The gastronomic gap between France and Japan has just widened, after Michelin inspectors awarded two new restaurants in Kyoto and Osaka with three Michelin stars.
In the 2018 edition of the Michelin guide, Kyoto restaurant IIDA and Osaka's Hajime unlocked the highest star count possible, rounding out the area's three-star restaurant count to 12.
At Hajime, chef Hajime Yoneda pays tribute to the earth, nature and space with an inventive, French-influenced menu. His signature dish, "chikyu" (planet earth), is made of 110 different vegetables and herbs, artfully arranged on a plate to evoke the land and the sea.
The dish also features roasted scallop topped with saffron foam, foie gras terrine with mango, daikon and hazelnut.
At IIDA, the Japanese menu changes monthly.
"The elegant, ancient city of Kyoto and the vibrant food city Osaka have different charms but both attract a lot of foreign tourists," said Michelin's international director Michael Ellis in a statement.
"I know these cities are also close to Japanese hearts. I am delighted to share with our clients the discoveries that our inspectors have made."
Japan boasts the highest number of three-Michelin starred restaurants in the world.
Inspectors also awarded two new restaurants with double stars, and 25 eateries with their first star.
The Michelin Guide Kyoto and Osaka 2018 hits stores November 10.