People always tell me they love Kyoto more than any other part of Japan. I didn’t think I would agree with them until I visited Kyoto myself and witnessed how culturally different Kyoto was from the rest of Japan, with a unique blend of modern and traditional elements. Just steps away from Gion Shijo train station, we found ourselves wandering around a quiet and historic area of Kyoto that was beautiful and tranquil. We had made reservations to AWOMB Gion Yasaka few months prior to our trip and to my surprise, the restaurant was located in the middle of this quiet neighbourhood.
AWOMB has several locations with different reservation policies to each. Around the time of our visit, reservations were only accepted via phone so we resorted to our Airbnb hostess who kindly secured a reservation months in advance for us. I’ve since double checked their website and they do accept online reservations currently. The entire experience at AWOMB Gion Yasaka was truly unique and something you can’t experience anywhere else. Given the fact the restaurant was located in a residential neighbourhood, AWOMB kept the traditional Japanese home layout as part of their restaurant decor. Upon entering, we were kindly asked to take off our shoes and was seated promptly.
The servers didn’t really speak English so it was a little difficult to understand what was going on however we pointed out to them what we wanted and soon enough our “decomposed bento” with sushi ingredients arrived. Our waitress gave us several pieces of paper that explained in English the different components to the Teae Sushi and how to eat it.
Teae Sushi is freely combining raw sliced fishes, side dishes and condiments. All the ingredients you find in the boxes are made in Kyoto. If you want a change of taste to your box, it is also recommended to add stock to the ingredients by pouring it into the rice & eating everything together.
The stock is served in the teapot on a mini candlelit stove and it is recommended to heat the stock on the stove for 15 minutes before pouring it onto the rice.
We were lucky to be seated right in front of the garden and we were able to enjoy our lunch peacefully while looking out to all the greenery in the garden.
For dessert, we opted for AWOMB’s Kokeyama – which is Mascarpone cheese with matcha. It’s a tiramisu-like dessert from the moss garden of Kodai-ji. The texture however, is a bit more chewier (like mini tapiocas). This dessert was actually pretty light for a “tiramisu” and so incredibly good.
If you’re visiting Kyoto and looking for something that is more a culturally immersing experience, I would recommend AWOMB. Be sure to check out their website for locations and reservation policies.
That’s it from me guys! Hope you guys find this post helpful & be sure to leave a comment if you have any questions or tips you want to add as well! If you’re heading to Japan, feel free to also check out my other Travel Japan Posts Here
Written by Grace Yeung
Edited by Eden Yeung