Updated: June 14, 2017
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Shojin Ryori: Buddhist Cuisine in Kyoto for an Unforgettable Japanese Experience

While you are visiting Kyoto, you should try having a very traditional and unique experience by having Buddhist monk cuisine in or by a temple. This will undoubtedly be an unforgettable experience in Kyoto.

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Shojin Ryori 精進料理

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Have you ever heard of Shojin Ryori? It is traditional cuisine for Buddhist monks. Respecting the Buddhist philosophy, animal products are not used; simply fresh and seasonal fruits and herbs.
Even if you're not vegetarian or even vegan, that does mean this cuisine is bland. Dish after dish, it is colourful, creative and delicious.
This can be enjoyed within a temple or at a restaurant around the temple. This will definitely make for an unforgettable Japanese zen experience.
(Please note that some of the restaurants may use fish products, so please ask ahead when making a reservation!)

Shigetsu

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Shigetsu is a wonderful place to try Zen Vegetarian cuisine. Taking in consideration Buddhist ideals, this restaurant does not use any animal products to make their dishes; only seasonal fruits, vegetables and herbs. If you want a true taste of zen, you should stop by this restaurant.
Courses are between ¥3,000-¥7,000 and you can book a reservation online from their website. I think that eating within a temple makes for an unforgettable experience.
Img ka thumb 2 300x239 175 http://www.tenryuji.com/en/index.html

Shigetsu

68 Susukinobaba-machi, Saga Tenryu-ji, Ukyo-ku

Kangaan

Akari1 400 http://www.kangaan.jp/
Kangaan is located near the Kuramaguchi station and nearby the Kamo river. What a magical place to have lunch or dinner.
Courses are between ¥5,000-¥15,000.
This restaurant is a delight for vegans, and even if you're not, it is a delight for the senses. Imagine having a many course meal served to you while having a breath-taking view on their garden.
Kuro 800 http://www.kangaan.jp/

Kangaan Temple

278 Shingoryoguchi-cho, Karasuma-dori Kuramaguchi-higashi-iru, Kita-ku, Kyoto

Yoshuji

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Yoshuji is located close to the Sanmon station.
Vegan or not, this is one of the tastiest meals you will have in Japan, and the courses are really affordable here; between ¥2,160-¥3,240.
Although it isn't in a temple, it's in a rustic shop outside the temple and the service is very friendly.
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Yoshuji

1074-2 Honmachi, Kurama, Sakyo-ku

Ikkyu

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Ikkyu is a ryokan near the Kuramaguchi station.
They cater a lot of the neighboring temples so the cuisine is authentic and also exceptional.
The courses are between ¥4,160 (for a lunch box)-¥14,260.
Please note that this restaurant is by reservation only and you have to pay cash.
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Ikkyu

72 Monzenrokudocho Sagadaikakuji Ukyoku, Kyoto 616-8417, Kyoto Prefecture

Izusen

19050391 1530220833695324 1129311300581588992 n https://www.instagram.com/p/BVOhSJcgDyS/
Izusen is by the Daitoku-ji (temple). It isn't the fanciest restaurant on this list, but it is by no means less delicious.
With the course, it's dish after dish of delicious, refined cuisine. This restaurant is also vegan, but non-vegans will not be disappointed, it is excellent!
The courses start at ¥3,240.
P botan http://kyoto-izusen.com/

Izusen

4 Daitokujichô, Murasakino, Kita-ku, Kyoto.

Finally...

We hope you enjoyed this article.
There are many places to visit in Kyoto to tick off your travel journey, but to make your experience truly memorable, you should have Shojin ryori at least once!
Wanderlust Foodaholic
I love traveling and discovering new cuisines. Japan has a panoply of different local dishes to try. I also love yoga, coffee, reading, and cycling.

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