OWL Magazine Korea

Kyoto Gion, Unadon Restaurant “Kanesho (かね正)”

In Japan, it’s common to discover restaurants with a long history, and even in Kyoto Gion, you can find an eel rice bowl restaurant that has preserved its tradition for over 150 years. Named “Kanesho (かね正),” this restaurant specializes in eel rice bowls and is currently operated by the third generation, maintaining an unchanged taste over the years.

“Kyoto Gion Unadon Restaurant, Kanesho (かね正)”

Dining at Kanesho can be quite challenging due to the relatively small size of the establishment. With a layout that makes it difficult to accommodate more than 10 customers at a time, the restaurant operates exclusively by reservation, making it nearly impossible to dine without one.

Fortunately, my party had made a reservation in advance through the hotel. The hotel managed the reservation process, allowing us the opportunity to enjoy a meal at this renowned establishment.

“A Restaurant Hard to Find from the Signboard”

Locating Kanesho can be a bit tricky, starting from the inconspicuous signboard. Only when you enter a narrow alley and look carefully will you find the entrance to the restaurant. The small size of the signboard and the fact that it’s written only in Japanese as “かね正” might make it easy to overlook, so paying close attention to the Japanese characters is crucial.

“Kinsidon: Seasoned Rice Topped with Eel and Omelette”

This restaurant offers a unique menu that sets it apart from other eel rice bowl specialty shops. The distinctive dish is called “Kinsidon,” featuring seasoned rice topped with eel and a yellow omelette. My party all ordered the same menu, “Kinsidon,” and during our visit, we could observe the open kitchen where the eel was grilled, and the omelette was prepared and assembled.

“A Restaurant Where You Can Witness the Cooking Process Up Close”

Especially in our seating area, designed like a bar table, we had the advantage of observing the cooking process up close, from the beginning to the final preparations. The craftsmanship and dedication to preparing the food were evident, reminiscent of the feeling I experienced at Toritsune Shizendou, a specialty shop for “Oyakodon” that I tried in Tokyo.

“Omelette, Eel, and Rice”

After closely monitoring each step of the cooking process, the food was finally ready, and we could enjoy our meal. The combination of piled-high omelette, eel, and rice was impressive. Despite the seemingly modest portion, when eaten with the perfectly seasoned rice, it felt like a satisfying and hearty meal.

However, it’s worth noting that the restaurant also provides pickled side dishes with the main course, and these can be quite salty. Therefore, it’s advisable to consume them in moderation.

Located not too far from the central area of Gion, the restaurant is relatively close, but unexpectedly challenging to find due to its inconspicuous signboard.

“Kyoto Gion, Kanesho Unadon”

  • Address: 155 Tokiwacho, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, 605-0079, Japan
  • Operating Hours: 11:30 – 14:00 / 17:30 – 21:00
  • Closed: Thursdays, Sundays