eat and drink

Vegan Discoveries Lesson ‐ 018 Kousagisha

(Class bell rings) Class, welcome back from our unexpected break! Due to the circumstances of the pandemic, stores all over Kyoto were either not open, or their time schedules changed. But, the good news is we are back and we are back with vengeance. With many stores not being open, I was able to do some extra digging around the streets of Kyoto and I found a gem tucked deep away in Sakyo ward of Kyoto. Today`s adventure will surely not disappoint. Thank you guys for being patient, today`s adventure is Kousagisha! Let`s begin class!

It all started on a hot, hot Kyoto summer day, and I went so deep into Kyoto that buses were only available to get to this eating establishment. So, I`ll be honest, I was a bit cranky because I was hungry, hot, and having to deal with the bus system in Kyoto that I wasn`t used to. I finally get off the stop and make my way to Kousagisha. This area where the restaurant is located is full of history, you can just feel it when you walk through it. My mood started to lighten up as my eyes were having a great time catching all of the history of the area in that moment. I finally arrive to the restaurant and I was a bit puzzled because I saw on the first floor an art gallery and wasn`t aware that the restaurant was on the second floor. As I begin to walk up to the second floor the design of the exterior was simple, fresh and you could tell you were walking into something good! I was blown back by the restaurants interior, check it out!

Super clean aesthetics with very relaxing music, and huge windows for the sun to shine through, it had a very relaxing atmosphere.

I loved this layout of the plants and rocks, which the owner and chef of the store Mr. Katou is a collector of stones.

There was also a patio where you could sit outside and enjoy your food, but for me I was going to sit in the nice AC.

I was blown away by the aesthetics of the place, so I had to let Mr.Katou know I was very impressed and he greeted me with a very friendly thank you. I knew I was going to be eating really good by the atmosphere and the first interaction with Mr. Katou, but I didn`t know how good my experience was going to be!

I sit down and started to take a look at the menu.

Here`s my view as I still look around the new environment I`m in and wondering to myself why haven’t I ever heard of this place before.

So the menu is very simple, Mr.Katou has a main dish that he changes up about every month and a half based on the vegetables he has, the season, and what he feels would be good to create for that time. He has a few other food options, but the main focus is on the main dish. He also carries various kinds of alcohol and teas. What is great about the menu is it states where he gets all of his products from. Most of all his ingredients come from Kyoto, but his sister also has a farm in Mie, a city over from Kyoto, which he also gets his fresh vegetables. from.

I had so much faith in this restaurant, I just told Mr. Katou give me what he recommended, which was the main dish. As you noticed, the menu does contain English, the main dish page was not in English currently because of the current situation of Corona. As not as many foreigners are able to come to Japan recently, most of his customers are Japanese. But, as I show you all the delicious food I ate, I will give you some details of what came with the meal.

Let this sink in a bit. Look at how much food there is! If you look at the menu, and you see the price for the main dish, you may think it`s a bit expensive, but once you see all the food you get, you will understand why. By the way, the price is well worth it! Mr. Katou also gives the options to customers to get less food if they wish or more, and based off that, he adjusts the price of your meal. Let`s dive into each one of the parts of the meal.

This was a myriad of different things in one dish. It contained summer vegetables covered in a tomato sauce topped with an oatmeal-based burger. OMG, I swear this burger was one of the most flavorful burgers I have ever tasted in my life! I was so upset that me eating it had to end.

Ok, I know there is a lot here. Let`s start with that purple vegetable which is a fried eggplant with a Japanese famous food called “namafu” that came with a pesto like dressing to eat with.

If we look to the right, we have gobo and other seasonal vegetables stirred in a Japanese traditional sauce called “kinpira”.

Going back left, in the white dish, we have edamame, mushrooms, and tomatoes drenched in a Korean styled dressing.

Behind the white dish we have a clear cup which was filled with a Chinese yam, cucumber, and Japanese seaweed. This was perfect for the summer with its light fresh taste.

Next, we had a traditional Japanese dish which contains vegetables and seaweed. Next to the dish is fried yuba. Behind the yuba is a green salad filled with beans, avocado, carrots, fried onions and tomatoes. If you notice right next to the salad there is a spring roll which is filled with tempeh and a side of peanut sauce.

Last, and certainly not least, we have a bowl of 5 grain rice.

I`m out of breath going through all of the foods within that meal.

I was super satisfied by everything I ate, nothing was less than great.

Also, something you can`t tell without actually eating the food is that, all of the dishes had various types of textures and tastes. I told Mr. Katou about that and he said he did that on purpose! It`s really exciting for you while you`re eating for your mouth to try out all of these different flavors. It gave me a different view of eating food and it definitely makes you eat slower so you can savor the tastes.

After Mr. Katou got done cooking he brought out a treat for me while we talked about his awesome restaurant.

This was a plum sherbet with Japanese azuki beans. I was never a real big fan of plums but this was amazing. I asked Mr.Katou how he knew how to pair certain flavors together so well, and to no surprise he has been making vegan based dishes for over 10 years! Before opening up his restaurant Kousagisha 5 years ago, he worked at another Kyoto vegan restaurant called Hale. Mr. Katou is not totally vegan, but was always interested in vegetables and cooking. He branched off from his previous job because he wanted to give people more places to eat vegetable-based meals.

Mr. Katou is very community based, his vegetables are local, the art gallery on the bottom floor is ran by his brother, and he is always looking to meet new people in the area. I had a great time talking with Mr. Katou and eating his food fit for a king. I`ll definitely be back to Kousagisha in the near future.


We are back in full swing again guys and I will be looking to bring you some new vegan options so wherever you are in Kyoto, you will be able to pick what you want to eat based off what you are in the mood for. Kousagisha was an immaculate restaurant. It definitely has become one of my favorite restaurants because of the freshness of the food, the textures, the various flavors, and the fact all the ingredients are local. The inside of the restaurant itself makes you feel at home already, plus the food, it`s a win win in my book. Class I know you are upset you couldn’t have this experience yet, but don`t worry until then you can admire the pictures. Until next time ladies and gents! (Class bell rings)

About the locations in this article

〒606-8416 Kyoto, Sakyo Ward, Jodoji Kamibanbacho, 113 2nd Flr
Booking / Inquiries


Vegan Discoveries in Kyoto
Zane Fletcher Johnson

Looking for delicious foods that are made up of no animal products?
You have come to the right place! I am here to help you on your journey while you are here in Japan. I am here to tell you being plant-based in this beautiful country is possible! I, Zane Johnson will be your “sensei”, (Which means teacher in Japanese) who will guide you to the most delicious plant-based spots Kyoto has to offer.
Just to give you some background information on what I can bring to the table, I have been plant based for over a year now, but I have been on and off the plant-based diet for over 7 years! I look forward to seeing you guys in class!
Without further due, class is in SESSION!

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