Plumes of smoke rise from the area where the famed Japanese restaurant Chihana is located in Kyoto’s Higashiyama Ward on May 12. (Masahiko Ideo, Yoshiko Sato and Hideo Sato)

KYOTO--Chihana, a renowned Michelin three-star restaurant here, caught fire on May 12, with the blaze destroying its second floor and spreading to six nearby buildings.

Kyoto prefectural police say no one was injured in the blaze at the Japanese-style restaurant, which dates back to 1946, in the city’s famed Gion district.

When the fire broke out around 2:30 p.m., four people were working inside Chihana, a two-story wooden structure, and no customers were present.

According to the prefectural police, the workers were operating a burner. About 60 square meters of the second floor were burned in the fire.

The restaurant is acclaimed among gourmets as it received the highest three-star distinction under the Michelin Guide Kyoto Osaka 2018. According to its website, Chihana has been awarded the top rating for nine years in a row.

Chihana is about 100 meters east of Keihan Electric Railway Co.’s Gion-Shijo Station. It is located at the end of an alley off busy Shijo street and near the popular Yasakajinja shrine.

The bustling area, filled with many tourists, was thrown into a commotion when the fire broke out. The prefectural police temporarily closed Shijo street.