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Welcome to my blog!

If you are in for an adventure paired with lengthy, quirky, brutal honest thoughts then you are in the right place.

My name is Arisa and was a cosplayer for 12 years in Malaysia before settling down in Kyoto, Japan. Exploring Japan full time has been a long time dream of mine, so let's explore it together!
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Giro Giro Hitoshina, Kyoto | Affordable Kaiseki

Time to welcome a new label on my blog "Kyoto Food Directory" where i'll be listing out places that i've eaten and think it's worth paying a visit for tourists :)
Hopefully this information can benefit travelers who are looking to enjoy all the cuisines Kyoto has to offer. When it comes to Japan, this is a place you won't have to starve because food is good and options are abundant, especially if you know where to look (best way is to ask a local or check out Instagram #KyotoFood). At most times most eateries only uses Japanese to communicate however there are some exceptions for certain places, simple English is fine but there are some Japanese words you guys can pick up to make things much easier especially if you have a restricted diet due to health reasons. religious or plain allergy.

#FoodieTip1 -Basic Japanese words

Allergy= Arerugi
Arimasu= have
Tabemasen= Don't eat
Kai= Shellfish
Beef= Gyuniku 
Pork= Butaniku

Because i, myself am allergic to shellfish these were some of the words i made a point to memorize 2 years ago or else i have to pop an antihistamine pill after every single meal. Here in Giro-Giro Hitoshina which i'll be sharing with you guys today, they allow special requests but you'll need to mention it during your booking so they'll know what not to serve you during the session.

For one thing is sure everyone would like to experience a Kaiseki meal at least once in Japan, but these meals can usually cost minimal 10,000yen and above, that's quite expensive and for those who don't know what's a "Kaiseki" is, it's basically a full course meal decided, prepared and served by the head chef based on season's ingredient specialty. You won't know what you'll be getting throughout the course until it arrives on your table; then and there the chef will explain about the concept and ingredients used.

So it's technically surprise fine dining session.

Counter seat view

Take note that Kaiseki sessions usually takes up to 1.5 hours to get through the entire course (7-8 dishes), so make sure you have some time spared specially for this, slowly savor each dish from start till the end and your belly wouldn't regret this one bit! Also remember to wear something loose lol.

This was my 2nd visit to Giro-Giro, service is still impeccable as ever and this round's course didn't disappoint as well, my first time here was last Autumn that's when i first met the danna and we had a double date celebrating my friend's husband's birthday. Ah, such wonderful memories lol. 
Giro-Giro has earned its reputation as one of the most affordable Kaiseki dining in Kyoto for only 5,000 yen+ (meal only including drinks).

Some might find Japanese food unpalatable (not used to the taste) but i would always advise people to try it with an open mind,  we know some of the dishes we have in a Japanese restaurant back in our home country might taste totally different from it's place of origin lol, that's because it has been modified to suit our taste-buds. Not everyone likes Japanese pickles (tsukemono), like me lol but as an adult i learn not to waste food so i'll eat everything served unless my tummy is really upset. 

#FoodieTip2 - Food Reviews Online

Online food reviews by foreigners saying that the food isn't good, take it with a pinch of salt and best to ask a local about the taste instead because it's their local food after all. 
Unless it's literally 9/10 people complaining about the food/ service then probably it's really bad.

As a foreigner myself i found Giro-giro's fusion Japanese food quite good, and portion size just nice in fact i think it was a wee bit too much for me since i'm generally a small eater (Unless desserts lol).
But really when you eat your meal slowly even with a small portion you'll notice your stomach feeling fuller compared to eating a fast big meal.

hamo fish paste on grilled mochi

Grilled sanma 秋刀魚 (autumn fish)

Japanese mushroom soup

Foie gras salmon rice

various tempura (sweet potato, yam, potato & lady finger) in broth

Okayu served with assorted tsukemono

Okayu (porridge) cooked with soba water

Mixed fruits pudding

Menu changes monthly (or bi-weekly like most Kaiseki restaurants) so you'll be in for a surprise if you visit them monthly. Right now it is the beginning of Autumn so they'll start serving with ingredients only available during autumn like 秋刀魚 (sanma fish) and food presentation might include momiji (maple leaf) as well.

Haven't visited them during other seasons except Autumn (lol coincidence this round also autumn but the menu is different from last year). But maybe next year i'll drop by again with some friends.

Book in Advance

As this place is popular among both locals and foreigners (thanks to TripAdvisor), so don't expect to get a seat by just walking in. Call in advance to book a table or you can drop by to book in person like how we did the day before.
They have top floor and counter tables, from the top you'll get a good window view of Kamogawa (Kamo river) but if you prefer watching all the cooking action, then the counter would be a better option also you can talk to the chef as he prepares your meal, they are pretty cool & chill bunch!

Costs & Payment Method

They only accept cash, so no credit/ debit cards.
Plain cash, come prepared ya!
The max including drinks one person would probably cost less than 5000 yen, if you order more alcohol then probably 6000 yen onwards lol.
For us, 4 adults dining including 4 non-alcohol drinks (Yuzu), 2 rounds of Japanese sake costs about 20,000yen that's like 5000 yen per person divided.  Pretty reasonable indeed.

Getting There

You can walk from Kawaramachi dori's H&M outlet which is only 800 meters, but if you are taking a cab they won't be able to enter the small alleyway so you'll have to stop outside the main road and walk in for about 200 meters, just mention to the driver "matsubara dori sagaru", if they don't understand just show them the map on your phone or give them the restaurant's denwa bango (phone number) -  075-343-7070

The taxi driver will call the restaurant to ask for directions or nearby landmarks.

Your Truly,

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