Vegetarian food (Shojin Ryori) that you get while being surrounded by landscape garden name, the four seasons. Address in Japanese: 京都府京都市右京区嵯峨天龍寺芒ノ馬場68 Price: Expensive more-less
68 SuzukinoBaba-cho, Saga Tenryuji, Ukyo-ku
Kyoto, Japan

Open daily 11.00-14.00, closed irregularly.

  • Reservations required


First Review by backpasher
  • vegetarian

Delightful zen experience... but it does vary

4 Posted on 09 / 20 / 2014

We've eaten here 3 times and after each time our perspective has changed.

The first time we visited we were seated in a back room overlooking nothing at all. There were Chinese tourists wandering around and making unpleasant noise. Service was rushed and against this context the food felt a bit overpriced, although it did taste delicious. We went away feeling slightly disappointed.

The second time we were lucky.. it was a quiet day and we seemed to be the only people there. We were ushered into presumably the best room, which to our delight overlooked a magnificent zen garden complete with koi fish and floating lotuses. Amazing the power of a space - in this serene and meditatively beautiful place the food felt exquisite and we gladly paid the price tag. We couldn't wait to go back.

Last week we tried our luck for a third time and to our dismay were seated in the same back room as the first time. The experience again felt so-so and the value for money did not feel to be there.

Not sure if they accept seat requests but if you're feeling a bit daring it may be worth asking when you reserve.
Updated from previous review on Saturday September 20, 2014

Pros: food looks and tastes wonderful, that zen garden - wow!, visit the bamboo forest afterwards
Cons: Back rooms are boring, Price is not cheap vs quantity of food
  • vegetarian

Outstaning and totally recommended

5 Posted on 08 / 24 / 2014

Visiting this restaurant is a whole experience that can be felt by many sences. You get to sit in 'tatami room', drink traditional tea and what's most important eat weird but v. tasty food.
We ordered the cheapiest set (3000 yen) but it was composed of maany small dishes leaving us satifsfied for long. I discovered so many flavours there and without the help of our Japaneese friends we wouldn't be able to say what we were eating.
I totally recommend it! :) As well as the whole Arashiyama part of Kyoto.
Updated from previous review on Sunday August 24, 2014

Pros: food!!!, atmosphere
Cons: closing at 2 p.m.- only lunch
  • vegan

An amazing vegan experience in a beautiful setting

5 Posted on 06 / 15 / 2014

The lunch that I had here was absolutely amazing. All of my dining companions agreed that it was the best food that we had during our stay in Japan and one of our favorite all time meals. It is inside the grounds of a temple and only serves food between 11am and 2pm.
We had read about the restaurant and sought it out while we were in the area. We paid for admission to the Tenryu-ji temple and explored the lovely grounds. The restaurant itself is hard to identify. When we found the building, we didn't see or hear anyone inside. We considered leaving because we didn't see staff and had read that you need a reservation for parties of 3 or more. However, we found a button by the cashier's window with instructions to push for service and someone literally came running. We were seated right away, but it was a quiet weekday during the off-peak season. So, reservations may be advised during busier times.
They have set menus. At the time that we visited, only the cheapest was available at 3000 yen per person, plus a charge for drinks if we wanted anything other than hot tea. We were seated in a communal open floor dining room where another group was already eating. They have low chairs and tables available to bring in, if sitting on the floor is difficult.
The food was amazing and delightful. There were a variety of small dishes and I could not identify most of the food. It was all light, flavorful and healthy. The best surprise was unwrapping a small leaf bundle to find tiny delicious mochi inside. The setting of the meal made it even more special. The building is open air with the temple garden surrounding it on both sides.

Pros: Wonderful food, Amazing setting, Great service
Cons: limited hours - 11am-2pm, Inside temple grounds with admission fee

  • vegan


5 Posted on 07 / 03 / 2012

We dropped in (for two people or less you don't need a reservation) and got the yuki set. We sat in a beautiful temple room which overlooked the gardens on both sides with a hint of thatched roof showing in one direction. The yuki set consisted of 10 small dishes. Particularly delicious were the goma (sesame) tofu, the melt in your mouth eggplant with sweet miso sauce, the sesame dressed salad, the mochi and bean paste dessert etc. Okay it was all delicious. Perfectly cooked with beautiful flavours and a real joy to sit in that beautiful temple and eat it.

Pros: Temple setting, Delicious Food, Views
  • vegetarian

Beautiful food in a beautiful setting

4 Posted on 12 / 30 / 2008

This is actually located within Tenryuji temple in Arashiyama, Kyoto.

Between 2 of us, we shared a 3000yen lunch-set and that was plenty of food. The food was interesting, flavoursome and filling. It was visually arresting food and incredibly tasty.

The tofu was delicious, as were the eggplant and lotus roots.

We enjoyed a peaceful meal within the temple grounds.


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Last updated: 2014/04/02


Added: 2007/08/01


Added by: Guest