Arashiyama Benkei. Kyoto. Japan. 11.20.2018-11.21.2018.

This would be my second time staying at Arashiyama Benkei. Ryokans are traditional Japanese inns and famed in Kyoto, often with onsens (natural spring baths). I had a room at the most expensive ryokan in Kyoto, but my friend said it was too much. Since I was very happy with my last stay at Arashiyama Benkei, I suggested we stay here instead. Since we both have tattoos, we opted for our private onsen in our room, which was quite a luxury, with a price tag to go with it. Kaiseki is yet another specialty in Kyoto. Kaiseki is a multi course dinner made with fresh seasonal ingredients and expertly plated. The kaiseki I had at benkei last time was on par with the very best of 3 Michelin starred meals I have had. We all know how harsh of a food critic I am with these reviews; I would highly recommend you getting the dinner if you are going to stay here. Most people cannot afford to stay at high end ryokans for the entire duration of their trip, so most do their last night in Kyoto in one for the experience. You can also book a massage in your room. However, beware that it happens in your room, so perhaps you may want to stagger them at different times when everyone is not in the room for the most private massage. Or you can spend the money on the private outdoor onsen on the property instead, which is what I would recommend. Arashiyama Benkei did not disappoint again with its impeccable service and perfect meal in a most serene setting.

Arashiyama Benkei
〒616-8385 Kyoto Prefecture

Eel sushi
Blended persimmon with thin deep-fried tofu and Japanese parsley flavored with white vinegar
Grilled mushroom ball with sea urchin
Boiled chestnut with sour skin in brandy liquor
Densuke conger eel with grated daikon radish mixed with chili and carrot in Ponzu vinegar
Steamed eel rolled with strips of burdock in Yawata style
Boiled scallop with Japanese pepper in Prima style
Smoked salmon rolled with okra flavored with vinegar in Kinutamaki style on skewers
Decorated with an ear of rice

Appetizer soup
Fried Spanish mackerel dressed with rice paste of the harvest year, topping with Daikoku Shimeji mushroom, mochi rice cake, mibuna potherb mustard, carrot, edible chrysanthemum, yuzu citrus and Matsutake mushroom, in clear Konbu seaweed and Katsuo tuna soup

Far side
Assorted seasonal sashimi on salads

Lidded dish
Turnip dressed with miso sauce and citrus, topping with Japanese daisy and gluten cake in shape of red leaves

Grilled butterfish flavored with green onion, decorated with Japanese ginger and deep-fried edible momiji leaves

Little hot pot
Boiled Kyoto local chicken dressed with flour, in soy sauce based soup, topping with gluten cake mixed with chestnuts, think green onion, Shiitake mushroom and wasabi

Wagyu (Japanese black hair beef) steak or sushi with fatty cut of tuna

Deep-fried sweet bream

Steamed abalone in Tosa vinegar

End soup
Thin sliced fried tofu, Japanese ginger
Rice and Japanese pickles

Seasonal selection

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