Situated on the fourth floor of the movie theatre Gion Kaikan, THE AGLIO GARDEN welcomes its guests with Ki-Yan’s impressive ‘Red Jaguars’ mural at the entrance, and an interior featuring the ‘Red Tiger’, ‘Flying Elephants’ and ‘Gorillas at the Table’. This surprisingly spacious restaurant offers Mediterranean based inventive dining options, including popular dishes like tapas, ajillo and pizza. Its stage and bar counter seating-remaining from when the restaurant was used as a live house-also make it a perfect venue for parties and wedding receptions.
A popular decorative motif in traditional Japanese art, shō chiku bai (literally ‘pine, bamboo, plum’) is a symbol of luck and the bringing of good fortune. Initially Ki-Yan intentionally avoided using these three typical motifs in his
artwork, but he eventually decided to paint ‘Shō Chiku Bai’ for the udon and soba noodle restaurant Jūrokudai Gondayu. Thanks to homemade noodles and carefully selected ingredients for its original dashi broth, this restaurant has been flourishing since its opening in 2014. You can see the ‘Shō Chiku Bai’ mural on the first floor, while the second floor features ‘Un-Kin’ (sakura cherry blossoms and Japanese maple leaves)-motifs often used by Rimpa artists.
Gion Morikö serves Kyoto style Chinese cuisine with a less spicy and assari (light) taste. Since opening in 1955, this restaurant has been famous for its signature dishes including fried spring rolls, lobster tempura, subuta (sweet and sour pork) and shark soup. The mābōdōfu (or mapo tofu) offered by the current owner-chef Yasunori Morita has become very popular among regulars and new customers alike. Ki-Yan spontaneously used orange for this peacock motif as he felt it would match well with the food and atmosphere of this vibrant Chinese restaurant. The gorgeous peacocks and cotton roses continue to be a daily source of joy for Mr Morita.
Converted from an early Showa period home, this large coffee house offers a quiet space to relax within Kyoto’s bustling tourist hub of Arashiyama. Upon entering the Japanese style gates, guests will encounter Ki-Yan’s elegant ‘Black Peony’ painted on the building’s black façade. The artist himself was surprised to find that the original wine red colour of the peony’ s leaves transformed to vivid blue only a few years after the work’s completion. Offering both Western and tatami style rooms as well as Japanese garden views, the ex cafe Arashiyama is favoured not only by tourists, but celebrities as well. Sit crossed-legged on a tatami mat while enjoying your dessert and viewing Ki-Yan s red and white lions in the cafe s Japanese style room.
Located in Kyoto’s picturesque Okazaki district- renowned for the Heian-jingū Shrine, museums, libraries and other cultural institutions-and facing the historical Lake Biwa Canal, Travelers Inn offers reasonably priced accommodation. The hotel reopened in 2014 following renovation, offering wheelchair access and attracting visitors with Ki-Yan’s impressive murals on the walls and ceiling of the reception and Cafe Green Box. The flowers used in this work were inspired by the garden of the neighbouring Heian-jingū, and symbolize the four seasons:
peony for spring, cotton rose for summer, itogiku chrysanthemum for autumn, and camellia for winter.
Based on a special request made by Taisushi’s owner, the restaurant has decided not to provide an introduction in English, as it is not able to accommodate non-Japanese speaking customers. ‘As we are not able to provide any service or explanation in English, we ask those requiring English assistance to choose a different sushi bar. Thank you for your understanding.’
Located in the Kyoto Karasuma Hotel, the Chinese restaurant Toh-Lee serves elegant Kyoto style dishes based on Cantonese cuisine. Both lunch and dinner have maintained a long-standing popularity with a wide range of customers. Restaurant guests are welcomed by Ki-Yan’s set of two A-Un Tigers hanging near the windows facing Karasuma Street. These tigers are the artist’s playful interpretation of komainu (guardian lion-dogs)-the paired animal statues usually found at the entrance of Japanese shrines and temples. However, Toh-Lee’s private room holds the artist’ s main work: the cute but dangerous-looking silver tigers-painted on an ice-green wall behind real bamboo-who will be watching r as you dine at the round table.
This family-owned restaurant offers mainly obanzai (traditional Kyoto cuisine) style Japanese, Chinese and Western homemade dishes made with fresh seasonal ingredients and sold by weight. Choose freely from the various lunch and dinner menu items, or find those items that best complement your choice of sake. Founded in 1951, Adachi has maintained its popularity among locals as well as domestic and foreign tourists. The restaurant features an iconic window of Ki-Yan’ s flying kyö yasai (Kyoto vegetables) and seafood-images that suddenly came to the artist just after finishing the impressive murals inside the restaurant.