15:00 on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. It is closed on Wednesdays.

Nishiki Sushi Shin is particularly popular for its lunch offerings, which include sushi, seafood chirashi, and tai chazuke. In the evening, the restaurant offers an omakase sushi course priced at 14,000 yen.

The restaurant has received excellent reviews for its food and service, with a 4.8-star rating based on 5 reviews. Some reviewers have praised the quality of the otoro (fatty tuna) and the fried fish starter.

Additional reviews highlight the exceptional sushi experience, with sushi prepared in front of you by an extraordinary chef. The restaurant is well hidden in the middle of the market, and the sushi is varied. The atmosphere is described as quiet and clean, away from the crowds in the market. The lunch sets and sushi sets are highly recommended.

The restaurant is located near several major stations, making it easily accessible. It’s about a 6-minute walk from Karasuma Station, a 9-minute walk from Kyoto-kawaramachi Station, and a 12-minute walk from Shijo Station.


AWOMB Karasuma Honten is a unique sushi restaurant located in Kyoto, Japan. It offers a tasteful space that fuses classic and modern styles in a renovated Kyomachiya.

At AWOMB, you can freely combine about 50 kinds of seasonal ingredients, such as obanzai, sashimi, and condiments, to create your original hand-rolled sushi. They offer dishes such as “Teori-sushi,” elaborate sweets, and drinks.

“Teori-sushi” takes inspiration from the word “Ori,” which can be directly translated to weaving. In Japanese, weaving can also mean combining different things to create one thing. You can create your very own sushi by combining their colorful, locally sourced ingredients.

The sushi rice is made with Koshihikari rice from Tamba and Chidori vinegar from Murayama Zousu in Kyoto. The flavorful kombu seaweed from Rishiri and the elegantly sweet bonito flakes without blood are used to carefully prepare the dashi stock.

AWOMB Karasuma Honten is open from 12:00‒15:00 (last call 14:00) and 17:00‒20:00 (last call 19:00). It is located at 189 Uyanagi-cho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, 604-8213. It’s a 7-minute walk from “Shijo Station” on the subway Karasuma Line or “Karasuma Station” on the Hankyu Kyoto Line.

Please note that due to the limited number of meals, they may not be able to guide you to a visit on the day of your visit or make a reservation by phone. Therefore, it is recommended to make a reservation in advance.

7. Kitcho Arashiyama

Kitcho Arashiyama, legendary for its history in Kyoto’s culinary world, is a top recommendation for those seeking an unforgettable omakase experience. The meticulously prepared kaiseki dishes showcase the chef’s expertise and dedication to perfection.

The restaurant’s cozy atmosphere adds to the charm of the dining affair, making it a perfect spot for special occasions or a unique blend of traditional Japanese flavors. Guests can enjoy not only exquisite cuisine but also stunning garden views that enhance the overall ambiance.

Deep within Arashiyama, there is a piece of land in Kiyotaki owned by Kyoto Kitcho called “Kitcho Mountain,” and talks are moving forward regarding its development. Famous for its autumn foliage, Kitcho Mountain has beautiful thick forests and clear streams, and in June it is filled with fireflies.

Kitcho Arashiyama stands out as a hidden gem in Kyoto, offering an oasis of tranquility away from the bustling districts. Its popularity soars during national holidays, attracting both locals and tourists alike seeking an authentic taste of Japan.

With prices reflecting the quality and artistry of each dish served, this establishment caters to those willing to indulge in a culinary journey like no other. For food enthusiasts looking to walk away with unforgettable memories, Kitcho Arashiyama remains a highlight of Kyoto’s dining scene.

The restaurant is open from 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. for lunch and from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. for dinner. The price per person starts at 40,000 yen for lunch (plus tax and service charge) and 50,000 yen for dinner (plus tax and service charge).

All courses are by advance reservation only, for parties of two or more. Please note that the restaurant is closed every Wednesday and during the Year-End and New Year holidays (Dec. 20–31, Jan. 4–10).

8. Nakamura

Family-run and steeped in tradition, Nakamura is a sushi haven that cherishes simplicity. Chef Nakamura’s knife skills are nothing short of masterful, elevating each dish to an art form. The limited seating ensures an exclusive and intimate omakase experience. Embracing the essence of family values, Nakamura infuses every meal with a sense of heritage and authenticity.

Chef Nakamura’s precision with the blade showcases years of dedication to perfecting his craft, resulting in exquisite culinary creations. With limited seating available, guests can relish a personalized dining journey where attention to detail reigns supreme.

Nakamura stands out not just for its exceptional cuisine but also for the immersive dining atmosphere it offers. The blend of tradition and innovation creates a dining experience that lingers long after the last bite has been savored.

Located in the heart of Kyoto, Nakamura is a sushi restaurant that offers a unique dining experience in a high-ceiling, open space with a counter made from a single piece of hinoki. The restaurant offers different views during the day and night through its large windows. Nakamura is committed to providing a relaxing atmosphere where customers can enjoy their meals.

Nakamura offers a variety of courses, including a lunch course that allows you to enjoy simple hand-rolled sushi using the best ingredients of the day. For dinner, they offer a more voluminous course that includes grilled fish. They carefully select the best sake to enhance the flavor of the sushi.

Nakamura is open from 12:00 to 15:00 and 17:00 to 23:00 and is closed on Sundays and holidays. The budget for a meal at Nakamura ranges from ¥15,000 to ¥29,999. Reservations for Nakamura can be made online.

9. Gion Ichiho

Gion Ichiho is a restaurant located at 101-8 Hakata-cho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto 605-0805 Yamato Mansion, just a 2-minute walk from the Gion-Shijo Station on the Keihan Main Line. They offer a variety of dishes using seasonal ingredients, including Kyoto vegetables and sushi.

One of their specialties is the innovative rolled sushi, Kanape Sushi. Not only is it delicious, but its presentation is also visually appealing, making it perfect for sharing on social media.

Their popular menu includes evolved sushi rolls and canapé sushi. The colorful canapé sushi is a masterpiece that looks cute and allows you to enjoy the different textures of each piece. The calm interior has only seven seats at the counter.

You can enjoy your stay with a sense of privacy. Perfect for alone time or a relaxing date. They also offer sake from sake breweries that have been around for generations in the ancient capital of Kyoto. It’s also fun to be immersed in historic Kyoto with a glass of famous sake.

If you make an online reservation until 9:00 a.m. on the day of your reservation, they will not be selling the Dankuri set for the evening. They offer several types of set menus, including canapé sushi, Kyoto vegetable obanzai, salad, and sweets. Not only is the food fresh, but each dish is carefully crafted and looks and tastes outstanding.

10. Yoshikawa Tempura

Kyoto-style tempura at Yoshikawa Tempura offers a culinary experience like no other. Each piece of tempura is meticulously prepared to be light, crispy, and bursting with flavors that highlight the seasonal ingredients used.

The chefs at Yoshikawa Tempura masterfully craft each dish using only the freshest ingredients available, ensuring that every bite delights your taste buds with its freshness and quality.

To elevate your dining experience further, Yoshikawa Tempura provides a selection of dipping sauces tailored to complement and enhance the natural flavors of the tempura. This attention to detail showcases Kyoto’s rich culinary tradition and dedication to creating unforgettable gastronomic experiences for visitors.

Indulging in an omakase meal at Yoshikawa Tempura means immersing yourself in the artistry of Japanese cuisine while savoring delicious bites that pay homage to Kyoto’s culinary heritage. It’s a must-visit destination for anyone seeking an authentic taste of Japan in one unforgettable meal.

Yoshikawa Tempura is conveniently located at Tominokoji-dori, Oike sagaru, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, 604-8093, Japan. It’s just a 15-minute taxi ride from Kyoto Station or a 20-minute drive from Kyoto Minami or Kyoto Higashi IC of Meishin-High Way.

If you prefer to take the subway, it’s a 5-minute walk from Karasuma Oike Station, Karasuma & Tozai subway line. This accessibility makes it even easier for you to enjoy the exquisite dining experience that Yoshikawa Tempura has to offer.

the ultimate omakase experience in Kyoto combining tradition with culinary excellence, for an unforgettable dining experience


You’ve now uncovered the top spots for the best omakase experience in Kyoto. From Mizai’s traditional charm to Sushi Shin’s innovative creations, each restaurant offers a unique culinary journey.

Whether you fancy the intimate setting of Sushi Matsumoto or the refined flavors at Kitcho Arashiyama, Kyoto’s omakase scene caters to every palate. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to indulge in these gastronomic delights and immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of Japanese cuisine.

Take your taste buds on an adventure and savor the artistry of Kyoto’s finest omakase establishments. Book a table, treat yourself to an unforgettable dining experience, and let the flavors transport you to culinary heaven. Your next meal could be a masterpiece waiting to be savored.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Mizai the best omakase restaurant in Kyoto?

Mizai is highly regarded for its exceptional omakase experience, featuring fresh and meticulously prepared dishes. While personal preferences vary, many visitors praise Mizai for its top-notch quality and attentive service.

What makes Sushi Matsumoto stand out among other omakase restaurants in Kyoto?

Sushi Matsumoto stands out for its traditional Edomae sushi style, showcasing the chef’s expertise through each delicate piece. The intimate setting and personalized service add to the overall dining charm at Sushi Matsumoto.

Why should one consider dining at Gion Sasaki for an omakase meal in Kyoto?

Gion Sasaki offers a unique blend of seasonal ingredients with innovative culinary techniques, creating a memorable omakase experience. The chef’s creativity shines through each course, making it a popular choice among food enthusiasts seeking exquisite flavors.

How does Kitcho Arashiyama differentiate itself as an omakase destination in Kyoto?

Kitcho Arashiyama is renowned for its elegant kaiseki cuisine that highlights the essence of Japanese culinary artistry. With a focus on harmony and balance in every dish, diners can expect a refined and authentic gastronomic journey at Kitcho Arashiyama.

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