2 new three stars for Kyoto in the MICHELIN guide Kansai 2014!

The new edition include Bib Gourmand restaurants for the first time

Michelin is pleased to announce the publication of the MICHELIN guide Kansai 2014, which offers a selection of the best restaurants, ryokans and hotels in Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe and Nara. The guide includes a total of 451 establishments, of which 359 are restaurants, 42 are ryokans and 50 are hotels.

MICHELIN guide Kansai 2014, only available in Japanese version, goes on sale in Japan on October 22nd.

In the MICHELIN guide Kansai 2014 selection there are:

  • 14 restaurants with three stars, of which 2 are new (7 in Kyoto, 4 in Osaka, 2 in Kobe and 1 in Nara)
  • 51 restaurants with two stars, of which 4 are new (21 in Kyoto, 16 in Osaka, 11 in Kobe and 3 in Nara) and 1 ryokan (in Kyoto)
  • 202 restaurants with one star, of which 16 are new (73 in Kyoto, 76 in Osaka, 38 in Kobe and 15 in Nara) and 2 ryokans (in Kyoto)
  • 92 restaurants with a Bib Gourmand (40 with French cuisine, 52 with Italian cuisine)

For the first time the MICHELIN guide Kansai 2014 includes a selection of Bib Gourmand. A Bib Gourmand is a separate award from a star and indicates a value-for-money restaurant, offering a menu or a single plate (depending on the restaurant’s style) for under 5,000 yen. The name is a shortened version of ‘Bibendum’ (the Michelin Man), along with ‘gourmand’ which means ‘one who enjoys eating.

The Bib Gourmand first appeared in the Michelin guide France in 1997 and this award has appealed to our readers all around the world. In the MICHELIN guide Kansai 2014, two categories have initially been targeted: French and Italian cuisines.

Michael ELLIS, International Director of the MICHELIN guides comments: « We are very pleased to award two new three stars restaurants, Mizai and Kichisen, both located in Kyoto. They serve a Japanese cuisine cooked at a remarkably high level. We are also delighted to introduce a Bib Gourmand selection in the Kansai region for the first time. This distinction is really appreciated by our readers”.

The first MICHELIN guide France was published in August 1900. Distributed free of charge (until 1920) and originally intended for motorists, the guide contained a wealth of practical information, including tips on using and repairing tires; city street maps; and lists of gasoline outlets, hotels and even mechanics. For the Michelin brothers, the objective was to speed up the development of the automobile, and consequently the tire market.
They wanted to promote and improve travel by making it safer and more enjoyable – in other words, to enhance mobility, which is still today the common goal of Michelin’s maps, guides, atlases and other publications.
Every year, in more than 90 countries around the world, Michelin publishes some 10 million maps, atlases, tourist guides, and restaurant and hotel guides – and always with the same focus on quality.

From the autumn of 2013, Michelin inspectors - employees of Michelin who have professional knowledge of the hospitality industry and pay all their bills in full - will once again be anonymously evaluating restaurants and hotels for next year’s selection.

In the Kansai region, as in the 22 other countries covered by the MICHELIN Guide, a consistent selection is ensured by awarding stars based on the same criteria. Stars in the MICHELIN Guides have the same value all over the world, so that a one star restaurant in Kyoto offers the same quality as a one star establishment in New York or Paris.

The five criteria are:

  • the quality and compatibility of the ingredients
  • the preparation and the flavors of the dish
  • the chef’s personality as revealed through his or her cuisine
  • value for money
  • consistency over time and across the entire menu.

Those criteria are applied to all kind of cuisines, including Japanese.

The awarding of a star is based solely on the quality of the cuisine.

  • Three stars mean exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey.
  • Two stars mean excellent cooking, worth a detour.
  • One star means a very good restaurant in its category.