Kyoto’s traditional cuisine Q&A

Kyoto Gourmet Q&A Useful Info!

What to eat first?
When speaking of Kyoto, the first thing that comes to mind are Kyoto’s vegetables, which complement dishes of ‘yubaʼ (tofu skin) and ‘hamoʼ (sharp-toothed eel). Find affordable Kyoto vegetarian dishes at Kyoto cuisine and obanzai shops.
Where to visit?
The places with the most shops are definitely the downtown areas of Gion and Shijo Kawaramachi. With a view of the Kamogawa River and townhouse restaurants, the area is filled with shops that pride themselves on their location.
Dining in Kyoto seems expensive!
Many shops serving Kyoto meals at lunch time start at only ¥3000. Stop in for a dreamy Kyoto meal, and head to a nostalgic townhouse eatery for obanzai homemade cooking in the evening to enjoy a quality Kyoto experience that is light on the wallet.

2 things you CAN’T miss in Kyoto

Kyoto Cuisine

Traditional cuisine that combines the colours of the season with fine craftsmanship

The traditional culinary culture of Kyoto often includes a skillful arrangement of Kyoto vegetables and ‘hamoʼ sharp-toothed eel. Alongside traditional townhouses and ‘ishidatamiʼpathways that exude a real Kyoto feel, recent years have seen many young chefs open their own shops, bringing about a comparatively casual atmosphere.

Kyoto-cuisine-tips

 

Townhouses

Hereʼs the real Kyoto! REAL Kyoto

Within Kyoto, there are a number of old townhouses that have been renovated into cafés and restaurants. Experience what itʼs like to live in Kyoto in these locations. In addition to Japanese cuisine, look for Italian, French and other fare that makes these places popular.

Kyoto-cuisine-tips

 
Townhouses-Kyoto

Sample these Kyoto-esque seasonal vegetables and dishes!

Spring

‘Kyo Takenoko’ bamboo shoots

From mid-Mar to early may

A signature spring ingredient featured in Kyoto meals and obanzai. Used in tempura, salads, and takenoko rice.

‘Kyo Fuki’ butterbur

From Mar to may

A type of fuki cultivated in Kyoto and Nara that is soft and mildly bitter. Often used in boiled Kyoto vegetable dishes.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Autumn

‘Tamba Kuri’ chestnuts
‘Tamba Kuri’ chestnuts

From early Sep to late Oct

A traditional ingredient said to date to the Jomon Period. In addition to sweets, itʼs also used in ‘kurigohanʼ cooked into rice.

‘Sabasushi’ mackerel sushi
‘Sabasushi’ mackerel sushi

Year-round

A dish eaten on fine, sunny days in Kyoto. Itʼs also eaten at the Jidai Matsuri in Oct, and the 3 major festivals of Kyoto.

‘Kujonegi’ green onions
‘Kujonegi’ green onions

Year-round

Harvested yearround, this green is found in-season in Nov. Popularly used in ‘teppaiʼ with a vinegared miso sauce.
 

Summer

‘Hamo’ sharp-toothed eel
‘Hamo’ sharp-toothed eel

From Jun to Jul

Hamo are hardy fish found in Kyoto City, which has no ocean front. Eaten lightly boiled and in other bowldishes.

‘Kamo Nasu’ eggplant
‘Kamo Nasu’ eggplant

From May to Sep

These beautifully rounded eggplants are firm and meaty like fruit. Used in ‘miso-dengakuʼ, skewed and roasted tofu, with sweet miso sauce.

‘Shishigatani kabocha’ squash
‘Shishigatani kabocha’ squash

From Jul to mid-Aug

A large gourd variety of squash. Not often sold in regular markets, they are offloaded to high-scale restaurants.

Winter

Shogo-in ‘Kabu’ turnips
Shogo-in ‘Kabu’ turnips

From Nov to Feb

The largest turnip in Japan, it is used in winter ‘kyo tsukemonoʼ and ‘senmaitsukeʼ pickles. Very sweet, it is served in soups and stews.

‘Yudofu’ boiled tofu
‘Yudofu’ boiled tofu

Year-round

With Kyotoʼs well-rooted yudofu culture, this can be enjoyed year round, though it is especially good during the cold winter.

‘Kintoki Ninjin’ Carrots
‘Kintoki Ninjin’ Carrots

From early Nov to late Jan

Also known as ‘kyo ninjinʼ and characterised by its red colour. Used in New Yearʼs ‘osechiʼ dishes and rice cakes, this is a must for winter Kyoto dishes.

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