Issen Yoshoku Review, Gion Kyoto Japan
If you are a big fan of Okonomiyaki, you should read about this. On our recent trip to Kyoto, we had our experience on a slightly different version of Okonomiyaki, the Issen Yoshoku.
What is Okonomiyaki ?
Okonomiyaki (お好み焼き o-konomi-yaki?) is a Japanese savoury pancake containing a variety of ingredients. The name is derived from the word okonomi, meaning “what you like” or “what you want”, and yaki meaning “grilled” or “cooked” (cf. yakitori and yakisoba). Okonomiyaki is mainly associated with Kansai or Hiroshima areas of Japan, but is widely available throughout the country. Toppings and batters tend to vary according to region. Tokyo okonomiyaki is usually smaller than a Hiroshima or Kansai okonomiyaki. – Wikipedia.org
We were traveling to Gion Shijo, Kyoto from Osaka via Keihan Railway. The landscape of Kyoto is totally different than Osaka. It is colourful, busy and vibrant.
Lucky enough we have friend from Osaka, Mariko who offered to bring us around Kyoto. As we were busy capturing the beautiful buildings of Kyoto, we coincidently bumped to a group of Geishas and Maikos. You can read more about our experience at Geisha and Maiko in Gion Kyoto.
At Gion, there is one particular restaurant which is very popular among the locals and the tourists. The place is called Issen Yoshoku. It is located a stone throws away from the Gion Keihan line station. It is quite hard to miss this restaurant (please view map below).
Colourful and fancy? It is a big hit among tourists in Gion.
The unique about this restaurant was not just about the food but the restaurant itself. It was the fancy decorations on their walls.
Yeah, there were many weird tiles there. Most of the tiles were portraying naked girls or erotic stories.
One of the weird characters as decorations in the restaurant.
There were replicas of Issen Yoshoku in front of the shop.
Hence, you can always snap pictures on how they cook the dish.
From a glance, it looked similar to Okonomiyaki but the ingredients and final presentation was different.
In the restaurant, the interior looked messy and there were more tiles on the walls.
Very interesting wall decorations, many visitors would spend time looking at each of them.
Nude or erotic tiles? It is the same!
More fancy tiles on the wall.
If only we could read Japanese, some of the tiles do look interesting.
As we were waiting for our food, we found another interesting thing about this restaurant. The “old school” soda glass bottles were available there. I have not seen these bottles for more than 20 years and it was hard to believe they are still producing it in Kyoto. Each bottle is 250 Yen and I kept the empty bottle.
The Issen Yoshoku looked like a folded Okonomiyaki topped with thin slices of seaweed and flooded with sauce.
The filling of it was rich, thick and colourful. As expected, it was savoury, delicious and addictive. The combination of different flavours made us guessing what were inside. The delicious Issen Yoshoku is 650 Yen.
As you might be guessing the ingredients for the Issen Yoshoku, I listed down the ingredients as below.
Issen Yoshoku Recipe and Ingredients:
Spring Onion, Beef, Egg, Ginger, Dried Shrimp, Tempura Batter, Drilled Fish Paste, Konjak Jelly, Dried Bonito and Flour!
Issen Yoshoku is a must visit place in Gion Kyoto and adding a new savoury experience in Japan. It is walking distance to shrines and temples in Kyoto most notable the Kiyomizudera Temple.
Issen Yoshoku Review, Gion Shijo Kyoto Japan Address, Contact and Map:
Shijo Dori, Nawate-agaru, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto
Tel: 075 533 0001
Opening Hours: 11.30am-3am Mon-Fri; 10.30am-9.30pm Sat, Sun.