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“The only sushi I had in Japan, I want more!”

Pontocho Kappa Zushi
Ranked #316 of 12,107 Restaurants in Kyoto
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Japanese, Sushi, Asian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Neighbourhood: Pontocho
Level Contributor
26 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“The only sushi I had in Japan, I want more!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 November 2013

In our two week stay in Japan, I only had sushi once. How wrong is that? Fortunately, our hotel (Kyoto Brighton, excellent hotel) suggested Kappa, and it was a perfect choice.

First of all, my wife and I have gluten allergies, which is one of the reasons we feared to eat sushi at all. Soy sauce has gluten in it. Be afraid! However, when we handed our gluten-free card in Japanese over the chef, he read it thoroughly and helped us make safe choices. We had our own gluten free soy sauce with us.

As other reviewers have mentioned, the restaurant is hard to find because it lacks an English sign. It looks like some tripadvisor reviewers have posted photos of the front sign, that might be helpful. I found those photos just now with a google images search.

In Kappa, there is very little English spoken. There is an English menu, so, what else do you really need?

Now, as for the important part: the food. I've been eating and enjoying sushi in the US for most of my life, mostly in Colorado. The sushi in Kappa is better than anything I've ever had at home. The presentation of the food is attractive and fun, the atmosphere is cosy, simple, and clean, and the service is friendly and good. I ordered a small sashimi sampler and a few rolls. The taste and textures were simply perfect.

The price was very reasonable, almost cheap. My father ordered a much larger some-of-everything sampler, which was a little expensive. But they kept bringing him more and more food - for the amount of food they gave him, the price was just right. His food looked delicious, and he later agreed with me that it was some of the best sushi he'd had. Be warned, the large sampler is a mountain of food!

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank boulderkc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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111 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
106 reviews
43 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
“Good sushi, smart restaurant, good service”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 October 2013 via mobile

The sushi was fresh and very good. It did seem the English menu was a bit more limited than what we saw the Japanese customers eating. Good portions, and they will make the sushi without wasabi for kids. Food servers English was limited, but service was very friendly. As others mentioned, the restaurant is not easy to find, so look at the photos before you set off.

Visited October 2013
Thank Traveler123020
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
41 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 September 2013

We dined here on our last night in Japan for our final sushi fix. It was a great choice! The restaurant is small and casual, with a little English spoken, enough for a special order. We ordered about a dozen pieces of sushi and a dozen sashimi (that was the special order). Every bite was delicious. With two carafes of sake this meal cost around $80. Many locals here. The space is small and tight, so if you want a lengthy dining experience with a relaxed atmosphere this may not be the place, despite the good food. I highly recommend.

Visited September 2013
Thank Liz L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Fabulous Sushi for a reasonable price in Kyoto”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 September 2013 via mobile

While probably not being the cheapest Sushi in Kyoto it very likely ranks among the best and is still reasonably priced. Due to the short nature of our stay we lack a comparison in Kyoto but the quality of the food can certainly compete with what you'll generally get at the Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo. The staff is extremely friendly (as in most restaurants in Japan) and the atmosphere very authentic. As many venues at Pontocho there is a lovely outside patio with a river view. But be aware that sitting outside you'll get set menus only. That's why we prefered having a seat at the counter watching the chef preparing our choice of nigiris and maki rolls. A must try is the flamed anago (sea eel) nigiri!
There is no sign with Western characters at the door and the buildings are not numbered, so it's a little bit tricky to locate. Therefore we've uploaded a picture of the entrance for other traveller's convenience. You should definitely pay the place a visit. Sushi aficionados won't be disappointed!

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Firecr33k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bali, Indonesia
Level Contributor
30 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Not a nice attitude at all with tourist!”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 July 2013

The only positive thing that I can say about this restaurant: the food is good, but you can find better and cheaper sushi elsewhere. We were here for dinner. The ambience was ok, nothing special. The English menu was incomplete and didn't have as many items as the Japanese one. We ordered sashimi, taking into consideration that prices for sushi was around USD4-5 per order (2 pieces). We ordered several portions of sashimi, some "omakase" (chef's choice). We had a little surprise when the bill arrived.

All the sashimi was three times more expensive! They charged us USD45.00 for 5 pcs of toro (fatty tuna) sashimi! And the listed price for 2 pcs of the same toro sushi was USD6.50 for 2 pcs. We tried to protest about this about the fact that it was not listed on the menu, that it felt as if the chef was coming up with an arbitrary price considering the large difference in price between the toro sushi and sashimi.

In this case it was best not to create a problem, especially when on holiday in a foreign country. We were surprised,disappointed and sad by what happened.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
4 Thank MagicMonday
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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