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Aspirations so high they surpass the sky: that is the meaning behind the name Ryō-shō, showing the chef’s intentions to delight his guests. With the chef’s charming character, a breathtakingly elegant space, incredible food, and perfect wine selections, this is an experience sure to exceed the highest expectations. Not even one year was needed to show food critics that Ryō-shō deserves multiple stars.

Ryō-shō resides on an atmospheric cobblestone street in Gionmachi Minamigawa. Lined with machiya traditional Japanese houses, you find yourself in a magical scene straight from the pages of a luxury travel magazine. Across the street is the Gion Kobu Kaburenjo Theater, where you can witness traditional Japanese performing arts. The fortunate location means that as you stroll toward the restaurant door, you have an excellent chance to see geisha and maiko on their way to practice or appointments.

Slide the door to reveal a space with an expansive counter and an elegant inner garden beyond. Just one step inside, you can take in the tranquil interior of this sukiya teahouse-style building designed by the Nakamura Sotoji building company. The antique tableware and artworks most certainly delight the restaurant’s discerning guests. They include glassware from Baccarat and Lalique, pottery styles like Kyoto Raku ware and early Imari, and rare pieces from Kawai Kanjiro, known for works that express functionality and a connection to nature. With paintings by 19th-century artist Maruyama Okyo and Yokoyama Taikan – a master in Nihonga Japanese painting techniques – you can absolutely be excused from thinking you mistakenly stepped into an art gallery.



Tradition with modern elements

Chef Makoto Fujiwara has long turned heads with his seamless fusion of Japanese with French techniques and produce and tradition with modern elements. This did not change with the opening of Ryō-shō in 2022, where Fujiwara does not let himself be restrained by classic Japanese cuisine, focusing on creating dishes using the best ingredients of any kind and origin in each season. He trusts his instincts when it comes to delicious ingredients and the perfect methods to accentuate their innate qualities. With half the guests hailing from overseas, Fujiwara always serves meat dishes and offers exquisite wine-pairing courses. The collection of champagne and wine can compete with the best French restaurants and confirms Ryō-shō’s status as a luxury dining destination. You will want to indulge in a pairing course in the capable hands of sommelier Hiroyuki Jinguji, who has been working with Chef Fujiwara for many years.

Ryō-shō’s cuisine is a monthly changing omakase course structured according to the traditions of chakaiseki tea ceremony cuisine. A spring menu will feature premium spring ingredients like white-fleshed fish, white asparagus, and sansho flowers, whereas renkon lotus root and hamo daggertooth pike conger will most certainly appear in summer. The menu always includes a meat dish, be it charcoal-grilled beef or sukiyaki, or game meats like deer and wild boar in winter.

It begins with sakizuke, akin to an amuse bouche. Tea ceremony cuisine always begins with a small serving of rice to warm guests’ bellies and prepare them for the meal. This tradition comes from the notion that drinking a cup of rich green tea would be too stimulating for an empty stomach. At Ryō-shō, this may be a morsel of rice topped with small fried fish and a fava bean and sprinkled with bottarga. Dishes to follow may include the pureed soup of a unique variety of garden peas grown in the Kansai region called usui-mame, topped with boiled white asparagus, oil-poached Ise-ebi lobster, and caviar. It is a visually stunning contrast of green and pink served in a decorative vintage bowl from St. Louis, which has been making crystal creations since 1586. For the owan lidded bowl dish, perfectly clear primary dashi extracted from Rishiri kombu and tuna flakes wafts wonderful aromas the instant you remove the lid to find a velvety shinjo dumpling of crabmeat and pike conger flesh, topped with baby greens.

Sashimi of Akashi sea bream accompanied by green onion sprouts and wasabi is served on a gorgeous antique blue and white porcelain dish. A warming dish of braised daikon radish topped with a glistening piece of teriyaki monkfish liver follows, with a swirl of daikon braising juices, thinly shredded pieces of the white part of naganegi long Japanese green onions, and dots of zesty yuzu. Himegyu beef from Kyoto’s mountainous Ayabe region is served sukiyaki style with a silky poached egg and black truffles. The umami, aroma and textures are heavenly. Other courses include a warming dish called atsumono, a delicacy offered by the chef to keep the sake flowing called shiizakana, and a small bowl of broth called kozuimono that serves as a palate cleanser. Finally comes the rice dish and a refreshing dish of seasonal fruit.

The sumptuous seafood is sourced from Nishiki Market fishmonger Maruyata, and vegetables are supplied by wholesalers at the Central Markets in Osaka and Kyoto. From early spring, bamboo shoots that have just popped through the earth are delivered directly from farmers in Nara’s Kashihara district. One thing is certain: every ingredient used in the Ryō-shō kitchen comes from trusted producers and suppliers known to Fujiwara since his training days, who select and deliver the very best at each moment of every season.

Ryosho cuisine #0
Ryosho cuisine #1


Makoto Fujiwara

Makoto Fujiwara was born in Aichi Prefecture in central Japan in 1979. His family owns a catering business in his hometown, exposing him to cooking from an early age. After graduating high school, becoming a chef seemed the natural progression. Fujiwara enrolled in Osaka’s Tsuji Culinary Institute and was hired by the highly acclaimed Gion Maruyama immediately after completing his studies. Chef Maruyama was strict but meticulously taught Fujiwara everything he needed to know, from cooking techniques and careful ingredient selection to the culture of chakaiseki tea ceremony cuisine and omotenashi – the Japanese art of hospitality.

Fujiwara spent 13 years at Gion Maruyama, earning his stripes and the support of his master to go independent. In 2013, he opened Fuji in Teramachi Ebisugawa. From 2017, at the earnest request of the Chairman of Restaurant Hiramatsu, he served as the opening head chef at Kodaiji Jugyuan, where he spent five years. He earned high acclaim from local and overseas guests for his cuisine, successfully weaving together ingredients and techniques from orthodox washoku and French cuisine. Fujiwara went on to open Ryō-shō in January 2022 in the Minamigawa district of Gion and was awarded two stars in 2023, lauded for his wealth of techniques, delicious cuisine, and the restaurant’s sophisticated interior, ambiance, and accouterments. But Fujiwara’s biggest thrill was being featured in a particular magazine – something he had always aspired to. That is when he felt truly recognized for his cuisine and restaurant design.

As per the meaning of the restaurant’s name, Fujiwara plans to hone his skills to reach ever-higher heights. He focuses on constantly elevating dishes one notch higher than the previous day. But in everything, Fujiwara’s main objective is to create a time and space for his guests to enjoy themselves to the fullest.


With a location in Kyoto’s pleasure quarters, it is no surprise that many guests are well-versed in alcoholic beverages. A great number of guests order champagne by the bottle, so Fujiwara makes sure to have a steady supply of high-end favorites. Dom Pérignon features strongly in the lineup, with its only vintage champagnes and the rosé affectionately known worldwide as Dom Peri Pink. Guests can even enjoy Oenothèque and the Plénitude 2 (P2) variety while dining at Ryō-shō, a champagne that undergoes a 16-year extended maturation period, during which it develops greater depth and complexity.

Fujiwara can also pop open bottles of Krug, Salon, and Louis Roederer Cristal, and many other exquisite varieties that adorn his cellar. The still wines are predominantly French from the five main châteaux in Bordeaux, Domaine Romanée Conti in Bourgogne, and Châteauneuf du Pape in the Côte du Rhone, accented by an array of rare wines sure to satisfy the cravings of wine lovers from around the world.


Ryosho omakase course
  • The price includes our booking fee of ¥8,000
  • The price includes our booking fee of ¥8,000
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Kaiseki, Gion
1F, 570-166 Gionmachi Minamigawa, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, 605-0074, Japan
Dinner: 5:30PM-7:30PM Last entry


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