Travel Diary

Goya: asian chample foods - Kyoto

Monday, November 13, 2017

Goya: Asian Chample Foods - Kyoto

Goya serves up traditional Okinawan fare in this two story restaurant with tropical decor. Okinawa is a Japanese island located in the South China Sea in much more tropical surrounds than its motherland islands, and the cuisine is closer in flavour to its neighbours to the west.

The menu is varied with choices such as Tom Yum soup with an Okinawan twist and ginger pork with curly fries, a western addition. Our favourite delicacy is Okinawan seaweed, served with a delicate vinegar dipping sauce, this is a must try! Goya also caters to vegetarians for all meals. They offer an English menu and are open for lunch and dinner. All major credit cards accepted. 

Visit the following useful links for more information and reviews.

Goya, asian chample foods

Goya on Facebook

Goya on Trip Advisor

Address: 114-6 Jodojinishidacho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8417, Kyoto Prefecture

Phone: +81 75 752 1158

Hours: Lunch 11:30am-4pm (last orders 3pm)
             Dinner 5pm-Midnight (last orders 11pm)
             Closed Wednesday

Okinawan seaweed


Left: Tofu Cutlets with miso dipping sauce Right: Ginger Pork with curly fries and salad





Tea House Lisei - Kyoto

Monday, October 23, 2017

Kazari + Ziguzagu recommends Tea House Lisei - Kyoto

This recommendation is our favourite lunch spot in Kyoto by a mile! Tea House Lisei is a quiet beautifully designed tea house tucked away in a side street near Kawaramachi Imadegawa-sagaru, serving up lunch as well as a variety of teas and sweets. The decor combines antique Japanese and Korean furniture and objects in a gallery like manner which makes the dining experience even more pleasurable.

The draw card for Robert, Jo and Lucy is the traditional Korean Bibimba served with house made pickles and soup.  This take on bibimba is full of fresh local seasonal ingredients whilst the soup is a gentle clear broth with a touch of seaweed.  You'll walk away comfortably full and satisfied. Tea House Lisei also have two further lunch options, cold/hot noodle soup and hot mixed mushroom soup. All lunch options are delicious and at ¥1,100 (roughly $13) you can't go wrong.  Basic Japanese language skills are useful but not essential, cash only. 

Address: 448-16 Kajii-cho, Kawaramachi Imadegawa-sagaru, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto, 602-0841

Phone: +81 75 255 6652

Hours: Wednesday - Sunday 11am -6pm (Lunch ONLY)

Bibimba served with housemade pickles and clear broth



Accommodation - Kyoto

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Kazari + Ziguzagu recommends - accommodation at Ichinoan, Ninoan and The Kura.

This is a recommendation to a small family run accommodation business which sits in a quiet street close to Ginkakuji and the Philosophers path. There are 3 main houses designed with elegant and simple Japanese form and function, with modern kitchen and bathroom facilities. Each of the houses comprises one or more sleeping areas, a decent sized bathroom and kitchen/kitchenette. Robert, Jo and Lucy choose to stay here when on business in Kyoto.

Ichinoan and Ninoan are the larger of the three and suit groups or couples wanting a larger space, they can sleep up to 8 people.  The Kura is a smaller single bedroom apartment suitable for couples and singles only. Click in the links for full PDF document, containing floor plan and images of each house. There are also some smaller studio apartments available.

Pricing for both large houses starts at ¥20,000 per day for 2 people with an extra person charged at ¥5,000 per day (based on minimum 1 week (negotiable) stay depending on the season). For longer stays, minimum 4 weeks, the price is negotiable. All expenses, water gas, electricity and wifi are included. 

These houses are available on Airbnb however if you reserve directly with Kaho and make mention of Kazari in Melbourne you will definitely get a better deal! Kaho can be contacted via email or on her mobile +81 9069033644, and speaks very good English. You can reach Kaho with FaceTime audio, whatsApp, viber, and Line all under the mobile number above.

Cash is preferable however payment on credit card via Square is available (credit card fees maybe charged).





Omen Restaurant - Kyoto

Monday, July 17, 2017

Kazari + Ziguzagu recommends - Omen Restaurant - Kyoto

Our next foodie recommendation is Omen, literally meaning 'noodles'. This favourite has become a mainstay restaurant in Kyoto with three locations locally and now one in New York. Directors Jo and Robert have been eating at Omen since the 1980's, now Robert and daughter Lucy eat at Omen at least once on each trip.

The signature dish, Omen, thick udon noodles served with hot or cold broth and an assortment of local seasonal vegetables is a must. There is also an a la carte menu full of delicious seasonal 'tapas' style dishes ideal for sharing. The food is light but filling, you will walk away feeling content and clean inside.  Tempura, miso soup and other favourites are also available and the menu is vegetarian friendly, something of an anomaly in Japan. Our pick from the a la carte menu and available all year round, kizushi, rice vinegar cured mackeral sashimi with a ginger, soy dipping sauce.

The menu is available in both English and Japanese and all major credit cards are accepted. During cherry blossom season queues are out the door and around the corner so it's best to get in early or just before last orders at 8:30pm. Omen is closed on Thursdays (and some special holidays) at the original flagship location near Ginkakuji Temple.

Address (main location): Ginkakuji, Sakyo-ku, Ginkakuji, bus pool Minami donari, Kyoto-shi

Phone: +81 75 771 8994


Hours: 11am-9pm (last orders 8:30pm)




Left: Steamed seasonal vegetables with miso dipping sauce

Right: Seared cold bonito with a crisp salad soy dressing and garlic chips




Left: Cold sake served with salt

Right: An Omen staff member preparing the vegetable accompaniments for Omen noodles



For reviews and further information please follow the links below:

Inside Kyoto - Omen

Trip Advisor Reviews - Omen

Omen (official website, Japanese only)


Nanae Sushi Restaurant - Kyoto

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Kazari + Ziguzagu recommends - Nanae Sushi restaurant - Kyoto

We often get asked for recommendations for restaurants, accommodation and sights by customers visiting Japan and it has been possible in recent trips to begin compiling the information to share with you on our favourite places to stay, eat and play. 

First up, Nanae Sushi restaurant is a small family run business which Directors Jo and Robert have been visiting since the early 1980's. Now Robert and daughter Lucy make a point of visiting this quaint, traditional sushi bar on every buying trip to Japan. The 'toro' (tuna belly) is especially delicious!

Nanae Sushi restaurant can seat up to 10 people at the bar and has three booths which can seat 4 people comfortably but up to 6 people each.  We suggest heading there after 8:30pm to avoid waiting in a queue or call to make a reservation, Japanese language skills essential. Nanae Sushi restaurant is open 6 days a week (closed Wednesday's and special holidays).

Address: Kita higashinocho 27, Shimogyo-ku, Nishishichijo, Shichijo-Ten, Kyoto-Fu

Phone: + 81 75 312 9208

Hours: 5pm-11pm 


Ikura Sushi (Salmon Roe)


Saba Sushi (Mackerel)


Toro Sushi (Tuna Belly)


Kazari Family in Bali

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

As some of our regular customers may be aware, one of our staff and a member of the Kazari family, Hana has recently had a sea change and relocated to Bali with her Husband Ketut and very adorable toddler Iluh.

Her parents, Robert and Jo (our company directors) have in the last few days made the flight over to see Hana and her family and to help them settle in to their new home.

"We're settling in to The Pandora Hotel (villa resort) , a recently re-opened accommodation that I discovered on AirB&B. The long infinity pool overlooks a steep river valley covered in lush jungle with a raging torrent. Typical of Bali, chickens and pigs are nearby and are a bit wiffy but are at least helping to fertilize the garden! This afternoon there was an almighty crash when a coconut fell on to a hen house and probably destroyed the roof freaking out the chickens, one of whom was hysterical but finally calmed down ( no idea if there were any casualties as we couldn't see over the wall). A particularly handsome male specimen can be seen patrolling the top of the wall, visible and audible from our bed!

We went to visit a building Hana and Ketut are leasing with a view to some 'industry' happening there - meanwhile it's a great space to live in until we or they acquire a villa...whichever happens first. Until it's painted and cleaned, they are staying in a villa with friends with a toddler a little younger than Iluh, called Innes. Her parents are South American and Australia Phillipino and they run a very good high end restaurant here." - Jo Maindonald (Director, Kazari Pty Ltd)


View from the pool

Hana, Robert and Iluh ...Happy Mummy and a very proud Grandpa


Moon gazing through the palm trees


Snowy December in Kyoto, Japan

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Better late than never, these photos were taken by Robbie (our furniture restorer) whilst assisting Robert (our director) on the last buying trip to Japan, December 2016. It gets pretty chilly up on the mountain!



Robert Joyce at Mt Hiei, Kyoto, Japan

Robbie Rintoul at Mt Hiei, Kyoto, Japan


Japanese Shi Shi and Daikoku roof tiles covered in snow


Antique Japanese stone figure of Hotei and Buddhist statue covered in snow


Cherry Blossoms in Japan

Monday, May 30, 2016

Lucy and Robert arrived in Japan for the recent buying trip, just in time for the start of Cherry Blossom season. They were in full bloom!  Lucy managed a sneaky visit to Nihame on the island of Shikoku to visit Tai and Mihoko and their two adorable kids Taizo and Yuri.  Tai worked as a paper conservator for Kazari for many years and met Mihoko in Australia, they have since moved back to Japan.  It was a rare opportunity to take some time out and enjoy exploring a different part of Japan.




Kazari wedding in Bali

Friday, September 18, 2015

This year has been big for the Kazari family, the biggest news coming in June with the wedding of Hana and Ketut. As a family business it isn't always easy to get time off together but for a few days we were all able to visit the village of Tulikup in Bali for their traditional Balinese wedding. Three generations made the trip to help celebrate with the happy couple.

Receiving blessings from the High Priest


Three generations



Conversion ceremony

Photo's by Putu Sudarmika and Putu Sukalawa


A holiday in magical Bali

Thursday, April 16, 2015


Here are  some beautiful images from Hana's trip to Bali earlier this year. A visit to Ubud comes highly recommended.