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Eel Special 2024 Top Banner

[2024] Eels are a must-try in Kyoto! Famous restaurants serving delicious eels (Kinkakuji, Gion, Toji area, etc.)

This summer, the Ox Festival will be held on July 24 (Wed) and August 5 (Mon)! Why don't you get your stamina up with nutritious eel and survive the hot summer?
Recently, eel specialty restaurants have been popping up one after another in Kyoto. In this issue, we pick up old and new eel dishes such as unaju and hitsu-mabushi recommended by our editorial department.

1.Feel the taste of high-quality eel directly [Unagi Ryori Mitori] Hitsumamushi / Toji Minami

The restaurant was founded in 1952. It opened as a popular diner for local people. It is now a restaurant specializing in eel cuisine [Unagi Ryori Mitori] (Minami-ku, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture), and has taken over the Kansai-style jiyaki style of cooking. The restaurant uses gas instead of charcoal, which gives the eel its aroma, because "we want our customers to taste the original flavor of the eel. He says that it is essential to purchase the best eel with tender meat for grilling without steaming. They carefully select eels from all over Japan through three wholesalers without being particular about where they come from. The sauce, which is made by continuing the same recipe from the previous generation, enhances the deliciousness of the eel.

Reservations are not accepted on the day of the Ox.
Take-out is only available by reservation until the day before.
*Reservations may be closed earlier if the number exceeds the planned number.
Usually reservations can be made on the same day.

Mitori's Cuisine

Hitsumamushi 4,400 yen; the second cup is topped with condiments, and the third cup is served with the broth. The deep flavor of the broth prepared by the owner, who has a background in Japanese cuisine, is also impressive.

Interior view of Mitori

Eel Cuisine Mitori

  • Eel cuisine Midori
  • 14-16 Nishi-Kujo Higashi Hinagajo-cho, Minami-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
  • 7 min. walk from Toji Station on the Kintetsu Line
  • Tel. 075-682-6222

2.Eel dishes at Unagi Kappou Toishi (eel and kappo Toishi), which boasts a crispy, chewy texture / Gosho Minami

Kansai-style jiyaki style eel with a crispy texture is pursued to the utmost. The eel is flipped over several times to coat it with fat and cooked slowly, making it fluffy on the inside and fragrant and pleasantly chewy on the outside. [The eel is served with rice cooked in a Rakuyaki earthenware pot using rice from Gihee VIII. Enjoy the seasonal taste with a course meal. Reservations are required, so be sure to make a reservation in advance.

Toishi Cuisine

All dishes start at 15,000 yen for the evening omakase course. Shiroyaki appears in the middle of the course and kabayaki appears at the end with rice. Shirayaki is accented with sansho miso and sansho tsukudani.

Toishi Exterior

Eel and kappo Toishi

  • Eels, Kappos, and Toshi
  • 682 Harumei-cho, Nishi-iru, Nijo-dori, Mawagaya-cho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
  • 5-minute walk from Kyoto Shiyakusho-mae Subway Station
  • Tel. 075-746-5557
  • 11:30-15:00 (LO/14:00)
    18:00-23:00 (LO/21:00)

3.Uzofusui, a specialty of the long-established Warajiya, loved by writers and artists / Shichijo

The store's name comes from the fact that Hideyoshi Toyotomi visited the store and took a rest after taking off his straw sandals. Uzofusui, a specialty since the middle of the Showa period (mid-Showa period), is a dish with a fragrant broth containing grilled white eel, homemade rice cakes, burdock root, and other ingredients. The fresh domestic eel delivered in the morning is carefully processed, and its rich flavor will soothe your soul. Enjoy the eel with a sense of history in the tranquil atmosphere of the restaurant, which has been visited by writers and artists such as Junichiro Tanizaki.

Warajiya Uzofusui

Uzofusui, which is gently soaked in bonito and kelp broth, is delivered in a custom-made well. Unabe and uzofusui courses start at 7,500 yen per person. The photo is for 2 persons.

Warajiya Introspection

straw-throwing-straw man

  • 555 Nishinomon-cho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
  • 3-minute walk from Keihan Shichijo Station
  • Tel. 075-561-1290
  • 11:30-15:00 (LO/14:00)
    17:00 - 20:00 (LO/19:00)

4.Eel chu (eel) at Gion Unagi Kawato, where craftsmanship shines in charcoal-grilled eel.

Located on Hanamikoji Street, the restaurant has a tasteful atmosphere of a former traditional ryokan (Japanese inn). The restaurant carefully selects fatty, thick, and large-sized eels from Mikawa-Ishiki in Aichi Prefecture and other regions. The eel is grilled to a crispy, aromatic flavor with the perfect amount of heat by fine-tuning the charcoal flame, which is difficult to adjust to the heat level. Uni-jyu (eel and sea urchin) and urage-jyu (eel and salmon roe), which are lavishly topped with sea urchin and salmon roe, are also popular. The restaurant offers counter seating right in front of the grill and private rooms where you can relax in comfort.

Kawato Cuisine

Eel and salmon roe stacked with eel and salmon roe for 4,950 yen. It is packed with eel and salmon roe in soy sauce, making a big impact. It is served with eel liver soup and steamed egg custard.

Kawato Introspection

Gion Eel, Kawato

  • Eelgrass Eel
  • 572-27, South side of Gion-cho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
  • 5-minute walk from Keihan Gion-Shijo Station
  • Tel. 075-741-8590
  • 11:00-14:00 (LO/13:30)
    17:00-21:30 (LO/21:00)

5.Hitsumabushi at Sumiyagura Kyoto Branch: Eel grilled over binchotan charcoal goes perfectly with Omi rice (Kawaramachi).

The eel is grilled over a high flame using binchotan charcoal to release its own fat, making the surface crispy and fragrant, and the inside soft and fluffy. Try Hitsumabushi, recommended by the owner, which can be enjoyed in three different ways.

Hitsumabushi at Sumiyagura Kyoto Branch

Hitsu-mabushi (pine): 4,380 yen. You can enjoy a variety of flavors at once by putting yakumi (condiments) on top and pouring broth over the top.

Sumiyagura Kyoto

Sumiyagura Kyoto

  • living room and stairwell
  • 8F Kyoto Kawaramachi Garden, 68 Shinmachi, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
  • Directly connected to Exit 2 of Hankyu "Kyoto Kawaramachi Station
  • Tel. 075-254-8006
  • 11:00-15:00

6.Unaju (eel)" at "Kyoto Charcoal Grilled Eel, Doi Katsunagi Eel, Kinkakuji Branch" (near Kinkakuji Temple).

In 2024, a new restaurant specializing in charcoal-grilled eel [Kyoto Charcoal Grilled Eel, Doi Katsunagi Eel, Kinkakuji Branch] opened in the vicinity of Kinkakuji Temple. Carefully selected thick blue eels are kept alive in a custom-made fish tank, and are grilled over charcoal for about 15 minutes on the same day. The thick meat is soft and fluffy and melts in the mouth. The gold leaf lacquered "Ippon-jyu" (one-an-eel-jyu), named after the Kinkakuji temple, is also a must-see.

Reservations are not accepted for in-store dining on Doyou-no-Ushi days. Reservations required for take-out.
Take-out only available at the main store and Gion store.

Unaju-ordinary 3,000 yen (2,700 yen for takeout) with fluffy broiled egg topping for an additional 200 yen. The deliciousness of the eel and the sweetness of the egg intertwine, and the chopsticks just won't stop!

Interior view of Doi Katsudo Eel Kinkakuji Branch

Kyoto Charcoal Grilled Eel, Doi Seikatsu Eel, Kinkakuji Branch

  • February 29, 2024 open
  • 2F, 13 Kinugasa Kaido-cho, Kita-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
  • Short walk from Kinkakuji-michi bus stop
  • Tel. 075-406-7777
  • 11:00-19:00

7.A whole, fatty, prized eel [Kyoto Gion Unagi Yondaime Kikukawa] (eel) / Gion, Kyoto

Unagi Yondaime Kikukawa (Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto City, Kyoto) is an eel specialty restaurant owned by a long-established eel wholesaler that has been in business for over 90 years. At the Gion branch, you can enjoy fresh eel dishes in a machiya townhouse built in the Meiji era. The "Ippon Unaju," which features a whole broiled eel, is Kansai-style broiled over charcoal without steaming the eel, which is selected by the chef. The meat is so thick that it does not shrink even when grilled at high temperature, and the crispy skin, fluffy flesh, and juicy fat can be felt every time you eat it. You can enjoy the luxury of having one eel all to yourself.

Normal business on the day of the Ox in Doyo
Only a part of the menu is served on the day of the Ox of Doyou.
Reservations are better on weekends.

Eel Ichibon-Unaju by Kikukawa Yondaime

Ippon Unaju (eel stew): 5,680 yen. The contrast between the crispy skin and the fluffy, juicy meat is irresistible!

Eel 4th generation Kikukawa

Kyoto Gion Eel Yondaime Kikukawa

  • Kyoto-On Eel Oyogi Oyogikukawa
  • 70-7 Motoyoshi-cho, Shinbashi Higashi-iru, Yamato-oji-dori, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
  • 9 minutes walk from Hankyu "Kyoto Kawaramachi Station".
  • Tel. 075-606-5670

8.Unashige's sumptuous eel stew with sugar-free sauce and binchotan charcoal to bring out the true flavor of the eel / Gosho area

Live eels are placed in a fish tank behind the counter. The eel is steamed only after it is ordered, so you can enjoy the unique taste of Kanto style. After steaming, the eel is dipped in a sauce that is less sweet, and then dipped and broiled three times. You will not feel the fatty taste at all, but only the rich flavor that spreads in your mouth.

Normal business on the day of the Ox in Doyo.
Take-out is available only for regular eel bento (1 fish) 4,400 yen, large eel bento (1.5 fish) 6,000 yen, and Umaki 2,500 yen (reservation required).
*Early reservations are best for both dine-in and take-out.


Unaju (large): 6,600 yen; while the average portion of one eel is enough to satisfy the appetite, the large portion with one and a half eels is even more luxurious. Rice is Shiga Kinuhikari *Price is subject to change.



  • Glassed Gosho 1F, 180 Shinkarasumagami-cho, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto Prefecture
  • Six-minute walk from Kawaramachi Marutamachi bus stop.
    9 minutes on foot from Keihan Jingu Marutamachi Station
  • Tel.075-741-8435

9.[Pumpkin seed] eel bowl set meal carefully grilled over Binchotan charcoal / Gion

Thick domestic eel is carefully grilled over bincho charcoal. The eel is steamed to order and then grilled, so you have to wait about 20 minutes for it to be cooked.

Reservations are required on the day of the Ox Festival. Take-out is available on the same day.

Kabocha no tane no naju

The lunch-only eel bowl set meal is 2,600 yen (2,200 yen for takeout of the same size eel bowl only). Edo yaki eel is steamed to remove excess fat, making it light and fluffy. Includes yuba (bean curd) and liver soup, a small bowl of cooked food, and pickles.

Interior view of Pumpkin Seed

pumpkin seeds

  • 1F Gion Ryokaku Building, 267 Gioncho North Side, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture
  • 3-minute walk from Keihan Gion-Shijo Station
  • Tel.075-525-2963

10.The dashimaki that protrudes from the bowl is a masterpiece! [Kinshi-don at Kyogoku Kaneyo / Kawaramachi

This long-established eel restaurant has been watching over Kyoto's townspeople for more than 100 years. An indispensable part of this Edo-yaki eel, which is steamed and then grilled over binchotan charcoal, is the large dashimaki, which protrudes from the bowl.

In-store dining and takeout are both available on Doyou-no-Ushi (day of the Ox) *Reservations not accepted
Open all day on July 24 (Wed.) from 11:30 to 20:30 (LO/20:00) *Close when sold out
*Substitute holiday on Thursday, July 25.

Kyogoku Kaneyo's kinshidon (regular)

Kinshi-don (ordinary) 2,800 yen (2,900 yen for takeout). A simple yet powerful combination of Kyoto-style dashi roll and Edoyaki eel. Enjoy the change of taste with omidare sauce and sansho (Japanese pepper).

Interior view of Kaneyo Kyogoku

Kaneyo Kyogoku

  • today
  • Kyoto Prefecture Kyoto City Nakagyo Ward
  • 8 min. walk from "Kyoto Shiyakusho Mae" subway station.
  • Tel.075-221-0669
*Please note that the information contained herein is subject to change without notice.
*Since this site uses automatic translation, the translation may differ from the original Japanese content.


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