Dining

    Marutamachi Junidanya

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    Marutamachi Junidanya

    Kyoto gourmets’ favorite ochazuke

    Marutamachi Junidanya is located on Marutamachi Street, near the Kyoto Imperial Palace.  What makes them famous is their ochazuke (rice with various toppings and poured tea) that was loved by many highly educated people in Kyoto.  They opened in 1912 and the first generation owner was from the Tango region (northern Kyoto) and worked for a Japanese sweet shop.  Later, he opened his own sweet shop in Gion, at the intersection of Hanamikoji Shijo.  The shop was originally named Tangoya, but this was changed to Junidanya later.  The name comes from one of their popular menu items; a course of Japanese sweets served in a 12-layered container.  “12-layer” is “Junidan” in Japanese and it represents the number of stages in one of the famous kabuki performances.  In those days, they started to serve not only sweets but also ochazuke and miso soup for regular customers who spent all night in nearby Gion and visited Junidanya in the early morning.  People liked their meal service and Junidanya became a restaurant in the early Showa period (1926-1988).  They don’t have a large sign outside.  “That’s because we would like people who come to already know about us and our ochazuke,” said the 3rd generation owner, Kenji Akimichi, showing his pride for his restaurant.  There are three kinds of ochazuke and surprisingly they have never changed the price over the past 20 years.  “Suzushiro” is a casual course that includes assorted seasonal vegetable pickles, “Koshihikari” brand rice from Niigata prefecture, eggroll and miso soup.  First, try the rice with pickles then pour brown tea over the rice for the second serving.  They regularly have 8 kinds of homemade pickles all with a tempting aroma and going perfectly with soft plain rice.  They start to cook eggrolls after the order so they are steaming hot and very juicy with a tasty broth. Don’t forget to appreciate the ceramics, woodblock prints and other antiques in the restaurant.  They don’t show off their valuable art collection but all of them are worth taking a look at.  Enjoy their traditional and simple taste in a classical atmosphere.

    Translation to English by AD BRAIN INC.
    Fujin-gaho,August issue,2012

    INFORMATION

    Name Marutamachi Junidanya
    Address Marutamachi-dori Karasuma-nishi-iru, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto
    Tel 075-211-5884
    Hours 11:30-14:30, 17:00-20:00
    Closed Wed., end & beginning of the year
    Resevation
    URL http://www.m-jyunidanya.com/
    Recommended Shabushabu and steak courses are recommended; A la carte menu is also good.

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