Visit Shimogamo Saryo in Kyoto or Tokyo to experience traditional sado (Japanese tea ceremony) and kaiseki (multi-course) dining.

An expansive restaurant with a garden in a traditional vein, Shimogamo Saryo opened in 1856, originally located inside the grounds of Kyoto’s Shimogamo Shrine. Now located a three-minute walk away, Shimogamo Saryo still maintains a close relationship with the shrine and its visitors, who have ranged from politicians to the very gods themselves.

Traditions are important here – from the executive chef and staff praying at the well in the garden each morning before work, to tea ceremony experiences offered to the sado savvy and novices alike. At Shimogamo Saryo, both locals and visitors can sample true traditional Kyoto kaiseki fare, which uses delectable Kyoto-sourced vegetables as a base. Recently, Shimogamo Saryo has begun introducing vegetables from other prefectures too, to showcase the ample bounty of Japan’s broad range of delicacies and share the culture of other regions as well.

Influenced by the tea ceremony ethos ichigoichie – one time, one encounter – each diner’s visit is a precious meeting, and Shimogamo Saryo strives to create an inviting atmosphere for all. Each visit is a new experience – the seasonal menu changes monthly and the exquisite decorations are changed according to Japan’s 24 subseasons. Children are welcome, and many guests choose to create their own traditions at Shimogamo Saryo by celebrating their wedding, the birth of a child, anniversaries, and other major life events.

Shimogamo Saryo’s Satellite Shop, Higashi no Hanare, Offers a Taste of Kyoto Cuisine in Ginza

Steeped in the rich tradition of Kyoto, Shimogamo Saryo’s satellite shop in Ginza offers a unique opportunity to savor the old capital’s cuisine in Tokyo. The restaurant’s name Higashi no Hanare means “the eastern detachment,” indicating Shimogamo Saryo’s dedication to its roots in the ancient capital while making room for some modern Tokyo flair.

The Kyoto-based executive chef arranges the menus for both Kyoto and Ginza locations to ensure the spirit of Shimogamo Saryo holds true even in the east, and features seasonal options and ample Kyoto-sourced vegetables. A great believer in maintaining tradition when needed and innovating when it’s not, the Ginza outfit serves Kyoto classics with an innovative twist in an intimate environment, perfect for dates nights or casual business dinners.

There are two private rooms available for small groups. Those who want a front row seat and watch the resident chef in action should reserve one of only seven counter seats in the main area. Here, guests can experience a unique opportunity to communicate with the chef directly, and if they turn around to look behind them, they’ll be rewarded with a dazzling view of Tokyo Tower as an extra treat.

Mention “Kansai Weekender” at either Shimogamo Saryo Kyoto or Ginza Shimogamo Saryo Higashi no Hanare and receive a complimentary drink with your meal.

For Shimogamo Saryo Kyoto’s contact details, see our Concierge listing

For Ginza Shimogamo Saryo Higashi no Hanare’s contact details, see our Concierge listing.

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