Food tends to be the biggest issue for families traveling to Japan. Sure, the food and drinks are hygienic and safe, but you’ll probably find that children are “challenged” by some of the unfamiliar items of the menu. I mean, have your children ever begged for sea urchin or sea cucumber?
Otoya Gohan Dokoro in Kyoto © Nelo Hotsuma
Luckily, there are plenty of restaurants in Kyoto that serve familiar items that kids will eat, and there are even some where you can indulge your own desire for great Japanese cuisine while keeping the kids happy as well. And, of course, if all else fails, there are the usual fast-food chains, both international ones and some excellent domestic ones.
- Ganko Sushi (Downtown Kyoto; budget to midrange)
This popular downtown sushi restaurant is spacious and has comfortable booths for families. Ganko Sushi serves not only the eponymous sushi, but just about every other Japanese dish as well. There’s a children’s menu and there are big tables and booths where families will feel at home. The only drawback is the occasional smoker, so try to snag one of the non-smoking tables.
The Ootoya chain is a casual restaurant that serves all the Japanese standards. It’s healthy, cheap and fast.
- The Cube Food Court
Also on the 11th floor of the Kyoto Station building, this food court has several restaurants where families will feel right at home.
- Porta Food Court
For a quick bite before catching a train, this huge collection of restaurants under Kyoto Station is a great choice.
Best Kyoto Restaurant Recommendations
- Best Restaurants In Kyoto
- Best Affordable Sushi in Kyoto
- Best Cafes in Kyoto
- Best Child-Friendly Restaurants in Kyoto
- Best Gyoza in Kyoto
- Best Izakaya in Kyoto
- Best Japanese Tea and Sweet Shops in Kyoto
- Best Kaiseki (Japanese haute cuisine) in Kyoto
- Best Kissaten in Kyoto
- Best Okonomiyaki in Kyoto
- Best Ramen in Kyoto
- Best Resutoran-gai in Kyoto
- Best Shojin Ryori (Japanese Buddhist vegetarian cuisine)
- Best Shokudo (All Round Restaurants) in Kyoto
- Best Soba and Udon in Kyoto
- Best Sukiyaki in Kyoto
- Best Tempura in Kyoto
- Best Tofu Cuisine in Kyoto
- Best Tonkatsu in Kyoto
- Best Unagi in Kyoto
- Best Vegan and Vegetarian in Kyoto
- Best Yakitori in Kyoto
Kyoto Vacation Checklist
- For all the essentials in a brief overview, see my First Time In Kyoto guide
- Check Kyoto accommodation availability on Booking.com - usually you can reserve a room with no upfront payment. Pay when you check out. Free cancellations too.
- Need tips on where to stay? See my one page guide Where To Stay In Kyoto
- See my comprehensive Packing List For Japan
- Buy a data-only SIM card online for collection when you arrive at Kansai International Airport (for Osaka and Kyoto) or Tokyo's Narita Airport. Or rent an unlimited data pocket wifi router.
- Compare Japan flight prices and timings to find the best deals
- If you're visiting more than one city, save a ton of money with a Japan Rail Pass - here's my explanation of why it's worth it
- A prepaid Icoca card makes travelling around Kyoto easy - here's how.
- Get travel insurance for Japan - we recommend World Nomads (and here's why)