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Ratings and reviews

RATINGS
Food
Service
Value
Atmosphere

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CUISINES
Asian
Special Diets
Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options
Meals
Lunch, Dinner
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meals, features
Reviews (239)
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Reviewed 27 March 2024 via mobile

Hidden place, that's why I put a photo with the entrance. Friendly people, recommend sitting at the bar to see the chef in action. Food was excellent, nice music in the background, so all in all a nice authentic place

Date of visit: March 2024
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Reviewed 29 January 2024

This is going to be slightly lengthy, but please read till the end... My wife and I Googled izakaiyas near Kyoto station (very close to our hotel) and Kura Kura was the first on the list.. So we thought, why not.. We arrived without a...booking and were initially informed that the place was full. With it's Trip Advisor rating at 4.3 (at that time) we accepted the turn away and were about to look at number 2 on the list, when we heard a 'sumimasen' ('excuse me' in English) and were told that a spot had opened, but it was near the door so it could be a little chilly. We jumped at the chance because we were hungry and we really liked the look of the place from the outside. We sat, and within 2-3 minutes we were offered chairs at the counter opposite 'master' (izakaiya owner), where he was busy doing his thing (more about him later) In a nutshell, they take care of the customers from the get-go. What followed was one of the most memorable times I have ever had in Kyoto. I've been living in Japan for almost 15 years and have visited Kyoto close to 10 times. I've eaten at many izakaiya (drinking establishment with food) and restaurants in Kyoto, but Kura Kura is a stand-out.. the food was delicious (more about that in a minute), the atmosphere was truly authentic, but the warm-hearted 'master' and his welcoming, heart-of-gold sister made this dinner a night to remember.. The food.. Delicious.. Fresh.. Presented with love.. Every dish on every table looked so delicious.. For non-Japanese speakers, you don't really need a menu (English menus are available), you can just watch the food being sent out and let your senses tell you what to order. Some items were so simple, but done so well.. the salted tomato was to die for.. the tebasaki karage (fried chicken wings) were amazing.. I could go on, but go and check it out for yourself.. you will not be disappointed.. I promise.. The atmosphere.. Everyone was having the time of their lives.. Everyone was smiling and living the moment. Could not have asked for more. The staff.. Master and his sister have been running Kura Kura for 30+ years and you can tell why they are one of Kyoto's favorites. The staff work so hard, and manage to keep everyone smiling, content and like us, probably planning their next visit to Kura Kura. I cannot speak more highly of these wonderful human beings. Master is not keen on reading reviews (this I respect), but judging by Trip Advisor's Kura Kura rating, I know we're not the first to experience Kura Kura's magic. Everyone working there, especially master and his sister, should be proud on what they've achieved and the reputation they have rightfully earned. Although master will not likely see this review, I hope he understands the impact of the never-to-be-forgotten memories he and his staff made for us. The price.. Very, VERY reasonable. I would've paid more to be honest. Price was never a talking point that evening or now (a few days later). It was outstanding! In summary... Do yourself a huge favor and visit Kura Kura. Sit at the counter if you can and get talking with master. He and his staff will take care of you. Master and his sister speak very good English (and Japanese obviously) and both have a wonderful sense of humor. I can't wait till I visit Kyoto again and experience Kura Kura again.More

Date of visit: January 2024
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Reviewed 17 January 2024

Found the place by coincidence and turned out to be the best choice ever. Amazing food and great atmosphere! The owner has a great crew and makes amazing food in a homey and cosy place. Food as small tapas with exquisite taste! Fully recommended!

Date of visit: January 2024
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Reviewed 25 October 2023

I felt like I was eating in a factory, but the food was great, the automated service exceptional and the prices CHEAP.

Date of visit: October 2023
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Reviewed 21 September 2023 via mobile

This izakaya is fantastic. It’s not hard to find but there is no English outside to identify the location. This is a favorite among locals and tourists have found it too. Great izakaya atmosphere, great food and drinks. The staff is running at full speed...to make sure you have what you want. We arrived at 7:00 pm and were seated. Within 15 minutes there was a line out the door. People hang out here so it take a while for tables to free up. Highly recommend ordering the medium sake (which really looks like a large).More

Date of visit: September 2023
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Reviewed 26 July 2023 via mobile

Excellent authentic Japanese restaurant. I really enjoyed trying the different menu items. The chef and owner were very friendly and I sat and watched the chef cook. The meals were superb and for one person, very reasonably priced. Thank you for your hospitality. After seven...days in Japan, I enjoyed your restaurant the mostMore

Date of visit: July 2023
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Reviewed 28 May 2023

Fabulous! Super friendly staff, great food and an English menu so I knew what to order. If you want a fun, genuine and tasty dinner you'll love this place

Date of visit: May 2023
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Reviewed 11 April 2023 via mobile

Amazing service and food for family of 5. Great salmon sushimi ramen and Japanese curry. All meals delicious and nothing left behind

Date of visit: April 2023
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Reviewed 11 March 2020 via mobile

We have travelled all around Japan, but this has been our favourite meal so far. The staff are humble, the environment is cosy and welcoming, and everything pales in comparison to the food. We kept ordering more and more courses, and each time the food...kept beating our expectations. We’re still here now. I don’t ever want to leave. This is the best meal of my life. Thank you Kura Kura xxMore

Date of visit: March 2020
Helpful?3  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 1 February 2020 via mobile

It isn't cheap but the food is great and the service was excellent. The servings are small so you will need a few dishes. Heaps of different sake to try. The chef and head waitress are very attentive and speak decent english. They are happy...to chat and offer suggestions. Be aware that if you need attention then you need to wave and get their attention, it's just how it's done. Don't sit and wait for them to come to you. They expect you to call them.More

Date of visit: January 2020
Helpful?1  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 18 October 2019 via mobile

We didn't book so waited around 25 - 30 minutes in the doorway but it was 100% worth it. The two of us had a real feast and a couple of beers and it came in at £50. Easily the most in ate in Japan...and certainly the best food. The service & atmosphere were both also excellent. My favourite dish was the Sardines which were incredibly tasty. It seems harsh to pick a favourite though! I wish I looked harder for more authentic venues like this whilst in Japan.More

Date of visit: October 2019
Helpful?2  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 16 October 2019 via mobile

This restaurant was tucked away ..... but what a find . The service was so friendly and attentive , mostly locals eating here and the food freshly prepared and beautifully presented. Very unpretentious place but loved it for that .....

Date of visit: October 2019
Helpful?1  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 16 October 2019 via mobile

I have never been to a restaurant where I didn’t want to leave. We kept eating those delicious dishes and drink delightful sake. The chef is a very nice guy as are all the staff. This is a very nice family business and they love...to attend to their guests. We will come back here!More

Date of visit: October 2019
Helpful?1  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 1 October 2019

What a wonderful restaurant. We were the first in for the night. So we had our own personal service for a bit before it became busy. The sweet sake went down so quick. The eggplant, squid, enokki were the highlights. Would highly recommend.

Date of visit: October 2019
Helpful?2  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 1 September 2019 via mobile

Found this based on other reviews. It was a great atmosphere for late night drinks and food. Friendly staff and patrons.

Date of visit: August 2019
Helpful?2  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Questions & Answers
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327sunnyr
16 October 2018|
AnswerShow all 4 answers
Response from JanaRob | Reviewed this property |
Hi Sunny, yes you can book upfront to be sure, but if you go around 18.30h or late 22.00h will be totally possible. Love the place and the owner :-) (Do not go with fancy clothes, you will for sure smell to oil afterwards... More
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bladuca
21 April 2016|
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Response from Lotschek | Reviewed this property |
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KURA KURA, Kyoto - Shimogyo-ku - Updated 2024 Restaurant Reviews, Photos & Phone Number - Tripadvisor

Frequently Asked Questions about Kura Kura

Kura Kura is rated accordingly in the following categories by Tripadvisor travellers:
  • Food: 4.5
  • Service: 4.5
  • Value: 4.5
  • Atmosphere: 4.5