Recommended by a number of blogs and international media such as the New York Times, Yakitori Hitomi (炭焼創彩鳥家 人見) has been named as the best restaurant in Kyoto for Yakitori (焼き鳥) or Japanese skewered chicken. We made a reservation through the phone about a week prior to our departure. Fortunately, we managed to communicate with the staff over the phone with simple English and managed to secure a table for 20:30 on our second day of the trip. Many said that bookings should be made weeks well in advance for this highly popular and intimate restaurant on Nijo Dori at a quiet residential neighborhood in Higashiyama. It was a 15 minute walk to Yakitori Hitomi from our hotel. We borrowed an umbrella from the hotel as it was still raining.
Nijo Dori was quiet and there were hardly anyone on the street. We arrived at Yakitori Hitomi right on time, and were received with a warm welcome by the staff. The master chef/owner recognized us right away as he was the one whom we spoke to on the phone. He talked with us for a bit and told us that he had been to Hong Kong more than two decades ago. We sat by the counter facing the semi-open kitchen. We were given English menu, and a diagram of a chicken indicating different parts available, from neck to heart to bottom. We ordered sake, plum wine, and a variety of chicken skewers, local duck fillets, chicken soup, vegetable sticks, etc. The master chef/owner was the only person who worked at the binchotan (備長炭) or traditional Japanese white charcoal grill. We sat patiently to wait for each delicious skewer to be served one by one. The two-hour meal was definitely the best Japanese yakitori we ever had, and on top of that, the wonderful staff service and cozy atmosphere all made it a remarkable experience for our Kyoto stay.
The secluded front door and street facade of Yakitori Hitomi.
We sat at the timber counter facing the semi-open kitchen.
The restaurant interior was cozy and simple.
Japanese menu of Yakitori Hitomi.
Diagram showed the various parts of chicken available.
Sake and salt.
Chicken knee cartilage.
Tsukune or Japanese chicken meatball.
Sasami or chicken breast tender.
Seseri, or chicken neck.
Local chicken wings.
Japanese pickles, and momo or thigh meat.
A type of Japanese yam.
Vegetable sticks with master chef/owner in the background.
Complimentary dish and plum wine.
Kyoto duck fillets.
Our posts on 2016 Kyoto and Nara:
OUR FIRST KYOTO STORY, Japan
DAY 1: ARRIVAL AT HIGASHIYAMA (東山), Kyoto (京都), Japan
DAY 1: RYOANJI TEMPLE (龍安寺), Kyoto (京都), Japan
DAY 1: NINNAJI TEMPLE (仁和寺), Kyoto (京都), Japan
DAY 1: KINKAKUJI TEMPLE (金閣寺), Kyoto (京都), Japan
DAY 1: KITANO TENMANGU SHRINE (北野天満宮), Kyoto (京都), Japan
DAY 1: NIGHT AT KIYOMIZU-DERA (清水寺), Kyoto (京都), Japan
DAY 2: MORNING STROLL IN SOUTHERN HIGASHIYAMA (東山), Kyoto (京都), Japan
DAY 2: KIYOMIZU DERA (清水寺), Kyoto (京都), Japan
DAY 2: KIYOMIZU DERA to KENNINJI, Kyoto (京都), Japan
DAY 2: ○△□ and Chouontei Garden and Ceiling of Twin Dragons, KENNINJI TEMPLE (建仁寺), Kyoto (京都), Japan
DAY 2: SFERA BUILDING (スフェラ・ビル), SHIRKAWA GION (祇園白川), KAMO RIVER (鴨川) & DOWNTOWN, Kyoto (京都), Japan
DAY 2: YAKITORI HITOMI (炭焼創彩鳥家 人見), Kyoto (京都), Japan
DAY 3: MORNING IN NORTHERN HIGASHIYAMA (北東山), Kyoto (京都), Japan
DAY 3: NANZENJI (南禅寺), Kyoto (京都), Japan
DAY 3: PHILOSOPHER’S PATH (哲学の道), Kyoto (京都), Japan
DAY 3: HONENIN (法然院), Kyoto (京都), Japan
DAY 3: GINKAKUJI (銀閣寺), Kyoto (京都), Japan
DAY 3: CRAB AND SAKE, Kyoto, Japan
DAY 4: HORYUJI (法隆寺), Nara (奈良), Japan
DAY 4: TODAIJI TEMPLE (東大寺), Nara (奈良), Japan
DAY 4: KASUGA TAISHA (春日大社), Nara (奈良), Japan
DAY 4: KOFUKUJI (興福寺), Nara (奈良), Japan
DAY 4: NAKAGAWA MASASHICHI SHOTEN (中川政七商店 遊中川), Nara (奈良), Japan
DAY 4: RAMEN & CHRISTMAS LIGHTS, Kyoto (京都), Japan
DAY 5: FUSHIMI INARI SHRINE (伏見稲荷大社) Part 1, Kyoto (京都), Japan
DAY 5: FUSHIMI INARI SHRINE (伏見稲荷大社) Part 2, Kyoto, Japan
DAY 5: FAREWELL KYOTO, Kyoto, Japan
“Tokyo is a food lover’s paradise” – We could not agree more. Here are some of the meals that we enjoyed during our stay in Tokyo.
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Read other posts on 2014 Tokyo:
1. Tokyo 2014 (Introduction)
2. Yokohama Osanbashi Pier
3. Ginza, Tokyo
4. Tokyo International Forum, Tokyo
5. Omotesando, Tokyo
6. Harajuku & Aoyama, Tokyo
7. Nezu Museum, Tokyo
8. Roppongi Hills, Tokyo
9. The National Art Centre, Tokyo
10. Midtown, Tokyo
11. A Shrine in Shibuya, Tokyo
12. Yoyogi National Gymnasium, Tokyo
13. A Night in Yanaka, Tokyo
14. Breakfast at Tsukiji Market, Tokyo
15. Moveable Feast, Tokyo
16. Seasonal Fruits, Tokyo
17. Afterthought, Tokyo