In May, I posted an blog entry on the Michelin Guide to Kyoto/Osaka. Well, I just got my hands on a copy, and nervously thumbed through it quickly to see if any of my favorites were listed. Only one made it on the list: Ajiro, a delightful shojin ryori (vegetarian temple cooking) restaurant near Myoshinji Temple. We visited Ajiro last May, upon the recommendation of Sachiyo Imai, as well as Reverend Daiko Matsuyama of Taizo-in Temple. I’ll post an article about the restaurant soon, as well as a slide show of our marvelous meal there.
But back to the guide: 150 restaurants are featured, with 85 restaurants in Kyoto earning 110 stars and 65 restaurants in Osaka earning 79 stars. What strikes me about the list, other than the fact that it includes many famous names, is their relative affordability when compared to Tokyo’s starred establishments. This puts the meals within reach of a wider audience of Japanese food enthusiasts, that is, alas, IF you can secure a reservation; Ah, the flip side of fame. This is why I was nervous when opening the guide. But selfishness aside, congratulations to all the chefs, restaurants and ryokans who’ve made it on the list.
On Oct. 14m=, New York Times In Transit blog focused on the fact that Kyoto earned 110 Michelin stars, more than the Big Apple itself. I’m sure this will lead to controversy over the coming months, as most of the restaurants serve strictly Japanese cuisine. There will also undoubtedly be controversy over the ones that didn’t make it, but should have, and the ones who didn’t want to be listed, but were. (I know of at least one, from a trusted source.)
Do you have a copy yet? Are your favorite establishments listed?