Chihana (千花)

Chihana (Gion chef-kappo, 'Chihana') is a Kyoto restaurant started by Motoo NAGATA (born in 1923) in 1946.

It is known as a restaurant which was visited by many cultural figures including Jiro and Masako SHIRASU, and it is said that Paul BOCUSE, a French Chef, visited there in 1970s and this experience influenced Nouvelle Cuisine significantly.

Chihana uses only first class ingredients, bowls, and dishes, and people who run French restaurants in Tokyo still come all the way to eat at Chihana's. It uses dishes which are classified as art objects, which includes not only celadon and white porcelains but also Arita ware, Ogata-Kenzan, and Shimizu-Rokubei.

Located at the back of a narrow alley set back from Shijo-dori Street, the restaurant has eight sheets at the counter and a table on the first floor, and a Japanese style room with tatami mats on the second floor.

Address: South side, Nawate Higashi-iru, Shijo Street, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture (584-13-2 Gionmachi Southside)
The first owner: Motoo NAGATA
The present owner: Katsuyoshi NAGATA (the eldest son)
Hiromichi NAGATA, the second son, is the owner of Gion 'Chihiro'
Address: 279-8 North side Gionmachi Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto City

Example of Menu
Reservation required, and chef's choices are available only during lunch and dinner.

Grapefruit, strawberry, and nanbanzuke (sweet and sour marinated dish)
Noresore (juvenile conger)
Juvenile sweet fish
A small dish with tuna for sake
Soft roe of sea bream
Tempura with prawn and mushroom
The aroma of the broth coming out of the bowl when the cover is lifted and its very clear soup are well known: it is said that the V.G.E. soup produced by Paul BOCUSE was inspired by this soup.

Sliced raw fish (with soy sauce or thin sliced salted kelp)
Several small dishes: flatfish cooked with soy sauce and sweet flavor, firefly squid paste, flatfish roe, dish with red konjak and kidney beans
Tender bamboo shoots
Vinegared eggplant
Sticky rice with Japanese basil and shibazuke (Japanese pickles).

A cup of strong roasted green tea and a glass of apple and orange juice end the course.

[Original Japanese]