Eating tofu in Japan is a vastly different and superior experience to most tofu found in Western supermarkets – it’s elevated to a veritable art form here. Kyoto has some fantastic tofu restaurants in the city. These are some of our favourites.
Tofu cuisine in Kyoto: Guppy2416 / Shutterstock.com
Kyoto prides itself on its soy products, especially tofu. Mileage varies by the restaurant, but overall, terroir proves itself true in Japan: whether it’s yudofu (tofu hotpot), freshly made yuba (soymilk skin), or any variation on soy milk products, Kyoto is where you’ll find some of the nation’s finest in this genre of food.
A note: tofu restaurants aren’t necessarily synonymous with vegetarian food, as most restaurants here still rely on dashi (fish stock) as the backbone of their cooking. Some are happy to omit any animal products in the food given advance warning. In general, however, don’t expect all restaurants to be willing to adjust on the day – we recommend doing some research and checking in advance.
Eating tofu in Kyoto is unmissable when you’re here. These are some places we love in the city.
Seike Nishijin (Central Kyoto; mid-range to expensive)
For a yuba and tofu kaiseki that truly passes muster, visit Seike Nishijin. Their multi-course meals will reconfigure your entire understanding of tofu and soy products. Happily, they’re also willing to cater to vegetarians if notified in advance. Reservations recommended.
More Restaurant Recommendations
See all our recommended restaurants 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)