Kyo Kinana: sublime Japanese ice cream desserts (Kyoto)

April 29, 2013 in Food, Japan, Reviews, Travel by pacejmiller


Look for Kyo Kinana — because it’s worth it!

Kyoto is known for its green tea and desserts, and most people who go there tend to visit Tsujiri, which is an awesome place but not that special any more because franchises have spread to overseas locations such as Taiwan. So on my most recent visit to Kyoto in March we decided to check out Kyo Kinana, a heavenly ice cream dessert shop tucked away in one of the alleys in the Gion district.


The counter and waiting area on level 1

The shop looks really inconspicuous but is probably not hard to find especially when the queues often extend out into the street. We were really lucky to only have two groups ahead of us on a weekday afternoon, as by the time we finished there were about six groups queuing up in the level 1 waiting area.

The seating area is on level 2. We quickly ordered two desserts. The first is the Berry Berry Parfait (1050 yen), which has yogurt, raspberries and blueberries along with ice cream flavours such as green tea and black sesame. The second is just a plain ice cream trio of three flavours. Both come with quality free hot tea.

Check it out.


Berry Berry Parfait


Three flavours of ice cream: black sugar syrup, soybean and green tea!

I am no ice cream expert, but the ice cream at Kyo Kinana are some of the best I’ve had. There’s more cream than ice, giving it a wonderful texture, and the flavours are sweet and thick, but not overpowering. The ingredients are fresh (and apparently hand-picked by the picky owner) and the ice cream is made fresh, usually on the day. What’s there not to like?

If you’re in Kyoto and walking around in Gion, Kyo Kinana is one place I would definitely recommend for a short break.

Note: downstairs there are tubs of ice cream you can purchase for takeaway (350 yen each), but of course it’s preferable to sit down and eat in the shop if you can. There are also other takeaway items such as cookies, jam and tea.


Kyo Kinana

Japanese website:

Address: 570-119 Minamigawa Gionmachi, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto City, 605-0074

Map (Japanese):

Phone: 075 525 8300

Hours: 11:00-19:00