The 2013 edition of the Michelin Guide for the Kansai area has been released, along with the news that only 12 Kansai restaurants have been awarded the coveted 3-star rating, down from 15 last year.
Nihon Michelin Tire Co revealed the result during an event for the release of the guidebook covering a total of 273 restaurants in the Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe and Nara districts, Sankei Shimbun reported. The area now boasts 51 two-star restaurants, and a whopping 210 one-star establishments. Kyoto again enjoyed the bulk of the plaudits.
The guide praised the area for maintaining the same high while highlighting the variety of cuisine available in the area at a range of price points. In an interview earlier this month, Michelin director Michael Ellis said, "The Guide is Japan-centric, there's no doubt about it. The French rag on me for it. In Japan, there's double the population and 50 times the restaurants. It's an eye-opener. You have to really see it to believe it."
Among the 12 three-star restaurants in the Kansai region, 10 serve traditional Japanese cuisine, while the other two prepare what Michelin describes as "innovative" dishes, Sankei reported.
Kyoto now boasts five 3-star restaurants, Osaka has four, Kobe has two and Nara has one.
Two Hyogo restaurants that were awarded the 3-star rating this year, Ka Sento and Komago, have been included in the guide since 2011, when Hyogo Prefecture was first included. Komago chef Kennichi Fujiwara was quoted by Sankei as saying, "To be honest, I'm really pleased. I hope to be able to live up to our customers newly raised expectations."
Fourteen restaurants on the one-star list earned the rating for the first time.© Japan Today