Iron Chef Morimoto to Open First Kyoto, Japan, Restaurant in Fall
Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, the Japanese master chef known for his innovative and signature style of cuisine, will introduce his first restaurant in Kyoto, Japan this fall. Morimoto Kyoto will open on Pontocho Alley, an area that is considered Kyoto’s top scenic dining destination for residents and tourists. Located on the west side of the Kamogawa River, Pontocho Alley is a lively and picturesque narrow alley lined with restaurants, bars and traditional shops. Morimoto Kyoto will bring Chef Morimoto’s global restaurant count to 18 locations, following the launch of his 17th restaurant, slated to open in Seattle this September. Chef will also open his 19th restaurant in 2020, which will be his third restaurant location in New York.
“The first restaurant I ever opened was in my hometown of Hiroshima, Japan when I was 24. Now four decades later, I’m excited to open a restaurant in Kyoto,” says Chef Morimoto. “Opening a restaurant in Kyoto is a meaningful and personal experience for me, especially in Pontocho Alley, an area rooted in centuries of history and tradition.”
Known for the preservation of forms of traditional Japanese architecture and entertainment, no cars or modern buildings are permitted on Pontocho Alley, allowing visitors to easily explore the area on foot for an immersive experience. Tourists can also often catch a glimpse of geiko (Kyoto’s geishas) in the evening as they make their way to nearby appearances in the neighborhood.
Morimoto Kyoto will feature a two-story traditional Machiya-style townhouse layout, plus Kawayuka (riverside outdoor seating). The menu will showcase Chef Morimoto’s signature style of cooking with inspiration of Kyoto, seamlessly integrating Japanese and Western ingredients and culinary techniques. An array of bold appetizers and elevated Japanese dishes will take guests on the distinctive flavor exploration that Chef Morimoto has become known for across the globe.
With restaurants all over the world, Chef Morimoto has seen how language barriers can affect a visitor’s experience while traveling abroad. With this in mind, Chef Morimoto hand-selected a restaurant team fluent in English, so the restaurant can provide a welcoming and friendly experience for travelers visiting Kyoto. This enhanced level of hospitality will make Morimoto Kyoto the best restaurant in Kyoto for travelers to experience this quality of service, without the concern of language barriers or the unique exclusivity that Kyoto is known for. It is Chef Morimoto’s hope that guests will enjoy an authentic Japanese meal over conversations with staff and learn more about the location’s rich history.
To celebrate the opening of Morimoto Kyoto this fall, Chef Morimoto will host a specialty chef-led tour of Japan October 15-21. This voyage alongside Chef Morimoto includes the following culinary-inspired adventures:
- Experience the lively action of a tuna auction at the new Toyosu Fish Market in Tokyo
- Enjoy a sake pairing dinner at his upscale restaurant Atelier Morimoto XEX in Tokyo
- Paint your own ceramic masterpieces on location at Nikko ceramics, Chef Morimoto’s favorite renowned brand of tableware that he uses at his restaurants
- Savor an exclusive lunch at his new restaurant Morimoto Kyoto in Pontocho Alley
- Sake brewery tour and tasting of Chef Morimoto’s original sake at Fukumitsuya Brewery in Kanazawa