I recently went with a friend to Inayoshi Restaurant, located in Pontocho in Kyoto. The restaurant itself was quite nice – most of the restaurants in Pontocho are, and they have price tags to accompany them. Fortunately, we went in the daytime, when prices are much more reasonable. As an idea, dinner prices seemed to start at around 10,000 yen per person plus drinks for dinner, but lunch started at around 1,500 yen (for something quite basic) and went up to around 4,500 yen (although you could order things from the dinner menu, if you wanted something expensive).
My friend and I decided to splurge and got a 4,500 yen lunch (again, no drinks included). The food was delicious, but I’m not sure if it’s worth 4,500 yen. This was a Kyoto beef lunch – the beef was a bit fatty, but quite tender and it tasted great. It came with some sauces and salt, and the sauces were good as well. It also came with rice, miso soup, and salad. As we went in September, we sat outside – the restaurant is next to a river, so you can sit outside and enjoy the river. This is quite a treat and something people really look forward to in Kyoto and it was quite good. On the day we went it was a bit sunny but wasn’t too bad.
The service at the restaurant itself was great – the staff were quite nice (not necessarily friendly, but they usually aren’t friendly in an American sense at restaurants here) and spoke a bit of English. The menus, however, were all in really good English, and they had rather clearly been professionally translated. The restaurant accepts credit cards and, of course, cash. They only had Japanese style seating though – a very small space for your legs inside (not like a chair but rather a sunken space in the ground) and no space for your legs outside).
Here are some pictures that I took (I got the most expensive lunch set – 5,000 yen).
The restaurant is open from 11:00 to 2:00 for lunch and from 5:00 to 12:30 for dinner. Their homepage (Japanese only) is here.