“SHORAIAN” is the place for you if you want to enjoy great Tofu Kaiseki cuisine and Kyoto’s beautiful Autumn!

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Written by  takoyakikun

“SHORAIAN” is a Tofu Kaiseki cuisine speciality restaurant. Here, you can enjoy the transformation of the beautiful scenery throughout the 4 seasons. During Autumn this restaurant books up quickly. If you want to ensure you can eat here then making a reservation prior to a visit is strongly recommended.

This place was used as a location for the movie “Koto” which will be released in November 2016. The Okami (the hostess of the restaurant) who is also a calligrapher, did the calligraphy used for the title text of the movie.
(All photos were taken in early October of 2015. Please use them as a reference for timing a visit to see the Autumn foliage.)

Getting to “SHORAIAN” from Arashiyama station on the Hankyu railway. First cross the famous Togetsu-Kyo bridge in Arashiyama. Then keep walking along the mountain path, upstream alongside the river for about 15 minutes.
Kyoto is a busy place with lots of tourists all year round, but when you get deep inside it’s very quiet and peaceful.

“SHORAIAN” used to be a former prime minister’s holiday cottage. Architects around the world come here to observe and inspect the traditional style mansion.

When I opened the main door, I was welcomed with a lovely smile by the greeting staff.

Inside, are 2 private rooms and 4 table seatings which means this restaurant serves a maximum of 40 guests at a time. You can see the work of calligraphy done by the Okami.

From the window I enjoyed the picturesque view of the natural scenery. The foliage had just begun to change colours. It must be so brilliant to visit during Sakura time and in Autumn with all the red maple leaves. November is the best time to visit to get a colourful Autumn view.

The menu consists of course meals.
You can choose from 3 different courses for lunch. They are priced at ¥3,800, ¥4,600, and ¥5,800. I decided to have the ¥4,600 course.

On the drink menu I found beer, Japanese sake, wine and soft drinks.

Draft beer (Medium size) ¥700. There is nothing better than having a beer in great nature!

Apéritif (Plum Sake) and Tofu with powdered salt.
Although the combination is rare, I found it very tasty to eat Tofu with salt as I could taste the flavour of good quality soy beans.

Hassunmori (Hassun is a Japanese unit equivalent to 24 cm)
An assorted dish of appetizers in a 24cm vessel.

The various ingredients used in the appetizers reflected the tastes and colours of the season. It was delightful!

Rice kernels can be eaten like pop corn when deep fried.

Shiraae
A vegetable flavoured with Tofu, Miso paste, and white sesame made into a paste.

Wow! I found muscat grapes in it. It surpassed all expectations!

Mountain mushrooms tossed with black vinegar.

Roasted duck.

Daikoku Masamune (chilled) ¥800. Dry and sharp Japanese Sake. It enhanced the cuisine.

“Aburaage” is deep fried thinly sliced Tofu. This is grilled Aburaage. It had a nice light and crunchy texture.

Eggplant wrapped in Aburaage.

Seasonal Kyoto cuisine Yuba. Yuba is beancurd that is produced on the surface of soy milk when it is boiled. It’s a delicacy.

What a mild taste! It melted in my mouth.

Creative dish. This dish expresses the scenery of Autumn on a plate with grated mountain potatoes and meringue.

YU TOFU (Boiled Tofu).
Finally! I had been waiting for the Tofu! Put the kelp and Tofu in the pot and then wait until it’s hot. Then dip them in the Dashi sauce and eat them.

Such smooth and silky Tofu! It warmed my heart as well as my body.

Agedashi Tofu (lightly deep-fried Tofu).
The cubed Tofu was lightly dusted with potato starch then fried until golden brown. Served with Dashi broth and fresh chopped herbs.

The meal ended with rice, Japanese pickles, and Chirimen Sansho.

You can eat additional Rice and “Chirimen Sansho” at no extra cost.

For dessert, I had Tofu ice cream with black sugar syrup and Yatsuhashi sweets on top.
Yatsuhashi is a traditional sweet of Kyoto, a cinnamon flavoured mochi. Oh my goodness, it matched the Tofu ice cream so well!

Tofu in Kyoto tastes different from another places! I was so content with the view, the food and the hospitality!

After the meal, I went out to the balcony and enjoy the view of the Katsuragawa river.

Enjoying the good food and early Autumn of Kyoto was an exquisite delight! I would recommend coming here during daylight hours rather than at night time so you can enjoy the view!

If you want to ensure you can eat here, don’t forget to make a reservation. This restaurant is very popular throughout the year!

SHORAIAN

Address:Inside of government land, Sagakamenocho, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto city, Kyoto province
Business Hours: (Mon - Thu) 11:00-17:00 (Fri - Sun & National Holidays) 11:00-20:00
closed:Year-end and New Years holidays
Access:
20 minutes by foot from Arashiyama station on Hankyu Railway
15 minutes by foot from Arashiyama Station on Randen Railway
※Dinner, reservations only before 17:00 the previous day. Lunch, reservations are encouraged to ensure your place.