Clockwise from top left: (a, b, f) collected curios and porcelainware at Tessaidou; (c, d) among the Miki family’s bamboo grove; (e) in the home of the Nagamatsu family; (g) a scenic daybreak in Kyoto.
“Will I ever eat tofu again,” jokes Tzelan’s Alison Chi, whose favorite tempura house in the world, Ion Endou, is based in Kyoto.
TESSAIDOU & KOU KYOTO
Run by the Nagamatsu family, a delightful mother-daughter duo whose treasure trove of antique, collected curios and porcelain, live in the home-cum-storefront of Tessaidou and the more contemporary, Kou Kyoto. The homemade matcha and pomegranate tea is not to be missed. www.koukyoto.com
“This quaint restaurant within a park makes the city’s best bowl of noodles,” Chi adds, “with freshly-made tofu skin, scallion and a clear broth. Nothing else is served on the menu.”
MIKI BAMBOO SHOP
Fifth-generation owners of Miki Bamboo shop, Kiyoshi Miki and his son Takashi, masterfully oversee their bamboo production in groves as proponents of kyo-meichiku, a distinct Kyoto way of making bamboo poles and its subsequent products. www.kyoto-miki.com
Textiles get transformed through artful dyes by Yoshioka Sachio. “We custom created indigos,” Chi relays. “All of the studio’s colors are exquisite and made by human hands.” www.sachio-yoshioka.com