Dinner at Issen Yoshoku, Gion (Kyoto)

Breakfast at Kohikan > Arashimaya (嵐山) > Bamboo Grove > Nonomiya Shrine > Randen Arashiyama Station > LunchGetting to Torokko-Kameoka Station > Torokko-Kameoka Station > Sagano Scenic Railway > Torokko-Saga Station > Gion > Dinner

Issen Yoshoku (壹銭洋食) is located in a little corner of Gion which sells only one dish, which (coincidently or not) is (also) the namesake of the restaurant -  Issen Yoshoku, a Kyoto version of the okonomiyaki. Issen Yoshoku is made out of batter that is wheat flour based and cooked like a crepe with chopped scallions, egg and thinly sliced pork, served garnished with lots of sauce and strips of nori (seaweed). All that for just 680¥ (the price for one Issen Yoshoku). 

 Issen Yoshoku, Gion (Kyoto)
The entrance
 Issen Yoshoku, Gion (Kyoto)
The one and only item on the menu for 680¥ per serving

We stumbled upon Issen Yoshoku (壹銭洋食) and became mesmerized by the way the Issen Yoshoku was cooked in front of the eatery. Usually what would capture passersby attention would be the statue at the entrance of a statue of a dog pulling a guy’s pants down from behind with his teeth (you can google up that image).  But I guess we are just programmed differently, instead what grabbed our attention first was the way the Issen Yoshoku was being cooked propelled us to enter the eatery.

Upon entering the eatery, we were bombarded greeted with an interior that was filled with sexual innuendo: the wall was filled with small wooden plaques with very detailed images of sex (some of which were a little too over the top). To add to the atmosphere, throughout the place, there are (creepy) mannequins seated next to the tables as decorations(?). It was certainly a little uncomfortable being seated so near such a being.
 Issen Yoshoku, Gion (Kyoto)
Perhaps some plastic people to accompany you while you dine?

Choosing to ignore the sexual innuendo theme walls and creepy mannequins, we made our order of only 1 serving of Issen Yoshoku (it was good enough to share), and a stick of dango (団子) which Japanese dumpling made from rice flour and is sweet.

Dango at Issen Yoshoku, Gion (Kyoto)
Our 1 stick of dango (団子) in its wrapper....
Dango at Issen Yoshoku, Gion (Kyoto)
... and unwrapped into our mouths! The taste was pretty standard, nothing out of the ordinary.
Issen Yoshoku, Gion (Kyoto) Add caption
The sauces that you can add to your Issen Yoshoku, along with the chopsticks and a buzz to call for attention the waitresses

Payment is made upfront once you are seated and your order taken down. Once they have the money in hand, your order will be served up shortly. 

When the Issen Yoshoku arrived, we dived straight into it: it was topped with spring onions, grilled fish paste, beef, ginger, tempura batter and konjak jelly which gave he Issen Yoshoku  a unique flavor and texture.
 Issen Yoshoku
Issen Yoshoku:  It was essentially a burst of flavors with the sweet, tangy and salty meeting the chewy and crispy.

That said, while the experience was somewhat interesting, the mannequins took a dent into my experience as they made me feel as if I was part of some horror film about to start or something along those lines. Their presence simply propelled me to eat the food faster so that I can get out of the eatery. However, if you are not fazed by dressed up mannequins and walls filled with sexual innuendo, it is certainly worth trying Issen Yoshoku (壹銭洋食), more so for the experience rather than the food (well, unless you want affordable filling food than this would also be the place to visit). Take-out is also available. So that might be a better option for those who are just uncomfortable with the idea of dining with "aging" mannequins and the unique wall decorations.

Issen Yoshoku (壹銭洋食)

Address: 238 Giommachi Kitagawa Higashiyama-Ku, Kyoto 605-0073, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan
Tel: +81 75 533 0001

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When travel collides with a byte, a unit of information made up of bits, TravelBytez is formed: snippets of ramblings on travel, food, shopping, living and anything else that comes to mind.


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