Fushimi’s Oldest Restaurant
Uosaburo is a Japanese kaiseki traditional and gastronomic restaurant, located in Fushimi ward in the south of Kyoto. Lords and nobles patronized the establishment during the Edo period (1603 - 1868), and nowadays, with a more than 250 years of history, it continues to serve its customers a high-end regional cuisine.
Restaurant Uosaburo was founded in 1764 by Saburobe, in the formerly autonomous town of Fushimi, that would be later become a ward of Kyoto. At the times, Fushimi was a feudal city already renowned for its fertile lands, irrigated especially by the the Uji-gawa river’s pure water. Agriculture was flourishing, as well as the brewing of Japanese sake 🍶 (nihonshu). Fresh fish caught in the Seto Inland Sea was brought to the port of Fushimi by the Yodo-gawa river.
The restaurant thus enjoyed an ideal location combined with a quality local production for its gastronomic cuisine and the attractiveness of a feudal domain that ensured upper class society customers. For more than 250 years, Uosaburo has always been managed by the same family and nowadays the 9th generation oversees the restaurant and its unwavering reputation.
An original building for a travel in time
Located in the Fushimi-Momoyama district, along Kyomachi-dori street, the restaurant is easily accessible by train 🚅 from downtown Kyoto or Osaka thanks to the 3 nearby Keihan, Kintetsu and JR stations.
The ambiance shows at the first look on the building, with a subdued and authentic architecture. An unusual historical detail: the facade of the restaurant still bears the scar of a bullet impact shot during the Battle of Toba-Fushimi in January 1868, that opposed the imperial forces to those of the Tokugawa shogunate.
After taking off your shoes in the vestibule called genkan, and as the tradition goes, you are accompanied in one of the restaurant’s rooms. At the ground floor, a traditional room is floored with tatami and displays a tokonoma decorative alcove, shoji opaque paper screens and a wooden ceiling. It offers a relaxing view on the restaurant’s Japanese garden, through large bay windows. At the upper floor, 2 other rooms with a similar decoration are intended to host private events for groups.
Refined and colorful dishes
As in most of gastronomic kaiseki restaurants, the choice on the menu is quite limited, and Uesaburo offers a unique set menu for lunch and 4 for dinner in the evening. The menu is frequently updated with dishes varying according to the seasons to follow the fruits and vegetables cycles. Part of the ingredients cooked were grown at the neighboring Yamada Farm. The farm, also settled in Fushimi for 6 generations, uses organic production methods and keeps on cultivating ancient vegetables.
The first feast is for the eyes, with a profusion of appetizing shapes and colors served on the table in various small bowls and plates. Then the various textures and the distinctive taste of each ingredient please the mouth. The small portions allow to taste an always refined and diversified cuisine. Of course, we recommend sake amateurs to accompany their meal with a selection of the best nihonshu of Fushimi presented by the restaurant. The combination of the dishes and the sake is perfect.
The restaurant Uosaburo is suitable for curious travelers who are looking for a healthy, high-end, and traditional Japanese cuisine. The simple and authentic setting offers a unique moment, filled with serenity. Moreover, the restaurant features special menus during family celebration periods such as Hina Matsuri 🎎 in March or Shichigosan in November.