• Daitokuji Ikyu

  • (6)
  • White Vegan

Daitokyu offers vegan Shojin Ryori. Address in Japanese: 京都府京都市北区紫野大徳寺下門前町20. Open Mon-Sun 10:00am-4:30pm. Lunchbox 12.00-15.00.

Venue map for Daitokuji Ikyu
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6 Reviews

First Review by eatinggreen

Nancy Cadet

Points +844

13 Oct 2023

Temples and Delightful Shojin Ryori

The restaurant is inside the Daitoku-ji temple complex, so once you’re there it’s easy to find. We arrived at opening time for lunch , 11:30AM, without reservations and were seated immediately in a tatami room with a garden view. We ordered the Yuki course (4800 yen) and it was spectacular—a variety of tastes, colors and textures, including yuba, veggie tempura, mushroom rice, miso soup
with tofu, veggie sashimi, pickled vegetables, sesame dofu , dipping sauces etc. —about 20 dishes in all.The meal was worth every yen , and the efficient waitstaff were welcoming and friendly, making an effort to meet our basic Japanese with basic English. The menu has photos and English names for the different courses (the number of dishes and the price) clearly labeled “vegetarian meal option.”
If you’re looking for a vegan feast or just want to try shojin ryori, this is the place.

Pros: Tranquil atmosphere , Tasty food , Quick service



Points +2663

14 Aug 2021

Authentic Japan

This place is inside a Japanese temple / garden. The seating is Japanese style. Everything is Japanese style… with how the food is served in small dishes. Everything is so incredible. Must go here if you are visiting Japan!


Points +57

17 May 2019

Expensive, but worth it

Delicious shojin ryori cuisine. Quite expensive - we paid around 4000¥ per person, but the food was amazing and we were served in a private room by the most dedicated staff ever. We were seated on tatami mats, the cook went out to introduce himself and overall this restaurant really made us feel like the Emperor of Japan.


Points +26

24 Apr 2018

Expensive, but worth it

A great experience of shojin ryori cuisine, with a wonderful service. Visit the Daitokuji temple then have a meal at this place to enjoy another taste of Japan


Points +53

06 Dec 2017

Third time is the charm?

The third and final stop for this neophyte Zen vegetarian on a pilgrimage to discover Japanese vegetarian cuisine, or to uncover the original Japanese cuisine, was Daitokuji Ikkyu. Located next to yet another famous temple, its namesake, Daitoku-ji, it is known today more as the maker of the black and dry fermented soy beans called Daitokuji natto,[22] rather than a 500-year old caterer of shojin ryori. Perhaps that is why Ikkyu is, blessedly, Michelin-free. Ikkyu also served an adopted honzen ryori of two soups and five dishes, like the other two restaurants. As was typical of such style, rice and soup were served on the first tray, along with other dishes so that the diner could pair the salty dishes with rice, instead of sake, which was only appropriate in a temple setting. Instead of plain rice, however, Ikkyu cooked the rice with nutritious mukago (baby yams), seasoned lightly so that the subtle aroma of the earthy mukago could be savored along with its soft baby skin. The white miso soup was creamy and rich as a potage: in which, pieces of gluten, daikon radish and Japanese taro were cut into a circle, a square and a hexagon to signify Buddhist principles. The flat plate was composed in accordance with the shojin ryori principle of five colors: the white and the pink of the pickled radish, the orange of the confit of kumquat, the black of stewed mushroom and Daitokuji fu (a grilled gluten) and the green of the sprinkled seaweed. Not only visually pleasing, before the discovery of the vitamins and minerals, counting the colors provided an easy guidance for nutrition. Then, as if to wake up the diners from the lethargic slumber of the cold winter, the rapini in yellow mustard stimulated the tongue with a whirlwind of flavors – sweet, tangy, bitter and spicy all at once. It was sweet and yet not saccharine, spicy without being overwhelming, and the controlled use of vinegar augmented each flavor to the maximum. It was a grand homage to gomi – the principle of five flavors: the sweet, the salty, the sour, the spicy and the bitter.

Having elevated the palate to a new Zen height, the next several dishes sadly, forced it back to earth. The signature burdock raft was batter-fried burdock sticks whose originality was in the washing off of the oil after frying. Less oily, certainly, but the washing turned the fried burdocks sticks into limp and lumpy logs....

Pros: Nice dining room, Traditional cooking

Cons: Mediocre food


Points +608

12 Sep 2014

Delightful but overpriced

We've eaten here twice, maybe 3 times and it is always pleasant. The presentation and flavours are lovely and the setting is too - super traditional tatami mat rooms with tiny traditional chairs that for some reason always make me feel like I've been reborn as Japanese royalty. They have a splendid zen garden outside but every time we go there the doors are closed, to keep out either the heat, the cold or the mosquitoes... so you'll see the garden on the way in and out but will eat your meal looking at the wall and the sparsely furnished zen minimalist room.

If you haven't been to any other shojin eateries I wouldn't recommend this as your first ever experience, if only because it's severely overpriced and you can get more for less elsewhere. I also don't really like the way they objectify foreigners here - they're never rude (quite the contrary, it's more an issue of over-politeness), but they just refuse to speak to me as though I'm an actual person despite the fact that I actually speak native level Japanese if only given a chance to open my mouth. Rant over though, that's probably just a cultural thing and the way they treat us is no doubt a reflection of their experiences with foreigners to date (or perhaps the lack of), plus a desire to please.

They are famous here for a particular type of fermented soybean (natto). Surprisingly it doesn't feature prominently in their meals, but apparently it is used in their cooking. Our theory is that their natto fame may be behind the cheeky prices. If you'd like to take your own slice of zen away with you, the natto beans are available for sale in the street-side store outside. We're always feeling decidedly broke after dishing out for our meal, so are yet to venture that far. Next time, perhaps.

Pros: authentic, gorgeous garden outside

Cons: priced like poison for what you get, weird manner towards foreigners, view is always obscured

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