Kyoto in Forests: Relishing Kyoto-Made Wine at Tamba Winehouse & Ajimu no Sato

04.December.2018 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

The captivating hues of autumn are sweeping across Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan admired by both Japanese and foreign tourists alike.

The staff at MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON took a trip to Kyoto to enjoy the sights. The theme of this new feature is “Discover your own Kyoto” where we introduce to our readers little-known good spots around the city.

The fourth article in this series will introduce you to spots where one can fully indulge in the tastes unique to Kyoto. In this Kyoto in Forests edition we visited Tamba Winehouse which is home to lush agricultural produce and tried wine made from grapes farmed in Kyoto.

 

1. Tamba Winehouse – Wine made in Kyoto

Tamba Winehouse is a winery located on the outskirts of Kyotamba. Established in 1979, it has gone on to win numerous awards both inside and outside Japan. The brewers at the wine house continue a lineage of desiring to craft wine that goes hand in hand with Kyoto culture. Beautiful water from the local region and fantastic soil ensures Tamba Winehouse brews a wine that is “quintessential of Kyoto.”

Nights in Kyotamba are cool even in July making it the perfect climate for harvesting the grapes that will be used to make the wine.

The winery offers a tour of the building where you can oversee how they maintain their grape plantation as well as witness the process of making wine.

When you actually see the factory where they make the wine you start to wonder what kinds of flavours they are creating and end up wanting a taste yourself…

And so we also participated in a taste testing session. There are both free and paid taste tests to enjoy, so you can pick out which ones most take your interest to try.

You’ll be glad to know that the staff offer a clear and polite explanation of the flavours of each bottle and what foods they go best with.

Any wine tasted during the session can be bought from the shop next door.

Try Kyoto’s wine for yourself together with a Kyoto-style meal and taste how different it is from other countries.

 

■Information
Tamba Winehouse
Address: Chihara-83 Toyota Kyotanba-cho, Funai District, Kyoto Prefecture
TEL: 0771-82-2003
Website: http://www.tambawine.co.jp

Business Hours
Wine Shop: 10:00-17:00
Wine Tour: Weekdays – Start at 11:00 / Weekends & Holidays – Start at 11:30
*You must book at least 2 days in advance.
Closed: Thursdays and New Year Holidays

Access
30-minutes from Sonobe Station’s East Exit (via Sagano Line) on buses bound for Fukuchiyama (福知山) or Hinokiyama (桧山). Get off at Tamba Kogen (丹波高原) Stop and walk for 15-minutes.

*They are now preparing tours so be sure to check their website if you’re interested.

 

2: Kyotamba Ajimu no Sato – Purchase vegetables farmed in Kyotamba

Kyotamba Ajimu no Sato is a roadside station and new doorstep to those visiting Kyotamba.

It has a food court, shopping area and more. It’s an absolute must-visit place when going to Kyotamba.

Our number one recommendation is the vegetables! Sold there are freshly-picked veggies from the local area.

There’s plenty of choices lined up ready to be picked as Kyoto souvenirs. They sell processed foods too which are ideal for taking back to a person’s home country as a gift.

Ajimu no Sato stocks a whole range of goods not available at Kyoto Station to be sure to check it out yourself!

 

■Information
Kyotamba Ajimu no Sato
Address: Fukashino-65-1 Sone Kyotanba-cho, Funai District, Kyoto Prefecture
TEL: 0771-89-2310
Website: http://ajim.infoAccess
40-minutes from Kyoto South Interchange, accessible from Fumichi

 

Did you enjoy our picks of Kyotamba’s tourist spots for this edition of Kyoto in Forests? It’s an essential place to visit if you’re interested in wine and produce from Kyoto.

We hope you enjoyed our fourth article for Discover your own Kyoto. Some of the places listed can be tricky to get to but they are places that offer opportunities you can only experience in Kyoto. There are still many towns in Kyoto unknown to many people. If you’re looking to tick off all the sightseeing spots there then be sure to enjoy your trip with Discover your own Kyoto.

 

■Writer 

Sayuri Mizuno / MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON Chief Editor

Instagram: @sayuri.mizuno

 

■Translator

Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

Twitter: @anokomorebi

RECOMMENDED ENTRIES

  • Kyoto by the Sea: Amanohashidate and Funaya, Japan’s Most Beautiful Village

    27.November.2018 | SPOT

    The captivating hues of autumn are sweeping across Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan admired by both Japanese and foreign tourists alike.

     

    The staff at MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON took a trip to Kyoto to enjoy the sights. The theme of this new feature is “Discover your own Kyoto” where we introduce to our readers little-known good spots around the city.

     

    Our third article in this series is titled Kyoto by the Sea. If you love being by the ocean and enjoy its sights and sounds then we’ve got several places to show you.

     

    1: Funaya – The most beautiful village in Japan

    Our first stop on our aquatic adventure is Ine no Funaya which is recognised as the most beautiful of all of Japan’s villages. It’s also officially listed as an “Important Preservation District for Groups of Traditional Buildings.”

    Funaya literally means “boat houses.” The first floor of the buildings are garages for the boats while the second floor are the residents’ living spaces. Around 230 funaya line the seashore of this hidden fishing village in Kyoto.

    It’s possible to board a sightseeing boat there which takes you into the middle of Ine Bay to take in the sights and see what it’s like to live there. You will cruise along together with common gulls and black-tailed gulls who will hop on for the ride.

    The tourist information centre also offers tours of the boat houses themselves which are carried out by locals, enabling a closer inspection of them. Above is a photo of what it looks like from inside the first floor garage.

    There is also a free rental bike service in the area. Be sure to follow the rules above if you decide to borrow one.

    While you’re in the local area, why not visit Mukai Brewery for some sake taste testing?

    We recommend trying this one, it’s a very old brand. It tasted sweet and was an easy sake to drink.

    Many travellers from outside Japan visit Funaya. Some of the boat houses can be stayed in but due to the limited number they are often bombarded with reservations. If you’re thinking of staying there don’t forget to secure a place in advance. You’re sure to enjoy scenery and tradition you won’t experience anywhere else but in Ine.

     

    ■Ine no Funaya

    Address: 491 Hirata, Ine, Yosa District, Kyoto Prefecture

    Access: “Amanohashidate” via Kyoto Tango Railway / 1-hour by bus (Tango Rosen Bus) from Miyazu Station

    Enquiries: 0772-32-0277

    Website: http://www.town.ine.kyoto.jp/

     

    ■Ine Bay Sightseeing Boats

    Opening Hours: 9:00-16:00 (25-minute ride every 30 minutes on the hour and half-past)

    Price: Adults ¥680 / Children ¥340

    Enquiries: 0772-42-0323

    Website: https://www.inewan.com/02yuransen.html

     

    ■Mukai Brewery

    Address: 67 Hirata, Ine, Yosa District, Kyoto Prefecture

    No Fixed Holidays.

    Enquiries: 0772-32-0003

    Website: http://kuramoto-mukai.jp/

     

     

    2: Amanohashidate – See one of Japan’s ‘three scenic views’ from Kasamatsu Park

    Amanohashidate is known as one of Japan’s ‘three scenic views.’ This beautiful sandbar covered with close to 8,000 pine trees gets its name from how its bridge, when viewed from the mountains at either side of the bay, looks like it stretches across the heavens.

    We took the chair lift up to Kasamatsu Park where you can enjoy an unbroken view of Amanohashidate. The cable cars and chair lifts can be used from March to November.

    As well as enjoying a panoramic peek at the entire sandbar there’s also a terrace where you can enjoy a light meal and a shrine from which you can see Kanmurijima Island and the volcanic island of Kutsujima.

    In the place where you ride the chair lift there is a map where you can pin what country you are from. People from all around the world had visited on the day we went.

    When riding back down you can sit back, relax and take in the breathtaking scenery of Amanohashidate. Your journey there promises amazing sights from start to finish.

     

    ■Amanohashidate Kasamatsu Park

    Address: 75 Ōgaki, Miyazu, Kyoto Prefecture

    Cable Car/Chair Lift Price: Adult Return ¥660 (Single ¥330) / Child Return ¥330 (Single ¥170)

    Access: 25-minutes by bus from Amanohashidate Station via the Kyoto Tango Railway (get off the bus at Kasamatsu Cable)

    Enquiries: 0772-27-0032

    Website: https://www.amano-hashidate.com/030kasamatu.html

     

    3: Tsuruya Shokudo – Enjoy fresh fish caught in Kyoto

    Tsuruya Shokudo is a restaurant located along the path to Kono Shrine near the Kasamatsu Park cable cars. They use vegetables farmed in the local region and all the fish is caught from the waters of Tango! One of the meals you can eat there is the “Tango Otakaradon” which is served with seafood.

    Tango Otakaradon (丹後のお宝丼): ¥1,650 (Tax Included)

     

    This dish is served with Japanese Babylon sea snail, bigfin reef squid and Japanese amberjack. In the small bowl is akamoku seaweed which you mix until it becomes sticky before being put in the rice dish. If you aren’t a fan of raw egg you can ask the staff to remove it.

     

    Taste all the flavours of the local region by ordering the Tango Otakaradon.

     

    Tsuruya Shokudo

    Address: 848 Nakano, Miyazu, Kyoto Prefecture

    Opening Hours: 08:30-17:00

    No Fixed Holidays.

    Enquiries: 0772-27-0114

    Website: http://www.amanohashidate.jp/food/turuyasyokudou/

     

     

    Did you enjoy our new “Discover your own Kyoto” feature? Experience Kyoto by the sea with your very own eyes during your trip.

     

    ■Writer 

    Sayuri Mizuno / MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON Chief Editor

    Instagram: @sayuri.mizuno

     

    ■Translator

    Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

    Twitter: @anokomorebi

  • 3 Little-Known Places to Experience Tea Culture in Kyoto

    16.November.2018 | FEATURES / SPOT

    The colours of autumn are now hitting Kyoto, Japan’s ancient city steeped in history, culture and tradition and one visited by countless tourists―both Japanese and foreign―every year.

     

    The staff at MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON took a trip to Kyoto to gather information. The theme of the research is “Discover your own Kyoto.” We will introduce you to 3 little-known places in Japan’s former Imperial capital that are not yet known by many people.

     

    This is the first article in a series where we look at the tea of Kyoto. Here are our recommendations if you want to experience Kyoto Infused with Tea culture.

     

    1: “How to Properly Pour Tea” –  Learning the proper methods at Fukujuen

    The first place we want to recommend is Fukujuen Uji Tea Workshop. The closest station to it is Uji Station which you can get to in one stop from Kyoto Station via the JR Line.

     

    Fukujuen Uji Tea Workshop was established after seeing the amount of people sitting comfortably at home pouring tea from a teapot on the decrease in favour of bottled tea. In response to this, they decided to set up a facility for people to relearn the culture of the traditional Japanese kyūsu teapot and the history of tea. They currently hold over 20 courses for people to get involved with.

    Learning to Pour Tea Course (Gyokuro Tea): ¥1,188 (Tax Included)

    We took the tea-pouring course which uses gyokuro green tea. Gyokuro has a sweeter taste to it compared to sencha. It’s also different from sencha in that it is grown under the shade, outside of sunlight. This means it has more theanine in it, giving the tea a more delicious taste.

     

    The necessary tools and confection needed to pour the tea are laid out for you when you sit down. You must then follow the directions of the staff while pouring the tea.

    This was the first gyokuro tea we poured. The first cup has gyokuro extract in it which tastes rich. The tea tastes sweet and smooth. We could really feel its full, ambrosial taste.

    The first 1-2 cups you drink are to fully appreciate the taste of the tea. From the third cup you can start eating the houjicha sweet bean jelly confection provided. The sweet taste of the jelly goes perfectly with the tea. The tea leaves used in this course last for 6 cups so relax, take your time and enjoy.

    The tea-pouring course has instructions in both English and Chinese, so foreign visitors can enjoy themselves without worry.

    Other courses include tea leaf picking in the tea gardens which is available during certain seasons only. There’s also a reference library to learn all about the history of tea.

     

    If you love tea and want to learn all there is to know about tea culture in Japan, then head to Fukujuen Uji Tea Workshop to enjoy the tea of Kyoto to your heart’s content.

     

    ■Information

    Fukujuen Uji Tea Workshop

    Address: Yamada-10 Uji, Uji-shi, Kyoto Prefecture

    Opening Hours: 10:00-17:00 (Last orders at Fukuju Saryo – 16:00)

    Closed: Mondays (or Tuesdays if the Monday falls on a national holiday)

    Access: 8-minutes on foot from Uji Station via Keihan Line / 15-minutes on foot from Uji Station via JR Nara Line

    TEL: 0774-20-1100

    Website: http://www.ujikoubou.com/

     

    2: “Eating Tea” – A matcha-filled meal at Tatsumiya

    After learning all about tea, we headed to Tatsumiya to eat food dotted with all kinds of tea. To get there, head across the bridge opposite Fukujuen Uji Tea Workshop and walk for about 10 minutes. See the sign and entrance above.

    We ordered the matcha course (抹茶料理) which cost ¥4,500 (tax included, service charge separate). Lots of different matcha-incorporated food came out the kitchen one by one.

    Everything on the trays used matcha. The tempura is eaten with matcha salt, there was matcha rice porridge – the list goes on.

    Of course the final dessert had matcha in it too♡

    We recommend trying this matcha course for yourself, it’s something you don’t really see. Plus, you can enjoy a gorgeous view of the Uji River.

     

    ■Information

    Tatsumiya

    Address: Tōgawa-3-7 Uji, Uji-shi, Kyoto Prefecture

    Opening Hours: 11:00-15:30 (Last Orders 14:30 / 16:30-22:00 (Last Orders 19:30)

    No Fixed Holidays.

    TEL: 0774-21-3131

    Website: https://uji-tatsumiya.co.jp/menu/macha.html

     

    3: “Ikkyuji Temple”  – Where Ikkyū spent his last years

    The final place we’d like to recommend is Shuonan Ikkyujin Temple where the famous witty Buddhist monk Ikkyū spent his final years. The temple grounds are home to maple trees which are best seen from mid-November to late November.

    The red and yellow leaves had already begun blooming when we arrived. The temple is one famous for its autumn colours, but its real highlight is that it’s the place where Ikkyū spent his time.

    Zenzai (with Ikkyuji Temple Natto): ¥700 (Tax Included)

    Zenzai is a red bean soup made with adzuki beans eaten during wintertime in Japan. Did you know that it was Ikkyū himself who named this dish? Apparently it was his favourite thing to eat. At the temple you can enjoy zenzai, Ikkyuji Temple natto and tea altogether.

    “Ikkyū’s wit looks at things from both sides,” explained Tanabe, the temple’s chief priest.

     

    Are we thankful to ourselves and those around us, or do we envy others? The choice is ours, but Tanabe kindly taught me the former. You may enjoy having a relaxing conversation with yourself too while looking out at Shuonan’s Japanese-style gardens.

     

    ■Information

    Shuonan (Ikkyujin Temple)

    Address: 102 Takigisatonouchi, Kyōtanabe-shi, Kyoto Prefecture

    Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00 (Sanctuary 9:30-16:30)

    Price: General ¥500 (13+ years) / 12 years and below ¥250

    Access: 5-minutes by taxi from Shin-Tanabe Station via Kintetsu Line / 5-minutes by taxi from Kyōtanabe Station via JR Line

     

    Did you enjoy our 3 picks for Kyoto Infused with Tea? These aren’t the only places either – Kyoto is home to lots of hidden gem locations.”Discover your own Kyoto” too, one that only you know about.

     

     

    ■Writer 

    Sayuri Mizuno / MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON Chief Editor

    Instagram: @sayuri.mizuno

     

    ■Translator

    Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

    Twitter: @anokomorebi

    WRITER PROFILE

    MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON Chief Editor/ASOBISYSTEM Instagram:@sayuri.mizuno Twitter:@SayuriMizuno125

  • Kyoto Travel: Enjoy Food, Discover Art in a Traditional Japanese Building & More

    23.November.2018 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    The colours of autumn are now hitting Kyoto, Japan’s ancient city steeped in history, culture and tradition and one visited by countless tourists―both Japanese and foreign―every year.

     

    The staff at MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON took a trip to Kyoto to gather information. The theme of the research is “Discover own your Kyoto,” where we introduce little-known places to you in Japan’s former Imperial capital that are not yet known by many people.

     

    This is the second article in the series where we consider a trip to Tokyo for adults. We have a list of recommended spots where adults can go to enjoy a quiet and peaceful time while strolling through traditional places.

     

    1: “Oyamazaki Villa Museum of Art” – Appreciate Claude Monet in a traditional western-style building

    The Oyamazaki Villa Museum of Art is a western-style house that was built around the Taisho and early Showa periods and was turned into a museum. It was formerly used as a villa.

    On either side of the museum sits the Underground Jewelry Box―an underground building built to turn the villa into a museum, and the Dream Box―a gallery, both built by Japanese architect Tadao Ando. Both buildings house permanent art exhibitions as well as periodic exhibitions. The second floor of the museum also has a café. We received special permission to tour the site but it is normally off-limits.

    The inside of the building has a retro style to it. The doors, lamps and stained glass windows create an otherworldly atmosphere. The stained glass window pictured above has been there since the building was first built.

    Inside the Underground Jewelry Box, paintings such as those from Claude Monet’s lauded Water Lilies series line the undressed concrete walls. These are housed here permanently but the pieces may be switched for certain events.

     

    When we visited there was an event happening titled “Viewing the Kimono in Junichiro TANIZAKI’s Literary Works.” The exhibition looks at how Japanese author Junichiro Tanizaki depicted women and their fashion and examines the way they dress. On display are kimono recreated from his works. The exhibition is ongoing until December 2, 2018.

    The designs revive those used in the time. Dot patterns are used as is lace. The outfits are also finished with baskets and boots too. Every kimono there will have you thinking just how stylish the women of that time were. You can really get a sense of the fashion back then.

    The second floor café has a terrace where you can enjoy an unbroken view of the cityscape. When you’ve had your fill of art, head up and indulge in some tea and cake while enjoying the scenery.

     

     

    ■Information

    Asahi Beer Oyamazaki Villa Museum of Art

    Address: Zenihara-5-3 Oyamazaki, Otokuni District, Kyoto Prefecture

    Opening Hours: 10:00-17:00 (Last Entries 16:30)

    Closed: Mondays (or Tuesdays if it is a national holiday. Also closed on November 19, 26 and New Year’s)

    Entry Price: Adults ¥900 / University & High School Students ¥500 / Middle School Students and under – Free

    TEL: 075-957-3123

    Access: 10-minutes on foot from Yamazaki Station via the JR Kyoto Line or from Ōyamazaki Station via the Hankyu Kyoto Main Line

    Website: https://www.asahibeer-oyamazaki.com/english/

     

     

    2: “Yanagimachi” – A restaurant renovated from a townhouse

    Next on the list is Yanagimachi, a restaurant located in Fukuchiyama. The surrounding area of the city is rich in agricultural produce and livelihood is still surrounded by the grace of the forest today.

    Situated within this “Forest of Kyoto” is Yanagimachi, a restaurant that was renovated from a traditional townhouse built in the Meiji period. Despite being in the middle of Fukuchiyama it’s located in a place that still has that old fashioned Japanese castle town atmosphere. The entrance can be found on the side as you walk across the stone paving.

    When you walk in, it doesn’t feel like a building from the Meiji period at all – it’s so modern!

    We ate food made using vegetables harvested locally, amazing chicken and fish. The sashimi included pickled mackerel, greater amberjack, porgy and young Pacific bluefin tuna. Their huge portions of karaage fried food are also one of their specialties.

    This photo above is another one of the restaurant’s famous foods: kamosuki. The fat of the duck is smooth and melts in your mouth. The locally harvested Kujo green onions are sweet and went perfectly with the duck.

     

    Discover the taste of Kyoto by trying this food yourself – food you can’t find anywhere else, served in a restaurant hidden and tucked away from the world.

     

    ■Information

    Yanagimachi

    Address: Shimoyanagimachi Shimoyanagi, Fukuchiyama, Kyoto Prefecture

    Restaurant Opening Hours: 11:30-14:30 (Last Orders 14:00) / 18:00-23:00 (Last Orders 22:00)

    *On Sundays and national holidays, restaurant hours at 18:00-22:00 (Last Orders 21:00)日祝は18:00〜22:00(L.O21:00)

    Café Bar Opening Hours: 11:00-01:00 (Last Orders 00:30)

    Closed: December 31, 2018 – January 4, 2019

    TEL: 0773-22-1809

    Access: 15-minutes on foot from Fukuchiyama Station via the JR Line and Kitakinki Tango Railway

    Website: http://yanagimachi.kyoto.jp/

     

    Did you enjoy this “adult” trip to Kyoto? Kyoto is home many hidden gem locations. Try finding your own “Discover own your Kyoto” too and discover new things to enjoy in the city.

     

    ■Writer 

    Sayuri Mizuno / MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON Chief Editor

    Instagram: @sayuri.mizuno

     

    ■Translator

    Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

    Twitter: @anokomorebi

RELATED ENTRIES

  • Kyoto’s Capsule Hotel Anshin-Oyado Now Offering Plan to Take Guests to Sacred Sword Locations

    10.September.2019 | SPOT

    Capsule hotel Anshin-Oyado Premiere Kyoto Shijo Karasuma introduced a new plan on September 6 which gives guests the chance to go and see sacred places across Kyoto associated with Japanese swords.

     

    October 4th is known as “Japanese Sword Day” in Japan. In Kyoto alone, the number of people visiting from distant places to see sacred sword places, as well as collect goshuin stamps from shrines and temples, is on the increase-as is the number of people staying at Anshin-Oyado Premiere Kyoto Shijo Karasuma. That’s where this new guest plan comes into play.

    The plan will take guests around different parts of Kyoto, so the hotel as prepared three options to cater to all guests’ needs: one that offers a rental bicycle, a ticket to use the subway or bus, or the normal plan. You will receive a map which shows you the most efficient way to get around all the locations. There is also a QR code on the map which not only shows where you can park your bicycle if you go for that option, but also where to collect goshuin stamps.

     

    Moreover, to really slash home those sword memories, guests will be lent a free selfie-stick which also acts as a tripod. There is also a separate powder room for guests wanting to dress up in full sword cosplay gear too which can be used until checkout.

    Guests can also rent a portable power bank for their phone so they don’t have to worry about their battery running out when snapping photos amongst other amenities, and have free use of the massage chairs, foot baths, open-air baths, and more to rest up after their long pilgrimage around Kyoto seeing the different swords.

  • Six Scrumptious and Satisfying Sodas in Kyoto You Have To Try

    09.September.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD

    At MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON, we have introduced a lot of kawaii bubble tea drinks you can in enjoy in Kyoto. However, we have much more to offer you than just bubble tea news! Today we have summarised the top soda drinks you can enjoy in Kyoto which both look and taste amazing. With the help of kyoto cafe life tiara ‘s phenomenal photos, we will be introducing you our top six picks.

     

    SHIN-SETSU /Nakagyō-ku

    Blood Orange (left)  Blue Curaçao (right): ¥690

    With a variety of 24 colourful cream sodas on the menu, this café offers a rainbow of flavours to enjoy. Your aesthetic soda is best enjoyed within the the picturesque American-style interior of the café, which is filled with antiques and cute pink decorations.
    ▼SHIN-SETSU
    Address: 277 Enpukujimaecho, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto

    Opening Hours:

    Weekdays: 12:00-19:00(L.O)

    Saturdays 13:00-19:00(L.O)

    Sundays 12:00-19:00(L.O)

    No fixed holidays

    Official Instagram: @shinsetsu.kyoto

    Rhône(ローヌ)
    Cream Soda: ¥600

    On top of the refreshing blue ocean of soda floats a scoop of ice cream ー what a nostalgic image. The bright red cherry accents the flavour. Rhône serves not only delicious sodas but also homemade pudding and many other delicious desserts which are sure to leave your stomach satisfied. 

     

    ▼Rhône
    Address: 645-1, Sanjoinokumacho, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto
    Opening Hours: 12:00-22:00
    Closed: Wednesdays and Thursdays
    Official Instagram: @rhone_kyoto
    Kissa Zou (喫茶ゾウ)
    Cream Soda: ¥550
    After becoming a big hit in Nagoya, Kissa Zou opened a new branch in Kyoto earlier this year in April. An adorable elephant (zou) can be seen riding the very top of your scrumptious soda. It is just too cute to eat!
    ▼ Kizza Zou 
    Address:440-3 Santeicho, Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto,
    Opening Hours: 9:00-18:00(L.O 17:00)
    No fixed holidays
    Official Instagram: @kissa_zou
    NOTTA CAFE
    Cream Soda with Oiri Sweets (left) :  ¥600 Custard Pudding (right): ¥500
    NOTTA CAFE’s cream sodas have decorated the front pages of magazines before. A large crowd of oiri (Japanese-style round sweets) of a variety of colours can be seen huddled together riding the ice cream float on top of this cream soda. This ice cream soda is one of a kind and full of a variety of textures and flavours so you must try it.
    ▼NOTTA CAFE
    Address: 37 Saiinkitayakakecho, Ukyo Ward, Kyoto
    Opening Hours: 11:30-20:00 (Wednesdays: 11:30-21:00)
    Closed: Mondays (additional irregular holidays)
    Official Instagram: @nottacafe
    Kissa Soirée (喫茶ソワレ)
    Blue Sky Cream Soda (left) Strawberry Cream Soda (right): ¥700 each
    This soda is topped with vanilla ice cream and a sakuranbo cherry. When the ice cream mixes with the soda, it becomes creamy. The interesting interior of this café is the perfect place to enjoy your luxurious sparkly cream soda.
    ▼Kissa Soirée
    Address: 95, Nishikiyamachidori Shijo Agaru Shincho, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto
    Opening Hours
    1st floor: 13:00-19:00 (L.O.18:00)
    2nd floor: 14:00-19:30 (L.O.18:45)
    Closed:Mondays
    Maeda Coffee (前田珈琲)
    Colourful Lemonade: ¥600
    This butterfly pea herb tea has minty aroma and a refreshing taste.  When you mix it, it gradually turns pink so you can enjoy the flavour as well as the changing appearance of your drink.
    ▼Maeda Coffee
    Address:  236 Takoyakushi Dori Karasuma Nishi Iru Hashibenkeicho, Nakagyo- ku, Kyoto
    Opening Hours: 7:00-19:00
    Open all year round.
    Official Website: https://www.maedacoffee.com

     

    If you are ever in Kyoto, make sure to check out these cafés. If you are looking for more inspiration, look no further than kyoto cafe life tiara’s Instagram, which is full of delicious desserts in the Kansai region.

     

    Text and photos: @happy_pinkrose_tiara

  • 5 Temples in Kyoto Announce Exclusive Viewings For Their Secret Cultural Assets

    05.September.2019 | SPOT

    The history of Yamashina dates back over 1,400 years when Kyoto, then known as “Heian-kyō,” was the official capital of Japan. Located in the southeastern part of Kyoto, Yamashina is rich in history, abound with nature, and has maintained a traditional industry that has gone unbroken since ancient times.

     

    This year, with the arrival of Japan’s new emperor and the opening of a brand new era, five of Yamashina’s great temples are set to unveil several cultural assets, which until now have never been shown to the public.

     

    They are as follows.

    Anshoji Temple’s Wooden Jūichimen Kannon Statue (Important National Treasure)

    Kajū-ji Temple’s Sliding Door Panel Artwork  – “Eight Views of Ōmi” & “Tatsuta River Autumn Leaves” (Important National Treasures)

    Zuishinin Temple’s Gold Lacquered Fan Inkstone Case & 4-Panel Folding Screen

    Bishamon-do Temple’s Imperial Prince Flag & Tortoise Shell Doors

    Honkokuji Temple’s Kyōzō (Important National Treasure)

     

    Get away from the hustle and bustle of central Kyoto and steep yourself in its history with this very special once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

  • Cute & Shiny Doraemon Cookies & Dango Tin Are Kyoto Souvenirs You Can’t Leave Without

    04.September.2019 | ANIME&GAME / FOOD

    If you’re looking for must-buy souvenirs while in Kyoto then look no further. Heso Production are set to begin releasing Doraemon cookies and a cookie tin early this month at that are exclusive to souvenir shops and variety stores in Kyoto.

    The cute printed cookies feature not only familiar faces from the Doraemon series, including the adorable cat robot himself, but illustrations of sights that are quintessential to traditional Kyoto culture including the five-story pagoda and the Daimonji bonfire.

    Another must-grab is this shiny Doraemon tin. Also exclusive to Kyoto, the tin features a way-too-cute shiny design of Doraemon who is holding some dango.

    The tin is filled with lemon flavoured ramune candy, a perfect nibble to have while travelling.

     

    ©Fujiko Pro・Shogakukan・TV Asahi・Shinei・ADK

  • Feast On Kyoto Vegetables & Italian Cuisine at MERCER BRUNCH TERRACE HOUSE KYOTO

    31.August.2019 | FOOD / SPOT

    MERCER BRUNCH TERRACE HOUSE KYOTO is a restaurant located by the Kamo River in Kyoto which serves brunch-style lunches with French toast during the day while in the evening it offers the chance to casually enjoy a gourmet dining experience. The restaurant has whipped up all-new dinner menu dishes that focuses on “steak, Kyoto-produced vegetables, and Italian.”

    MERCER BRUNCH TERRACE HOUSE KYOTO can be found on the 3rd and 4th floors of PONTONITE which has become a new landmark of Pontocho, a district in Kyoto right next to the Kamo River. From the restaurant one can enjoy a picturesque view of the river, streets and more. The restaurant’s terrace seats are popular with couples, girl get-togethers, and overseas visitors as they offer the closest view of the Kamo River.

    Lobster Grill & Bisque Omelette – ¥2,400 (Before Tax)

    Fresh Fish Bottarga & Sautéed Manganji Togarashi Pepper – ¥1,800 (Before Tax)

    The restaurant’s new menu line-up will be served in the evening from 5pm. This includes the Lobster Grill & Bisque Omelette which is made with luxurious ingredients including Kobe beef fillet and lobster as well as nutrient-packed vegetables grown in Kyoto, the Fresh Fish Bottarga & Sautéed Manganji Togarashi Pepper, and many more. The restaurant is also now starting a “Prefix Dinner Course” which lets you picks your favorite main course amongst other things.

    For drinks you can order one of MERCER BRUNCH’s many whiskies or wines as well as fresh a mojito, fruity cocktails and more. There’s even desserts prepared that go perfectly with the Kyoto vegetable and Italian cuisine combination.

  • teamLab Now Holding Digital Art Exhibition at World Heritage Site Shimogamo Shrine in Kyoto

    31.August.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

    With the increase in number of collaborations between contemporary digital art and traditional and historical Kyoto sites, teamLab is getting in on the action with its new digital art exhibition “Digitized Forest at the World Heritage Site of Shimogamo Shrine.”

     

    We are joined by Instagrammer Macchan who recently attended the exhibition and who has provided photos for us.

     

    Shimogamo Shrine is a shrine located between the Kamo River and Mount Kōya. It was registered it as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The shrine is associated good luck in marriage and welcomes sightseers from Japan and around the world. It can be reached by the 205 Bus from Kyoto Station and getting off at either Shimogamo Shrine (下鴨神社) or Tadasu Forest (糺ノ森前). It’s also about a 20-minute taxi ride from Kyoto Station.

     

    This marks the third run of teamLab’s “Digitized Forest” exhibition at Shimogamo Shrine, and this year’s exhibition has been made even bigger. It is running until September 2, 2019.

    Floating by the Rōmon Gate of the shrine are spheres of light which change colour and emit various musical tones unique to the colour when touched by a person. They also react to the other spheres around them, changing to the same colour and letting out the same tone, creating a chain reaction.

    Egg-shaped orbs of light can be found dotted around the Tadasu Forest by the shrine which illuminate the trees. Like the light spheres, when the eggs are pushed they change colour and play a musical noise specific to that colour, the sound and tone spreading through the forest.

    These objects of light can also be found at Mitarashi Pond where they float on the water. The orbs shine brightly and then fade slowly as if breathing. If pushed by people or blown by the wind they will change colour and emit sound.

     

    The best part about teamLab’s art exhibitions is how visitors become part of the exhibition itself by interacting with the installations, offering a much more engaging experience than simply looking. Visit Shimogamo Shrine before the exhibition ends to see digital art meet a traditional Japanese shrine at night.

     

     

    If you’re looking for more sightseeing recommendations for Kyoto then be sure to follow Macchan on Instagram!

     

    Photos by まっちゃん

  • Explore Japanese Hojicha Tea-Flavoured Desserts in Kyoto

    30.August.2019 | FOOD

    Kyoto is the homeland of Japan’s tea. Tea shop Itohkyuemon was first established in Kyoto towards the end of the Edo period of Japan in 1832. It has since become a well-established tea shop that has gained popularity for its high quality tea and tea-based desserts. The shop will be holding a special event called Itohkyuemon X Uji Hojicha Tea Fair from September 2, 2019. This is the perfect opportunity to explore the wonderful flavours of Japan’s famous hojicha tea from the homeland of Japan’s tea. 

     

    Hojicha tea is deeply rooted in Kyoto’s daily culture. At Itohkyuemon, the tea leaves are roasted at a high temperature, creating a wonderful and comforting aroma. The fair will see the release of a wide range of hojicha-infused desserts such as parfaits, a dessert plate, ice cream, chocolate, daifuku, cheesecake, kitkats, chocolate cake, tiramisu and much more.  This is the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in a range of sweet hojicha flavours. 

    The brand new Uji Hojicha Parfait consists of homemade hojicha jelly layered with refreshing hojicha ice cream. This is garnished with a hochicha senbei wafer and drizzled with hojicha syrup. This parfait allows you to taste the variety of wonders of hojicha all in one glass.

    Want to tantalize your tongue with more tea? The Hojicha Tea Ceremony set comes with a hojicha daifuku and a drink to complete your parfait experience. 

    The Uji Hojicha Chocolate Cake which was previously sold at the Gion-Shijo store has now returned. However, this is in limited supply. The Uji Hoji Dessert Plate includes a slice of Uji Hojicha Chocolate Cake, a Hojicha Mini Parfait, Hojicha Chocolate Ganache, a slice of Hojicha Cheesecake and a Hojicha Daifuku. This is the perfect way to explore hojicha in a variety of dessert forms. 

     

    This is the perfect opportunity to explore the wonderful flavours of one of Japan’s most beloved teas. 

  • Andy Warhol Exhibition to Grace Kyoto’s Kyocera Museum of Art in 2020

    29.August.2019 | SPOT

    An exhibition centred around Andy Warhol, the American artist who was at the forefront of the pop art movement, is set to roll up to the Kyocera Museum of Art in Kyoto on September 19, 2020.

     

    The exhibition will showcase pieces available only at the The Andy Warhol Museum in Pennsylvania, US. It will be the first Andy Warhol exhibition of its kind to hit Japan and will also touch on his deep knowledge of Kyoto.

    The exhibition will be the first to take place in the museum’s new Toyama Cube building which is currently under construction.

     

    More details will be announced on the exhibition’s website and social media accounts below.

  • Kyo no Ondokoro Nishijin Bettei: A Traditional Kyoto Townhouse Transformed Into a New Hotel

    28.August.2019 | SPOT

    Wacoal Corp, the owners of Kyo no Ondokoro―a chain of traditional townhouses turned into hotels―are opening a new branch in the Nishijin area of Kyoto on October 1, 2019.

    Kyo no Ondokoro Nishijin Bettei will be the fifth branch of their hotel chain. It was designed by Akira Minagawa―the owner of Japanese clothing label Minä Perhonen―and architect Yoshifumi Nakamura.

    The Nishijin area is located a little distance away from the city centre meaning one can avoid the hustle and bustle of the busy streets. The hotel is renovated from a luxurious 95 year old townhouse which was originally set up by merchants in Nishijin silk fabrics to house guests.

     

    It has been renovated to make it feel as if guests are living there and thus feel like they are living in Kyoto.

    The first floor features a fully-equipped kitchen with wine cellar as well as a spacious dining area where one can cook up and feast on meals made with ingredients and produce from Kyoto.

    Dotted throughout are various art pieces selected by Minagawa to elevate that at-home feeling.

    The townhouse also offers lots of convenient services including bagging storage, transport service, guidebooks catered to each season, and more. Staff can also offer information about shops and restaurants in the surrounding areas, and they can also sign you up to food plans packed with Kyoto flavours, and more.

     

    If you want to feel like you’re living in Kyoto then book now with Kyo no Ondokoro Nishijin Bettei.

  • 4 Must-Try Kawaii Bubble Teas & Desserts in Kyoto

    25.August.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD

    Japan is a haven for bubble tea and tapioca-based beverages. Here on MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON we have covered many shops selling these tasty drinks in Harajuku―the town which started the tapioca boom in Japan―but today we will be heading to the ancient city of Kyoto.

     

    We are joined by Kyoto café life tiara who posts photos of the best drinks and desserts they have tried around the Kansai region of Japan. They have provided us with photos of two must-try bubble teas and two must-try desserts in Kyoto.

     

    ROCCA & FRIENDS PAPIER KYOTO in Shijo

    ROCCA & FRIENDS PAPIER KYOTO is just a 5-minute walk from Shijo Station. The cafe is made from a traditional townhouse along an old-fashioned Kyoto-esque street.

     

    It takes a little while for your drink to arrive placing your order, but that’s because each beverage is carefully handmade from fresh. I ordered the mango smoothie soda and the strawberry smooth soda. Both are fruity and super refreshing and full of chewy tapioca pearls.

     

    ROCCA & FRIENDS PAPIER KYOTO

    Address: 735-2 Shinkamanzacho, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture

    Opening Hours: 10:00-18:00

    Closed: Mondays

    Official Instagram Page: https://www.instagram.com/rocca.papier/

     

    &Hana in Shijo

    &Hana is located at the back of Kyoto Daimaru. The cheese rose tapioca milk tea I bought is a cute pink colour. It’s a mix of rose which is good for skin and relaxation, sweet brown sugar tapioca, and sour cheese.

    Draped at the back of the cafe are bunches of dried flowers which provide an Instagrammable background for your drinks.

     

    ▼&hana

    Address: 619 Nishiuoyacho, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture

    Opening Hours: Weekdays 11:00-22:00 / Weekends & Holidays 10:00-22:0

    No Fixed Holidays

    Official Instagram Page: https://www.instagram.com/and_hana_/

     

     

    KISSHOKARYO KYOTO in Gion

    This honey and tea parfait is special because they only serve 20 of them a day. Tapioca pearls go well not just in drinks but in desserts like this one too♡

     

    The fluffy shaved ice is a perfect match with the homemade Earl Grey tea syrup. The rest of the parfait is made up of milk tea flavoured jelly, tapioca pearls, tea ganache, and other delightful surprises.

    I enjoyed mine with lots of syrup and roasted soybean flour!

     

    ▼KISSHOKARYO KYOTO Gion Honten

    Address: 306 Ishibashicho, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto

    Opening Hours: 10:00-19:00 (Last Orders 18:30)

    No Fixed Holidays

    Official Website: https://kisshokaryo.jp/

     

    MASHOLA in Kawaramachi

    MASHOLA is a South Korean-style cafe which of course sells tapioca pearl drinks, but also this delicious capo egg brulee tart as well. As soon as you put the order in their fire up the tarts fresh along with hot tapioca pearls for a heavenly melt-in-the-mouth experience.

    They also sell bottled strawberry milk packed full of fresh strawberries, and for an extra ¥80 you can top if off with tapioca.

     

    ▼MASHOLA

    Address: 406 Sakuranocho, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture

    Opening Hours: 11:00-20:00

    No Fixed Holidays

    Official Website:  https://mashola.business.site/

     

    Did you enjoy this list? Kyoto café life tiara has lots of other tempting recommendations of drinks and desserts on their Instagram page too, so if you’re looking for something to try while in the Kansai region of Japan be sure to give them a follow.

     

    Text & Photos: @happy_pinkrose_tiara

    Translation: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

  • Colourful New Agar & Mango Jelly Drink Released at Kyo Yakasa Pudding in Kyoto

    24.August.2019 | FOOD

    Kyo Yakasa Pudding opened its doors to the world back in April, and since then they have whipped up many different kinds of Japanese custard pudding, known as purin. Earlier this month they released their all new “Yasaka Cider,” a jelly-like drink which became a hit on Japanese Instagram (search with #京八坂プリン).

    The shop’s most popular product since launching is the Kyo Yasaka Pudding―named just like the shop. It has a honey and lemon flavoured jelly which is full of agar and mango jelly balls, giving it a cute appearance and very refreshing flavour and completely new kind of texture.

    Now, the shop has released its new Yasaka Cider. The word “Cider” in Japanese doesn’t actually refer to the alcoholic drink, but instead is usually a carbonated mixture of lemon and/or lime.

     

    Available this summer only, the Yasaka Cider is the perfect accompaniment for cooling yourself down while strolling the streets of Kyoto, filled with Kyo Yasaka Pudding jelly, agar balls, mango jelly balls, and an in-house made lemon slice and honey mix. The beverage is made fresh to order and comes in a cute bag which you can carry around easily with you.

    There are lots of great photo opportunities for Instagram in the store too! If you’re in or travelling to Kyoto this summer then be sure to stop.

  • Kyoto’s Kurodani Temple Autumntime Illuminations Begin on November 4

    23.August.2019 | SPOT

    Konkaikōmyō-ji, also known as Kurodani Temple, is set to open its doors to the public from November 4 for its autumn illuminations.

    Kurodani Temple has a long history, best known as serving as the Kyoto Shugoshoku―the office of the Tokugawa shogunate―during the Bakumatsu period. It has relations to the Shinseigumi, a military force which was active during this time which was dedicated to suppressing anti-shogunate activities. It is also the first place that Hōnen, the founder of Japanese Pure Land Buddhism, spread his teachings.

     

    For the special opening, you will be able to see the famous chicken painting Tori-zu Oshiebari Byobu by Itō Jakuchū as well as treasures associated with Hōnen and more.

    The number of tigers on the famous tiger doors of the temple changes as you slide them.

    From the temple grounds you can enjoy a breathtaking scene of the gardens where the autumnal colours of the trees reflect from the surface of the pond.

    Kurodani Temple is also home to the Gokōshiyui Amidabutu Statue, which became the talk of the town in the media when it was dubbed the “Afro Buddha,” and looks deep in contemplation.

    There will also be performances three times a day in the evening using traditional Japanese instruments like the koto and shinobue.

    If you pay for the premium entry plan you can enter 30 minutes earlier and will be guided by one of the official gardeners or expert of the gardens.

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