YOU MUST EAT HERE! We stumbled upon this restaurant at the last minute and we are so lucky there was a time slot available on our last night in Kyoto. We booked a counter seat but were pleasantly surprised to be seated in a private room. A menu printed in English was waiting for us and it certainly whet our appetites. Course after course was served with beautiful presentation and tasted phenomenal, and served by a very sweet lady in traditional Japanese attire. Our night was capped off with handshakes from the chef (we were the last to leave but did not feel hurried from the restaurant) and they stood at the door and waited as we walked to the end of the street at which point we turned and all bowed deeply to each other. If you are in Kyoto, you MUST eat here. We have eaten at many amazing restaurants and Michelin Star restaurants as well and this was by far one of the best meals of our lives! Arigato gozaimashita!!!!
Wonderful meal that takes you on a lovely journey of sights, smells, textures, and tastes. The serving dishes and glasses are all locally made in Kyoto (and are a joy to admire). The chef will show you all the details of the dish he is preparing for you while the ingredients are explained to you when it is served. All of your senses are stimulated throughout the meal, and your host and hostess are very kind and welcoming.
Their sake recommendations are on point as well! Their private room also looks like it would be an incredible experience. I had an allergy to an ingredient and they were more than happy to find me a substitute (which was of course delicious).
If you are looking for an intimate and delicious kaiseki experience, look no further.
As 2 dumb Americans we were at first anxious to discover we were the only guests on that quiet Tuesday night. Our chef Shigehiro was an utmost professional, and once it became clear we were nervous, he and our kind server Tomo made sure to explain and tell anecdotes about every dish, even by Google translate when necessary. They really went above and beyond, and we received a warm welcome and cultural experience that was a highlight of the trip. Shigehiro was rightfully proud of his specialty - grilling and treating meat. His Ōmi beef with sansho reduction was the finest I've had. His grilled and hot pot hamo were incredible too. He shared with us his aspirations to improve his mastery of Kyo-ryori and told us about his hometown. All in all we had such a warm experience here – despite huge language gaps – that we left grinning ear to ear. I wanted to write here to thank Tomo and Shigehiro for taking care of and welcoming 2 Americans with such open arms on a quiet, beautiful weeknight.
We had a wonderful experience at Gion Hanamai. Our server was so attentive and the food was exceptional.
We had an absolutely phenomenal meal at Gion Hanamai. The courses were prepared before our eyes and the service was very attentive. Each course was beautiful and plated exquisitely. Highly recommend for a uniquely modern kaiseki experience.
I booked a lunch for 3 people at Gion Hanamai. The kaiseki meal was fantastic and beautiful! Though we did not speak Japanese, chef Shigehiro Maeda and the woman who assisted with serving were extremely friendly, humorous, and made us feel comfortable. I would definitely recommend anyone to come to this restaurant. The quality, presentation, and ability to watch the preparation process of food is well worth the price. When I return to Kyoto in the future, I fully intend to book another reservation.
Gion Hanamai was outstanding. The chef was wonderful and, despite the language barrier, we were able to have a lovely conversation with him. The food was fantastic--everything was so light and fresh. The bonito, tempura (best tempura I've ever had), and mango pudding were standouts for me. The woman who waited on us was also lovely. Highly recommended for a wonderful kaiseki experience in Kyoto!
An absolute sensational kaiseki restaurant that you must visit. We had an purely amazing experience at Gion Hanamai. The Chef was not only very humorous but also makes indescribably delicious food. The lady helping to serve us was very gentle and kind, who also speaks fluent English.
We ordered the most premium course and it was worth every dollar of the price. We had the best ever ‘special beef’ that words cannot describe. I have tried many wagyu beef before and this is definitely the king of all. I have visited many Michelin restaurants and I am a food lover myself. This is definitely the most satisfying dining experience by far. I have wholeheartedly recommended here to my friends and would definitely visit again.
Thank you again for this memorizing meal at Kyoto!
The meal, service and experience were all outstanding! Highly recommended.
The design and presentation of food were so elegant just as what we were expecting for Kaiseki Royri. Dishes were excellently cooked and balanced. And the service were so delectable. It was beyond our expectations. Chef Shigehiro Maeda san is not only talanted with food but also humorous. All in all, Hanamai is highly recommended.
Great food and presentation. The service was superb. I will return to Hana Mai next time I return to Kyoto.
Unbelievable meal. The quality of the ingredients were mind blowing...each plate was like a work of delicious art.
Amazing service....incredibly hospitable and friendly!
Everything about the meal felt artful and special. Each course brought a new flavor or texture. The service was wonderful. A truly unique dining experience.
Absolutely fantastic food and service. Thank you so much!!
Our lunch there was absolutely fantastic, and the service was probably the best experience I've had in a restaurant. 100% recommend if you are travelling in Kyoto!
Boom! Bang! Pow! Superlatives galore! This place gave us an absolutely phenomenal Kaiseki dinner. Not only that, every dish was a visual work of art, as presented. I appreciate the ease of making a reservation on open table too.
This place is such a winner that we are thinking about trying to return for a second meal before leaving Kyoto.
Great experience! The food was amazing and they treated us perfectly. I would recommend 100% to visit this place during your visit to Kyoto. Not as expensive as a Michellin guide restaurant, but you may not find differences.
Husband and I were staying in Nara and took a train into Kyoto just for this dinner. We were not disappointed. The meal was amazing. The chef is an artist. The service was warm and personal. This tingly restaurant is completely organized to make sure guests have a wonderful and memorable experience. Even my one food accommodation was graciously met. A truly memorable experience.
Gion Hanami was simply fantastic. Set within a quiet secluded street within Gion, this restaurant offers delightful and delicious food, painstakingly crafted into works of art.
We had the dinner menu and were treated to an exceptional kaiseki experience over the course of two hours.
The staff were fantastic, although their English was limited, they made every effort to explain the food and constituent ingredients.
We would definitely visit Gion Hanami again!
This simply the best serviced restaurant I have ever been to, period. We were the only two guests for the evening, and the crew of four made us felt like royalty. If I really have to be picky, I can say the lighting in the restaurant is a bit on the bright side. But other than that, everything was just so perfect. The dishes were so painstakingly prepared, and every course was just a piece of art. We also were very delighted to enjoy the complexity in tastes, which are only commonly find in those sophisticated French dishes. Reservation is a must, and you won't regret it. Last but not least, don't show up too early, as the restaurant might not even have the sign up, and it might be difficult to find. In our case, we showed up one hour early, and had to wait for a good half hour before we could enter.
It has been our very first experience in a japanese gourmet restaurant and we've been totaly blown away.
The quality and the taste was awesome, the dishes were prepared like artworks.
Every dish was exactly explained by the chef and we learned a lot of japanese cooking and the ingredients, which some of them we've never heard before.
The winelist is small but fits to the offered cuisine and i highly recommend to taste sake at this restaurant, i never knew sake can taste like this.
Visit Gion Hanamai and you'll leave as happy you can be.
my partner and i had an amazing lunch here. the foods were out of this world.. it was almost too pretty to eat and the taste was scrumptious too.
In addition, the staffs were really nice. We were treated like a royalty.
We would definitely come back if we are in kyoto again.
Perfect way to end our vacation.
Super tasty and diverse set of dishes,
very beautiful representation. And super attentive stuff, who made our experience perfect.
Food was really well designed, some dishes were pure art pieces. Deliciously and meticulously made as well, and ingredients were well chosen and thought out.
Staff don't speak that much English but were trying really hard to be attentive and answer any questions as well. Felt like you were in the owners home kitchen being well taken care of.
For dinner my only issue is that I found the price point to be a little out there for the meal (at ~$270 CND with drinks per person). Overall really enjoyed this Kaiseki experience.
One of the most memorable dining experiences of my life. Absolutely incredible staff that made us feel like royalty.
Really nice and tasty food. Nice environment and good customer service.
Great food and service! A bit pricey but very much worth it
Hard to review because it was closed! Open table took the booking but the restaurant was shut. I’m not voting it down with a poor rating but either the restaurant or possibly OpenTable need to make sure the opening hours are accurately reflected. We walked about 30 minutes in the cold to get to it for context
A fantastic meal of eight courses, all executed with the utmost precision in flavor and presentation. Also, the service was impeccable. This at an amazingly reasonable lunch price of about $55!
Absolutely outstanding!!!! Truly amazing incredible dinner with presentation to die for...