One of the greatest attractions for visitors to Kyoto would be the spectacular green bamboo forests in Arashiyama, to the north-west of the city.
Arashiyama itself is a touristy town, hugging the Katsura River, and with the picturesque Togetsukyo Bridge spanning across it.
The best-known Mecca for foodies journeying to Arashiyama would have to be the 1-Michelin-star Hirokawa (廣川). It doesn’t take reservations, and the lunch-time queue would start forming one hour before its opening time at 11.30am each day (except Monday, when it’s closed for business). Unfortunately (for me, that is), Hirokawa was closed on an emergency from 16-18 May whence I was there. Not sure what’s the problem, but we could see a couple of repairmen vehicles parked in its front driveway.
Well, being in the mood for eel, we went to the next best option, Nakagawa (なか川) - famous for its shokado bento. Nakagawa is set a bit off the ever-busy, tourist-packed main thoroughfare.
I ordered its Unajyu (eel on rice) lunch set.
The very tasty soysauce-glazed grilled eel set comes with a light consommé of eel-meat.
Soysauce-glazed eel atop shredded egg omelette on rice, garnished with a tiny sprig of kinome:
I like the fact that we don’t have to queue for an hour just to eat. Have to come back for Hirokawa another time, though.
40-35 Sagatenryuji Susukinobaba-cho, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture
Opening hours: 10am-2pm, 7pm-9pm daily, except Wed (closed).