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I spent lots of time looking up restaurants before my trip to Kyoto and Osaka. Otsuka came highly recommended by my friends who took their family of four there just a year ago. Even their kids, 9 and 6 years old then, loved the place! I figured that must count for something. They were absolutely right! Otsuka Kyoto is now my favorite lunch spot in Kyoto. The place got excellent reviews on TripAdvisor as well.
How to get to Otsuka Kyoto
It is very easy to get to Otsuka Kyoto. Located in Arashiyama district in western Kyoto, the restaurant is about 6 minute walk from JR Saga-Arashiyama station, which is about 15 minutes by JR San-In Line from Kyoto Station. Otsuka Kyoto is also not too far from the main entrance of popular Tenryu-ji Temple. You can easily make this a lunch stop before or after visiting Tenryu-Ji.
Eating at Otsuka is like eating at someone’s house, welcoming and cozy. Its entrance is located at the end of a small alley. We booked a reservation online for 11:30am on our last day in Kyoto. After spending an hour walking through Higashiyama district and KiyomizuderaT emple, we decided to head to Otsuka before it rained. We arrived about 10 minutes earlier and was seated promptly. Reservations are kept for 15 minutes only. If you don’t have reservation, you can wait for seats but sometimes the wait could be as much as an hour!
A delicious and affordable meal with one of the best steak I ever had
There is an English menu with pictures, making it easy to order. All steaks are served with a bowl of rice and a salad. We all ordered sirloin steak.
When our order arrived, I thought to myself “that was it”? I was doubting it. The meal looked very simple and served on one tray. Not sure what kind of Japanese dressing they used for the salad, it was refreshing and delicious! As soon as we took a bite of the beef, my friend Lisa and I both looked right at each other and said “OH MY GOSH! THIS IS SO GOOD!” The beef was juicy, tender and melting right in my mouth! Definitely one of the best beef I ever had. We ended up adding a small order of flap steak to satisfy our hunger for more.
We almost left Otsuka Kyoto out of the planning since our schedule was so tight for the three-day trip. We were so glad that we made it here for lunch and will definitely include it on future trips to Kyoto! If you have time, stop by for lunch and you won’t be disappointed! Be sure to make reservation in advance. I would recommend have lunch here upon arriving in Arashiyma. After lunch, you can walk it off and do what I did over half day in Arashiyama, starting with Tenryu-Ji temple.