With over 100 years of experience, Izuju Sushi is renowned for Kyoto-style sushi. Sitting on prime real estate in Kyoto’s Gion district -- across from the Yasaka Shrine gates -- Izuju has been on a roll since World War II. Bright red entrance curtains reveal a century-old interior decked in wooden Japanese panels and furniture, traditional paper walls and sepia photos honoring past chefs and family members. Diners pack a handful of tables to enjoy Izuju’s Kyozushi (Kyoto’s sweet style of sushi). Best eaten without soy sauce, the condiment is not offered on each table but will be provided if you ask. Restaurant staff says soy sauce overpowers the taste of the sushi’s delicate sweetness, specifically the rice. Fans recommend ordering a sharing plate like the saba-zushi (chub mackerel and kelp sushi), which includes many items from the menu. Chub mackerel is not a delicate-tasting fish, but the kelp wrapping and sweetened rice take some of the fishy kick out. The inari-zushi, sweet rice wrapped in a tofu pouch, is delicious. The selection of hako (boxed) sushi — seafood or vegetables pressed into sweetened rice with wooden frames — includes sea bream and shimeji mushrooms. 

If the lines are too long, consider takeout. Izuju is worth discovering.

292 Gionmachi Kitagawa, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto, 605-0073, Japan
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Opening times
Sun: 10:30 am - 7:00 pm
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