Located in a renovated warehouse south of Gion-Shijo Station, Guilo Guilo Hitoshina offers a delicious, modern take on kaiseki cuisine at ridiculously affordable prices.
Guilo Guilo Hitoshina – image © Chris Rowthorn
Kaiseki – traditional multi-course Japanese fine dining – is often inaccessible to many diners, simply because of its price point. Many great kaiseki restaurants are expensive: a typical kaiseki meal averages JPY10,000 per person if it’s to be above average and well-executed. This is what makes dining at Guilo Guilo Hitoshina so wonderful and surprising: at a hair less than JPY4000, dinner here is ridiculously affordable for kaiseki.
In this tiny, funky little restaurant, where chefs dance around each other in the cramped kitchen space within an open counter, you’ll enjoy a parade of surprisingly well-executed and quirky kaiseki dishes. This is a much more modern take on kaiseki. You won’t see the likes of pea mousse, broad bean dumplings, or hojicha-infused raw caramel at most kaiseki restaurants in Kyoto!
The ingredients themselves are not the most luxurious around; don’t expect spiny lobster or sea urchin. But this is what makes Guilo Guilo Hitoshina’s food affordable: the use of humble but good ingredients treated with care and flair.
A meal at Guilo Guilo Hitoshina, depending on the menu du jour, can be outstanding to merely very good. Don’t expect it to compete with the likes of Kikunoi or Gion Owatari – that would be expecting too much. Go for a casual, well-priced, kaiseki meal with a good dose of fun and energy. It’s a fairly English-friendly place. Reservations are essential.
For more Kyoto kaiseki choices, see our Best Kaiseki in Kyoto page.
Name in English:
Guilo Guilo Hitoshina
Name in Japanese:
420-7 Namba-cho, Nishikiyamachi-dori-Matsubara-sagaru, Shimogyo-ku
Closed last Monday
Non-smoking area: No
3min walk from Kawaramachi Matsubara Bus Stop, Kyoto City Bus 205 from Kyoto Station
Official site (Japanese)
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 Suica card makes travelling around Kyoto easy – here's how
- World Nomads offers simple and flexible travel insurance. Buy at home or while traveling and claim online from anywhere in the world