Kyoto offers a rich culinary tradition, that ranges from super exclusive and expensive Kaiseki course dinners to simple and delicious food you can get on the streets.
If you want to experience new flavours, go for it! The Pontocho area is one of the places to find good fusion restaurants along with traditional ones. Gion district and the area around Kyoto station also have an interesting offer of restaurants.
Matcha Matcha and Matcha! Green tea cakes are light cakes that are not too sweet and have a refreshing green tea fragrance. Matcha is used for a lot of sweets, pastries and desserts. The matcha powder gives then a delicate green hue too.
Dango is a traditional sweet dumpling made from mochiko (rice flower). It is often served with green tea. Dango is eaten all year round but there are different flavours eaten given the Season. It is usually served on a skewer.
One of traditional tastes in the fall is “Waguri” (chestnut). Japanese people love them and have incorporated them into many dishes. “Kuri Gohan” (chestnut rice) is a very simple and full of delicate flavours dish. Roasted chestnuts are a good snack when walking around Kyoto while their rich smell fills the air.
Nikuman (pork buns- not Japanese but Chinese snacks) are made from flour dough and filled with cooked pork or meat and are also a great snack often sold as street food.
Softee ice creams are very popular in Japan. Either vanilla or green tea flavours have a very refreshing taste and help cut the taste of fish or grease from your meals.
And after you’ve indulged yourself, it’s time to enjoy Kyoto’s unique mix of shopping, where high-end fashion can be found alongside traditional stores selling crafts or specialty foods.
If you’re looking for a more traditional old Kyoto vibe, head to the streets of Higashiyama near the Kiyomizudera Temple. You will find a wide range of handicrafts shops, including Kiyomizu-yaki pottery. This area is lovely with its narrow stoned streets and beautiful wooden buildings. Shops and restaurants in this are have been serving travellers for centuries.
Craft Shop Asahi Toan is a well-known pottery shop close to Kiyomizudera Temple. They display works made by young ceramic artists from all over Japan and have a lovely range of pottery, textile products, lacquerware, incense and woodblock all at affordable prices.
Craft Shop Asahi Toan, 1-287-1 Kiyomizu, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto, Tel 75 551 1656
If you still have energy, head to historical Teramachi Street and find two of my favourite shops for Japanese textile design and Japanese tea.
There’s just a special kind of charm about Japanese textiles and Petit a Petit embraces it perfectly with their original textiles and illustrations. Yuki Nakamura and Masahiro Okuda have created “Les Fleurs””Les Montagnes”, “Le Mur” and “Les Feuilles” beautiful collections, all inspired on nature. Browse around this pretty store, I’m sure you won’t leave empty-handed.
Petit a Petit Teramachi Street Ebisugawa Agaru Fujiki-cho 32, tel / fax 075-746-5921
Open Hours: 11am- 6.00pm (Close on Thursday), Follow HERE
Walk a bit further and discover Ippodo Tea, a premium tea store in Kyoto that has been providing the highest quality Japanese green tea for nearly 3 centuries. Yes, 300 years!
The Obukucha, literally mean Good Fortune Tea 🙂 It has become a Japanese tradition to drink Obukucha during the New Year’s season. Packaged in the traditional festive colors of red and white, Obukucha brings renewed health and happiness to you and your loved ones.
If you want to learn more about Japanese green tea, Ippodo has a hands-on tea room right next to the main store (KABOKU Tearoom) where you can experience the techniques for brewing the different types of green tea. They also offer Tea-Making Workshops.
Chasen is like a brush made from bamboo that people use to mix tea.
Ippodo Tea: Teramachi-dori Nijo, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto 604-0915 Tel: +81-75-211-3421,
Store hours: 9:00 am to 6:00 pm* Kaboku Tearoom: 10:00 am to 6:00 pm (‘Last call’ at 5:30 pm)* * Closed during New Year’s holidays. Follow HERE
Old shops along Teramachi Street…
Kyoto, you’re full of wonderful places.
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