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15 new Michelin stars born in Japan!

Michelin has announced the publication of the Michelin Guide Kyoto Osaka Kobe Nara 2013, which offers a selection of the best restaurants, ryokans and hotels in these four cities. The Guide includes a total of 362 establishments of which 273 are restaurants, 46 hotels and 43 ryokans.

The Michelin Guide Kyoto Osaka Kobe Nara 2013 (Japanese version) is already out in Japan and the English version will launched in January 2013 in the UK. In the new Guide there are:

  • 12 restaurants with three stars: 5 in Kyoto, 4 in Osaka, 2 in Kobe and 1 in Nara.
  • 51 restaurants with two stars: 24 in Kyoto, 14 in Osaka, 10 in Kobe and 3 in Nara and 1 ryokan (in Kyoto).
  • 210 restaurants with one star: 72 in Kyoto, 81 in Osaka, 39 in Kobe and 18 in Nara and 3 ryokans (in Kyoto).
  • 14 restaurants join the selection with one star (6 in Kyoto, 6 in Osaka, 2 in Kobe).
  • A contemporary French restaurant joins the selection in Kyoto for the first time.
  • 1 ryokan has been awarded 1 star (Kyoto).

Kikunoi Honten in Kyoto retained its three stars and its status as one of Japan’s best restaurants. Yoshihiro Murata, owner and head chef of Kikunoi, opened his first restaurant outside Japan, Chrysan, in London just last month. Kikunoi Honten offers a menu for 5,000 yen, so visitors to the city can sample one of the best restaurants in Japan for under £40.

Hoshinoya ryokan was awarded one Michelin star. Hoshinoya Kyoto’s executive chef, Ichiro Kubota was born into a Kyoto-Gion restaurant family, which is how he first studied the basics of Kyoto kaiseki cuisine. After the apprenticeship at a famous restaurant in France, Kubota served as head chef at Umu, a Japanese restaurant in London, which was awarded one Michelin star. His style of cooking at Hoshinoya Kyoto is seasonal kaiseki cuisine that captures the essence of Kyoto culinary tradition, yet is influenced by sophisticated cooking techniques and products from abroad.

“Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe and Nara are all amazing culinary destination within one hour of each other. Each city offers unique foodie experiences, from Michelin-starred restaurants to cheap and delicious street food. Many Japanese see Osaka as the food capital of Japan. The locals are so passionate about food that they have an expression called kuidaore, literally meaning 'to eat till you drop'. Gourmet travellers should not miss this part of Japan,” says Kylie Clark, head of PR and marketing at Japan National Tourism Organisation’s (JNTO) London office.

Michelin Guide Kyoto Osaka Kobe Nara 2013 includes a wide variety of Japanese cuisine. Along with traditional and contemporary Japanese cuisine you can find soba, kushiage, teppanyaki, sushi, yakitori, izakaya, unagi, tempura, fugu, sukiyaki, oden, obanzai, shojin, yuba, beef specialities and chicken specialities. This year, nine traditional Japanese, one contemporary Japanese (ryokan), one izakaya, two fugu, one contemporary French and one Chinese restaurant join the selection with one star.

Bernard Delmas, president of Nihon Michelin Tire says, “The Michelin Guide has been enjoyed by its readers for over a century and in 2007 it embarked on new adventures in Asia. The Michelin Guide Tokyo was published in 2008 and two years later The Michelin Guide Kyoto Osaka was born. Now we are proud to present the fourth edition of this guide to the Kansai region and are delighted to present this new selection once again in autumn, when Japan is full of such wonderful produce. Our inspectors have been busy finding restaurants to recommend to you, our readers, and we hope that you will enjoy the stars which shine so brightly in Kansai.”

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