Hirokawa - Unagi restaurant in Kyoto
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On my trip to Kyoto, I made an effort to visit restaurants that specialize in particular dishes. Hirokawa is one such restaurant.
Established in 1967, it is a traditional unagi (freshwater eel) restaurant located in Arashiyama, Kyoto. The restaurant is a short distance from the famous Togetsukyo Moon Crossing Bridge and directly across from the revered Tenryu-ji Temple. The Arashiyama area is famous for its beautiful scenery, enhanced by the flowing Katsura river and the dense forest in the western hills.
In 2009, the restaurant was relocated and rebuilt using traditional “Sukiya” style wooden architecture. The building is hidden on a modest residential street, and its appearance catches you by surprise. The private rooms are beautiful, decorated in gold color trimming. They feel modern, yet retain a sense of olden day charm. The second floor windows are large and offer stunning views of Arashiyama in the distance. The ground floor seating is set beside a tranquil garden.
In Japan, eating eel is believed to have tremendous health benefits, especially during the summer months. Hirokawa uses carefully selected fresh eel caught daily, cooked in their own unique way. Here, unagi is presented in various ways. Kabayaki is grilled over a charcoal flame and seasoned with sauce, resulting in a moist and fluffy consistency with a mildly sweet taste. It can be served on top of rice as una-jyu or unagi-don, or simply plated as is. The restaurant also offers unagi grilled plain, and served with dipping sauce. Additionally, you can choose from a variety of unique appetizers, involving parts of the unagi not typically seen in most restaurants.
44-1 Kitatsukurimichicho, Sagatenryuji, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto