Approaching The Essence of Food with The Style of A “Breakfast Restaurant.”
ONESTORY endeavors to explore various the destinations in Japan and to present the sensibilities brought by the story of the journey.
The meal that starts your day. Think about its hidden joys.
The start of the day. Make a soup full of seasonal vegetables, scoop up freshly cooked rice and carefully brew some tea before digging in—this Japanese breakfast scene once found in every household is gradually disappearing from our hectic modern lives.
We want to re-examine the significance of breakfast, to bring back that fading sense of living our lives with awareness and meaning. This spirit led us to open Breakfast Kishin.
The name comes from a Zen teaching: “the wonder of approaching meals with a joyful spirit.”
To eat is to live and eating three times a day is indispensable for living. We can’t continue on living without eating and creating. This isn’t always fun. Sometimes we also struggle as if we were in training, and we may encounter troublesome aspects.
But exactly for these reasons, we approach food with a joyful heart. We want our guests as well as our staff who prepare and serve our meals to continue having joyful hearts and to hold on to the blessings and joy that people sometimes tend to forget. “Kishin” combines the Japanese characters for “joy” and “heart,” and this name expresses “the wonder of approaching food with a joyful heart,” representing our desire for each of our customers to have a dining experience that they can take home with a joyful heart. That is our wish for Breakfast Kishin.
And what kind of experience is waiting for you at Breakfast Kishin?
Perhaps you’ll be surprised by the joy you can feel at the power hidden within breakfast, the fundamental that starts every day.
The significance of a breakfast restaurant with skillful dedication to breakfast cuisine.
Breakfast Kishin was created by Viajes, Inc., a company founded by Kamakura-born twin sisters Megumi and Sayuri Ikeda and their friend Maiko Okutani. The first branch is located at the first floor of a hotel in a corner of Kyoto’s Gion district. It was established in response to requests for “a restaurant capturing the spirit of Kyoto.”
In Kyoto today, many hotels and ryokan inns have been built due to rapidly growing demand from international tourists. But, in contrast to this, restaurants serving breakfast are still relatively uncommon. Visiting tourists’ need for a place where they can eat a delicious Kyoto-style breakfast in a relaxed setting has skyrocketed.
So, we proposed a place where visitors could enjoy a Japanese and Kyoto-style breakfast as a wonderful start to the day. This is how Breakfast Kishin Kyoto began.
The fundamentals of food are in breakfast. Master the fundamentals with one rice and one soup.
Atsushi Nakahigashi supervises the meals at Breakfast Kishin Kyoto. He is in charge of a project advocating for “One Rice One Soup” as the essence of Japanese food, which was started at his renowned Kyoto restaurant, Sojiki Nakahigashi. Breakfast Kishin offers simple dishes that let diners experience the fundamentals of food.
These fundamentals begin with fresh rice perfectly steamed in an earthen pot and miso soup made a with lavish amount of Kyoto vegetables. Tofu skin made at the long-standing tofu skin factory Hansho in Kyoto’s Minamigosho district is then added as a side dish in a style that suits the season. Finally, dried or pickled round herring fish is added, creating a proper breakfast made in an old-fashioned traditional style.
Furthermore, serving dishes made by famous Kamakura shop Utsuwa Shoken and other select artists are used, adding a certain authenticity and story to every aspect. Our motto is to “put heart into the local food culture and let others experience it.”
Have the breakfast that you need each day with the highest quality and in the best setting.
Breakfast Kishin values using cooking methods and creating dishes that let diners savor the flavors of the ingredients. Having the time to enjoy food leisurely is also a crucial factor.
The rice that serves as the main dish is full of flavor and delightfully simple without any elaborate arrangements. Guests can enjoy all the many forms of rice from the moment it finishes cooking until it is scorched into okoge. The earthen pots custom-ordered from Shiga Prefecture pottery workshop Ichishirogama are remarkable pieces perfect for the top-class rice demanded in Breakfast Kishin. These earthen pots are placed in front of the diners first, and then rice is brought out just before it’s fully steamed as niebana, sweet, moist and flavorful rice.
The changing rice is fascinating as it gradually expands, then becomes sturdier, and finally transforms into flavorful okoge scorched rice. This pure white rice is just one part of the meal, but it offers a sense of satisfaction similar to having eaten a full-course meal. It’s definitely worth the effort of making your way here to try it.
Having a good-old Japanese breakfast brings back a lost sense of comfort and calm.
Guests who visit Breakfast Kishin always return home very satisfied, saying things like “I enjoyed a proper breakfast slowly for the first time in ages!” and “It seems like today will be a good day.” This comes from not simply the satisfaction of enjoying a leisurely breakfast with thoughtfully chosen ingredients, but also the hospitality of unexpected conversations and the warm atmosphere offered by Breakfast Kishin.
Spend roughly an hour and a half here and enjoy a breakfast designed like a course meal. You’ll notice many details and surprises here that can’t often be experienced in our hectic, modern times.
For example, we’ve sometimes seen guests visit who don’t usually eat breakfast most days converted into daily regulars three days later. Some even tell us things like “Never in my life have I eaten this kind of leisurely breakfast or slowly savored it,” or “I used to eat breakfast slowly, but as a child I was rushed with ‘Eat quickly!’ and as an adult I got too busy, and I’d totally forgotten that feeling.” Some say that “When I tried spending time on eating breakfast again, I noticed that I had become someone who wanted to savor things slowly.” Breakfast Kishin has made a real difference in many people’s lifestyles.
The staff at Breakfast Kishin really understand the significance of our restaurant when we hear feedback from our guests like this. So today too, we’ll continue offering both rich breakfasts and meaningful time.
We have opened our second branch in Kamakura, bringing the food Breakfast Kishin pursues to a new site.
Breakfast Kishin first started with our Kyoto Gion branch, but in April of 2018, our second branch named Breakfast Kishin Kamakura opened in Kamakura, the Ikeda sisters’ hometown. This store incorporates locally sourced vegetables and seafood unique to this area facing the sea. It has new and different appeals from the Kyoto Gion branch such as the “bar time” held on the weekends.
What we’d really like to draw attention to is “Kishin Bar” which is held only on weekend nights. It offers a freer style than breakfast and a chance to try our à la carte menu.
Interactions between local people and travelers are a unique kind of fun at the bar. As Sayuri Ikeda says, “Our cooking staff prepare a variety of dishes that they want to show and have others enjoy. We want to make Kamakura a place like San Sebastián that gathers people who cook and who like food and facilitates information sharing and personal interactions.” The menus vary seasonally and provide guests with delightful surprises that can be said to be “once-in-a-lifetime.”
The building where all this happens is a 40-year-old renovated property that was previously an eel restaurant. It has furnishings just like that of a Japanese-style house, and is surrounded by mountains awash in greenery, giving it an atmosphere that guests would want to fully relish.
These are places that let you rediscover the joy of food, firmly rooted in each of their respective locations, Kyoto and Kamakura. Won’t you, too, come and experience the atmosphere and leisurely pace of Breakfast Kishin?
＜Kamakura Sasuke Branch＞
Address: 1-12-9 Sasuke, Kamakura City, Kanagawa PrefectureMAP
Business hours: 8:00–15:30 (with Kishin Bar on Fri./Sat./Sun.)