Traditional Japanese Inn Near Kyoto – Sumiya Kiho-an (Part 2)

2017 Apr 5 – 2017 Apr 6

  • Please refer to the previous post for more details.
  • Tip:
    • My dinner took an hour and a half.
    • It might be difficult if you don’t know how to use chopsticks properly.


My stay at Sumiya Kiho-an included dinner and breakfast. During check-in I picked the time for dinner (6 PM). At the end of dinner I was told to pick time for breakfast and I chose 8 AM.



The restaurant was located on the first floor of the main building. The hostess asked for my room number and led me to a semi-private room.

Dinner here was kaiseki style (multi-course, traditional Japanese meal).


I was given a drink menu and I ordered hot sake called Okinatsuru for extra fee (JPY 799 ~ USD 7).



The waitress spoke little English but we got by. I was given a clear red drink and was told it was “wine” although I could not taste any alcohol in it. It was sweet and fruity.



The appetizers came right away and they looked beautiful.


Going clockwise starting from top left:

  • Salmon with pickled vegetables – I liked the combination.
  • Squid and lotus – It was good! Tasted umami and somewhat … expensive?
  • Roe jelly – Very oceany. With every bite it screams OCEAN!! It was very unique but I wasn’t a huge fan.
  • Skewer – Alright.


Surprisingly there was a piece of sushi under the perilla. It was very refreshing but the perilla was too overpowering. Maybe I wasn’t supposed to eat them together.



I was given a sheet of paper which looked like that day’s menu.



My sake also arrived. It was delivious! It was very flavourful and fragrant. Slightly sweet and pleasantly warm. The bottle looked like it was specifically for hot sake.



Clear soup tasted clean, umami, seafood-like without being too fishy. The fish cake inside was a bit ocean-y.



Then I got sashimi in a fancy looking box.


  • Fern – It was very crispy and I think it was lightly blanched. I had never had it that way but I liked it.
  • Squid – It was too slippery and gooey.
  • Seared fish – It was good but hard to describe. It tasted a little like beef. I think this was tuna.


Nabe! The waitress told me to put all the ingredients in the broth once it starts to boil.

  • Broth – Really good. It tasted clean with a light hint of tsuyu-like flavour.
  • Green vegetable – I think it was ssuk (Korean/Japanese mugwort) and that flavour was very strong.
  • Beef – It was from Kameoka. It was good but not as tender as I would have liked. Maybe I cooked it for too long.
  • Tofu – Really good. Very nutty.



  • Grilled bamboo shoots – Tasted very strongly of … the bamboo shoot flavour. It also tasted charcoal-grilled, which was nice. It went well with the green sauce which tasted similar to pesto.
  • Cooked fish – It wasn’t fluffy but was somewhat chewy and almost bouncy. It was umami and juicy but the skin was too tough.


The next dish was called “yuba”.


I later found out that it was a type of tofu, made a little differently but from similar ingredients. The texture was very interesting. It had multiple layers and felt more sticky than regular tofu.



Blanched calamari. The peanut sauce was good but I hated the calamari. I dislike calamari in general though.


I was pretty full by this point and then rice came. Yayyy…


  • Rice – Nothing special.
  • Miso soup – Good. It tasted very rich.
  • Tsukemono (picked vegetables) – It was crispy and refreshing. I loved the napa one.


I was very happy when I received dessert, at last.


The Japanese orange jelly was really fresh and refreshing. I was told to squeeze the top part and the fresh juice really added the freshness. It was not too gelatinous.


As I was happily heading to my room the waitress almost ran to me and gave me couple of Inari sushi for night snack. I found this very thoughtful but then at the same time my stomach was about to explode.


I did eat them after private bath and they tasted really good. I had had many Inari sushi before and these were the best.




I was led to a table in the corner of the floor with a divider. The view was nice.



It was half buffet style where they serve you the main dishes and you can pick up side dishes in the buffet area.


I actually had to wait for a while for rice and miso soup.


These were already on the table when I arrived.


Going counter-clockwise starting from top right:

  • Tofu – Interesting. The texture was a bit like fried tofu but when I bit into it a lot of juice oozed out.
  • Sashimi – Really good, even without soy sauce. It was very umami and savoury.
  • Marinated konnyaku – Also very good, slightly sweet with great texture.
  • Tsukemono (picked vegetables) – Probably the same from last night and just as great.


Grilled fish was again bouncy. It was a little hard to eat due to skin.



Grilled miso paste was pretty salty but strangely addictive. It tasted very umami. It went great with rice.


The items from the buffet area weren’t that great.



The dessert, fruit pudding, was awesome. Fruity and sweet.



I loved how pretty their serving plates were.





I loved that I could try so many different types of authentic Japanese dish. Both meals felt more like adventures because it was hard to expect what they would taste like. Since there was so much variety there were some items I loved and some I disliked, but overall I really enjoyed both meals.


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