Kyōto - Gion: Gion Kinana - Dekitate
Gion Kinana (祇園きなな), considered by some to be the best ice cream in Kyoto if not all of Japan, is run by owner and ice cream chef Katsuji Omoto, a strict kodawari adherent. Omoto-san makes six flavors, all free of any additives, fillers or artificial ingredients: kinako (roast soybean flour), azuki (sweet red bean), kurogoma (black sesame), kuromitsu (black sugar syrup), maccha (powdered green tea) and yomogi (mugwort). The kinako flavor is typically available "dekitate", or freshly made and never frozen. His kinako powder is an original blend of roasted 'kuromame' black beans from the Tamba region of Hyogo and Kyoto and 'daizu' soybeans from Hamanaka-cho in Hokkaido. Kinana also serves three year-round parfaits--Kinana Hapon (warabi mocha), Berry Berry Kinana (yogurt and frozen berries) and Kinanan Italian (tiramisu)--and rotating parfaits.
Omoto-san opened a downtown cafe in 2002, after closing a French restaurant near Kitano Shrine, only to discover that his lease prohibited the use of heat or flames. Instead of baked desserts, he turned to ice cream and quickly gained a loyal following. In 2004, Omota-san moved to his current location, and in 2006 opened the baked good shop, Yakitsukasa Kinana near Kiyomizu Temple in the Higashiyama district. Yakitsukasa Kinana's sweets including milk jams, cookies, biscotti, and candies are sold as at Gion Kinana.