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Kyoto Machiya Restaurant Guide: Affordable Dining in Traditional Townhouse Spaces

Kyoto Machiya Restaurant Guide: Affordable Dining in Traditional Townhouse Spaces

Kyoto Machiya Restaurant Guide: Affordable Dining in Traditional Townhouse Spaces Machiya, or townhouses, are traditional wooden dwellings in Kyoto that evoke the elegance and culture of Japan’s old capital with their architectural details, beautiful gardens, and intimate rooms. Many have been converted into restaurants to create unforgettable dining experiences. Enjoying healthy food in a historic, traditional Kyoto environment is a rare pleasure. Here are some 130 restaurant listings (food, decor, hours, addresses, prices, maps, and index) and a photographic guide to machiy

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3 Responses to “Kyoto Machiya Restaurant Guide: Affordable Dining in Traditional Townhouse Spaces”

  1. T. Allen says:
    2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Kyoto’s culinary and architectural treasures revealed, February 17, 2013
    By 
    T. Allen (vt) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: Kyoto Machiya Restaurant Guide: Affordable Dining in Traditional Townhouse Spaces (Paperback)

    Most people think Japan is impossibly expensive, but Clancy offers ways to see the best of Kyoto–a city she loves deeply and deeply understands–on a reasonable budget and limited time frame. These machiya townhouses are both reasonably priced places to eat, and rich in traditional architecture and spirit. Not-to-be-missed, and odds are you’d never find them without this great guide to some hidden cultural and culinary treasures. The writing is evocative, expressive and concise; the photos perfectly capture the spirit of place. Get it and go to gorgeous, delicious Kyoto.

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  2. Anonymous says:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    A superlative resource for hungry people in Kyoto, May 3, 2013
    By 
    John E. Goodman (Kyoto, Japan) –

    This review is from: Kyoto Machiya Restaurant Guide: Affordable Dining in Traditional Townhouse Spaces (Paperback)

    This handy paperback makes it easy for anyone in Kyoto to find perfect places for great meals, from the simple to the exquisite. The results of years of exploration and evaluation by long-term Kyoto resident Judith Clancy are distilled and helpfully presented so that even first-time visitors can satisfy their appetite for delicious meals as well as unusual aesthetic and cultural experiences. This book goes far beyond merely listing restaurant data and a brief description of what’s available to eat. It provides a sumptuous level of detail on the history of each of more than 140 restaurants, a 35-page illustrated introduction to the origin and development of machiya culture, and a wealth of practical information for tourists visiting Japan’s ancient capital. For example, restaurant addresses in Japanese, handy for showing taxi drivers where to go, are included in addition to detailed and easy-to-use maps for walking. A small photo of each restaurant’s entrance aids identification. The combination of maps and photos, and indexes by cuisine as well as by name, makes it easy to find what one wants across various areas of the city. Although economical midday meals are the main focus, information on evening hours and prices are also typically provided. In short, this is a splendid handbook, an ideal guide to a wide range of restaurants where staffs are dedicated to the satisfaction of hungry and adventurous guests.

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  3. Anonymous says:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Enjoy memorable and attractively priced meals in Japan’s imperial capital, March 14, 2013
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    This review is from: Kyoto Machiya Restaurant Guide: Affordable Dining in Traditional Townhouse Spaces (Paperback)

    If you stay in Kyoto for at least a few days, “Kyoto Machiya Restaurant Guide” will be a good book to have within ready reach. As the title suggests, all the restaurants are located in machiya, which is a traditional townhouse featuring sturdy wooden beams and lofty rafters highlighted as part of the decor. The book handily arranges these restaurants by district (with maps) and by type of cuisine (several varieties of Western and Asian), so it is pretty easy to find one if you happen to be in any given neighborhood. Most of these places offer reasonably priced lunch menus while dinner prices tend to be higher. In addition to providing meal suggestions, the writer Judith Clancy (a resident of the city for the past four decades) has added a lot of interesting and informative details about her adopted home, about the machiya style of architecture, and about each of the individual restaurants. I found the best way to make use of this book was to decide my general itinerary before going out, then see if I could find any machiya restaurants in my anticipated sightseeing area for the day. If I could find any, I would take the book along with me. Or, even better, you could use your iPhone, iPad or whatever you happen to have to take a picture of the pertinent pages so you won’t need to carry the whole book with you each time. The district maps show the names and pinpoint the locations for all places within each area; street and restaurant names are all in conveniently romanized spelling. The main thing is to do your homework a day ahead, so you will have an idea of where you’ll be and which machiya restaurants will be most conveniently accessible. If you plan to return to Kyoto sometime in the future, don’t forget to bring this book with you for a re-run. Even if you happen to be living there, it would take quite a long time to cover a large number of the places described. But since the book is a very economical paperback, I personally think it is well worth having if only to enjoy the experience of a few memorable meals in an ambiance you’ll not readily find anywhere else. Oh, and the directions, addresses (in Japanese in case you need to ask someone to point the way) and contact details are given for each establishment, plus recommended specialties of the house and a general idea of the price range.

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