【Kyoto Stroll】A Day Trip Bike Ride Around Tourist Spots Near Kyoto Station
Kyoto’s streets tell the story of Japan’s history, tradition and culture. The depths of Kyoto are something you will fall in love with when visiting this long-standing city. In this feature, models Una and Mei took strolled those same streets while calmly and wholly taking in the scenery before laid them. Please relish at your own leisure the trip of these two Kyoto girls, one that you can enjoy fully too if you have a free day.
A trip with fellow company means riding bikes!
It takes two hours and twenty minutes to arrive from Tokyo via the Tokaido Shinkansen. The first thing the two of them did upon arriving was drop by “Kyoto Eco Trip,” a bicycle rental shop just a short walk from Kyoto Station. What made them decide to kick their trip off with a bike ride was because you can get a feel the wonderful sights interwoven with historical architecture and nature against your skin even though you’re on the move. Kyoto has a lot of narrow alleyways, but if you’re going by bicycle you can come and go between them smoothly and unhinderedly. Plus, you have the advantage of being able to maneuver your way through open areas with speed too. Travelling by bicycle means you can discuss a route for your sightseeing as well, making it a reassuring option even for first-timers in Kyoto. There are 8 varieties of bikes to choose from at the shop, and since they’re equipped with an automatic assist function, you can ride around effortlessly.
It’s time to go. What kind of adventure is about to begin…?
Tō-ji Temple – home to Japan’s number one 5-storey pagoda
In 1994, UNESCO designated Tō-ji as part of the “Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto” World Heritage Sites. It’s just a 5-minute bike ride from Kyoto Eco Trip.
The location is the last existing remnant of Heian-kyō, a former name for the city of Kyoto that translates to “Capital of Peace and Tranquility.” It was built as a national temple along with the relocation of the capital city (Heian-kyō) almost 1,200 years ago.
Tō-ji repeatedly experienced ruin and restoration due to war, and received its full-scale reconstruction under Toyotomi Hideyori in 1603.
Tō-ji has many worthy highlights, but its five-storey pagoda, which is an appointed national treasure, is symbolic of Kyoto.
The pagoda was completed in 883. It was burnt down several times due to thunder but was ordered to be rebuilt to what it is today in 1644 by Tokugawa Iemitsu, the third Tokugawa Shogun. At 54.8 meters (180 feet) high, it stands as the tallest wooden five-storey pagoda in Japan.
In spring, Tō-ji is also a famous location for cherry blossoms. Because it has so many varieties of the flower, you can enjoy them over a long period of time. The spectacular view of cherry blossoms surrounding sights around the temple, such as the pagoda and Mieido House, will move your heart. The cherry blossom season is almost upon us. I wanted to see it myself as a Japanese person while sipping some hot umekobucha (plum and kelp tea).
If it’s souvenirs you want, Otabe Honkan has it all!
The travelling duo wanted something sweet during their cycling trip, so they stopped by “Otabe Honkan.” If you’re looking to buy popular souvenirs from Kyoto, then this is the place to go. You can find the most perfect confectioneries as, whether as a treat for yourself or as a gift to family and friends, including a range of famous products such as “Otabe,” “Yatsuhashi” and “Kyo Baum.”
Here they are taste-testing while looking for their favourite picks. “Otabe” is the store’s specialty and an absolute must-buy. It’s made using koshihikari rice flour and red bean paste that’s cooked delicately with adzuki beans from the district of Tokachi in Hokkaido.
On the second floor of the shop you can see otabe being made in the factory through a glass window. You can even try tasting freshly made otabe. It’s soft, and you can enjoy the texture of the mouth-melting outside and the red bean paste. You’ll find yourself smiling without even realising.
Una and Mei purchased souvenirs as well as some sweets since they became hungry on their trip.
Tōfuku-ji Temple has the oldest hojo architecture in Japan
The next destination on the list is Tōfuku-ji, a Buddhist temple with priceless architecture where you can glimpse into the life of a Zen priest of the Muromachi Period. It traces back to 1255. The temple was founded by Kujō Michiie who prayed for a temple to be built with Buddha enshrined in it as a family temple for his grandfather, Fujiwara no Kanezane. It took 19 years before completion.
The chief priest garden (houjou) that underwent ruin was built anew in 1939 has continued to survive, transcending time and space. It is called “Tofuku-ji Temple Honbo Garden.” A houjou is where a priest resides. This garden is one of the four gardens that surrounds the chief priest’s houjou, each of which faces in each direction: North, East, South and West. It was created by Mirei Shigemori, a Japanese modern landscape architect.
The South garden uses the classic Japanese rock garden (karesansui) landscape. Una and Mei never grew tired no matter how many times they gazed at it, with its powerful large rocks and fine, detailed sand design.
In the North was a more novel design garden that designed with a checkered pattern. It reuses paving stones that you wouldn’t find in an everyday garden.
From the Tsuten Bridge you can see a valley known as ‘Sengyokukan’ where a small stream runs. This is the place people that makes people think of Tōfuku-ji’s red autumntime leaves. The bright red maple leaves that bury this location is truly a sight to behold. The winter branches that are gradually becoming dyed red had a real elegance to them.
The travel snacks bought at Otabe Honkan came in cute packaging that went perfect with the aesthetic of Tōfuku-ji, so the two of them took a photo to commemorate. They then moved onto the next location.
Wrapping up the trip gazing at the serene flow of Kamo River
The final place Una and Mei cycled to was Kamo River, a place steeped in Kyoto’s history just like the city itself. The river breeze is refreshing is you cycle along the riverbank.
The two of them parked their bikes up and had a fun girl’s chat while being revitalised by the flow of the beautiful river.
When summer rolls in, the tea shops and restaurants that run along Kamo River from Kiyamachi Nijou to Kiyamachi Gojou set up noryoyuka, balconies that look over the river, specially for the summer season. You will see the place bustling at the start of summer in the evenings – the only time it gets this busy.
Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. Kyoto’s charm lies in its ever-changing face throughout the seasons, something you’ll entirely stuck on. It’s a place you will want to revisit time and time again.
Try renting a bicycle on your Kyoto trip and enjoy the city and all its sights in a light different from usual.
Model：Una& Mei Nagasawa
【Kyoto Stroll】 Two travellers, one day of tourist spots, gourmet food and activities in Kyoto!
Welcome back to MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON’s “Tokyo Stroll” series that recommends you travel destinations! Today, Hikari Shibata and Yuri Suganuma are leaving Tokyo and heading to the old capital Kyoto.
Together, Hikari and Yuri took the 07:00AM shinkansen train to Kyoto, arriving at 10:00AM. The first thing on their list was to fill up on some Kyoto gourmet! Sifting through Instagram and other SNS sites for the most popular spots, they decided to try some rare Kyoto confectionary at “Otabe Honkan”.
Having set their hearts on eating before sightseeing, they visited “Otabe Honkan”, a place they researched prior to their trip. After taking the subway to Jujo Station then walking for about nine minutes, they arrived.
They ordered according to what was popular online – “Kuchidoke Aisu” ( melt-in-the-mouth ice cream, ￥500 including tax), and the “Soufflé Sandwich” (￥162), which is new on the menu.
The melt-in-the-mouth “Kuchidoke Aisu” is an adzuki bean and milk shaved ice dessert which is topped with fluffy fresh cream and matcha. The Japanese word “ookini” (meaning “thank you” Kansai dialect) was written in matcha on the dessert – how cute! ♡
Hikari: The fresh cream wasn’t too sweet. Yummy!! Every now and then, I got a mouthful of adzuki beans. I really liked the variety of flavours ◎.
The new soufflé sandwich was made by adding velvety cream cheese to the bread dough.
Yuri: The soufflé was soooo fluffy! The cream cheese flavour and the sandwich is a match made in heaven!
Otabe Honkan works with a factory as a joint establishment. The factory produces a variety of popular brand confectionaries from different parts of Kyoto. Fresh Yatsuhashi is one of the famous products made by Otabe.
The factory also holds handmade sweet-making classes and allows visitors to the view the factory, so if you’re interested, check the link to the website below.
Off to Kyoto Tower – the symbol of Kyoto!
Stomachs full, the girls return to Kyoto Station and make their way to Kyoto Tower, which is the tallest building in Kyoto. The observation room is elevated 100 metres above the ground, and offers a stunning view of the streets. The many souvenir shops make it all the more popular with tourists.
On the 3rd floor of Kyoto Tower, there is a Makizushi sample-making event! (Makizushi: sushi rolled in seaweed with a filling). There are many classes running here that allow visitors to experience Japan to the full. Yuri and Hikari decided to try out something very unique to Kyoto. They headed to the Otabe dojo to learn how to make fresh Yatsuhashi sweets by hand.
Before preparation, they got changed into specialist clothing and then took a commemorative photo…but what is this photo really for?
To make these fresh Yatsuhashi by hand, the girls made a steamed flour dough, stuffed it with anko red bean paste et voila! The thick and chewy texture of the mochi made the kneading process hard work! Yuri and Hikari were silently working all the way through, kneading and kneading and kneading until their work was approved by their sensei.
Here’s a picture of their highly praised Yatsuhashi. Our confectionary chefs made plain Yatsuhashi, matcha Yatsuhashi and Murasaki Imo (purple sweet potato) Yatsuhashi! Now it’s time to enjoy the snacks with a tea ceremony!
Yuri: We made these ourselves and to no surprise, they’re delicious!
Hikari: The dough is chewy and has a gentle flavour!
At the end, the girls received a souvenir gift and a certificate, and with that, class had ended. Inside the souvenir package, there was the photo taken at the start of the class! This put a smile on their faces.
>>next page Go to Kiyomizu-dera
Kyoto’s most popular confectionery souvenir “yatsuhashi” is now on sale in cake form!
12.November.2017 | FOOD
Hi everyone, Shiota here from the MOSHI MOSHI BOX Harajuku Tourist Information Center.
“Yatsuhashi” is a well-recognised traditional Japanese confectionery in Kyoto. It’s delicious whether eaten raw or baked and is a popular souvenir item from there.
Today I’d like to show you a newly released product from Bijuu, a company known for its yatsuhashi, called “Kyo-Machiya Cake – Kokuto Kinako”!
Kyo-Machiya Cake is a new kind of sweet. It is made with yatsuhashi that has been kneaded with brown sugar and sponge cake made with soy flour. The cake is filled with soy flour ganache mixed with brown sugar red bean paste.
It comes in packs of four (￥760) and six (￥1,080) so they are perfect as a souvenir or gift to somebody.
*both prices do not include tax
They’re small making them nice and easy to eat. They also look like Western style cakes and come in stylish packaging.
When you open the package you are instantly hit with the sweet-smelling aroma of soy flour. And because the soy flour is dark roasted with domestic soya beans the smell is much more fragrant.
Let’s have a taste.
Mmm! Raw yatsuhashi is so chewy!
There’s lots of different flavours of yatsuhashi you can get your hands on nowadays like matcha and chocolate. But this is my first time eating brown sugar flavour. The fluffy texture of the sponge together with the chewy yatsuhashi is irresistible. I’ve never tasted anything like it.
Ellie: “So sweet! The aroma of the soy flour is to die for, it’s mouth-watering. The soy flour ganache between the sponge is sweet and very tasty. Plus the outside layer is yatshashi so your hands don’t get messy.”
People who aren’t too good with cinnamon or who can’t eat yatsuhashi might be able to get through one of these. You can enjoy eating it cold or try warming it up a little too!
If you find yourself in Kyoto and in need of a souvenir, then how about settling on a Kyo-Machiya Cake?
MOSHI MOSHI BOX staff recommends Osaka souvenirs!
Osaka is known as a popular sightseeing spot in Japan. So, when you visit Osaka, of course, you will want to buy some souvenirs. But you may wonder, what souvenir is a good souvenir to buy in Osaka.
In his article, the staff of MOSHI MOSHI BOX who love to travel, will introduce to you some recommended souvenirs which can be bought in and around Osaka Station.
“Nakanoshima Caramel Scotch recommended by our Spanish staff, Ruki.
It looks like a cookie but it is a snack which includes caramel and almonds.
The crunchy texture of scotch is superb. The blue box is very cute too.
“batondor” recommended by our Hong Kong staff Minimal
A special stick dessert with only eight sticks in a box.
The taste of the product is very thick compared to “Pockies” which can be bought at convenience stores and it has the flavor of butter. It is a great match with alcohol!
“Fueki Pudding” recommended by our Chinese-speaking staff, Banako
A pudding using the motif of the good-old Fueki paste container. The container can be used as an accessory case or interior. I am planning to buy it for my friends when I visit Osaka next time.
“Tenten Hitokuchi Gyoza” recommended by the Miss ID Semi-Finalist Midori
I always buy this product when I visit Osaka. I don’t cook at all but this gyoza (dumpling) is very easy to make.
It is recommended to put it into a pot during the cold season!
“Jagariko Takoyaki Aji” recommended by English-speaking staff, Ellie
Takoyaki is one of the most famous foods of Osaka. As you might know, Jagariko is a very popular snack among Japanese people but this flavor has a thick flavor of takoyaki.
It is fairy cheep and it is a very “Osaka-like” product which is suitable to be bought as a gift for your friends!
“Rikuro Ojisanno Omise – Yakitate (freshly baked) Cheese Cake” recommended by the curator of MOSHI MOSHI BOX Shiota.
A tasteful cheese cake famous in Osaka. You can watch the staff of the shop making cheese cakes! It is recommended to warm this cake up before you eat it. Of course, you can also enjoy the product after cooling it down inside a refrigerator.
How did you like our MOSHI MOSHI BOX staff recommended Osaka souvenirs? Please refer to this article when you are not sure which souvenir to buy. Let’s have fun in Osaka, a city which has lots of delicious food and unique items.
【Tokyo Stroll】Strolling in Okushibuya for half a day, which is a sophisticated town that is away from the hustle and bustle.
Okushibuya is the area including Kamiyama-cho, Tomigaya, Udagawa-cho which all are about a 15 minute walk from Shibuya station. This area is so calm and sophisticated compared to hustle and bustle Shibuya Scramble Crossing or Center Shopping Street, and I felt like I had matured just by walking around there. Today, I strolled around this sophisticated town which has a lot of great stores with the girl named Una.
Starting with the store named “ShuShu&JOJO”
“ShuShu” and “JOJO” are antique shops in Shibuya. They carry mostly French accessories, vintage miscellaneous goods, and collectors items in Europe. Today, we visited “JOJO” in Maruyama-cho.
There are a variety of items in this store. This store’s owner’s sibling has been living in France, and they try to find the items in the area where Japanese have hardly ever been. That’s why they carry so many things that you can’t find in the any other stores in Japan.
The recommended products are the only one items made with gemstones such as opal. Some of the rings are able to change sizes, so feel free to ask for that.
Address：14-11 Maruyama Town, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Hours：3:00PM to 11:00PM
To the interior house plant shop “NEOGREEN”
The next one visited was “NEOGREEN” which carries interior house plants such as bonsai and potted plants. They chose the best pot to match with each plats’ characteristics. Even though all of these are orthodox kinds of plants, they pick up the certain ones which has a unique and characteristic shape.
The shop appeared to be a forest in a sophisticated town, and you will be refreshed just by stepping in here. They have the “Green Awareness Bookshelf” which is selling books about plants.
All pots are made with china, not plastics, and the owner purposely pick out the one to go with the interior. Price starts from 1000yen. Why don’t you get green for yourself to get refreshed on your daily life?
Address：1-5 Green Hills Kamiyama1F, Kamiyama cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Hours：12:00PM to 8:00PM
Strolling Around Summertime Harajuku to “Gion Tokuya” Wearing a Yukata Rented at the “Moshi Moshi Kimono Salon”
It’s commonplace in Japan to dress up in yukata to attend the big summer events such as the various omatsuri (festivals) and going to see the hanabi (fireworks). But yukata are summer kimono, meaning they are to be only worn in summer, which would make wearing one as casual dress even more beautiful…
Today, we follow Mei Nagasawa, who is dressed in her favourite yukata, to go and do one of the things she likes to do in summer – drop by her favourite kakigori (shaved ice) shop.
Freely try on yukata just 5 minutes’ walk from Harajuku Station!
Mei Nagasawa had her yukata fitted at the Moshi Moshi Kimono Salon, which is produced by 夢乃屋 -YUMENOYA-. It is a recognsied tourist spot that offers yukata which combine two styles: “Taisho Roman,” which refers to the cultural style of the Taisho period combined with ‘romantic,’ and “Harajuku’s kawaii culture,” to create a new style called “Harajuku Roman.”
There’s a huge range of different designs to choose from, so you can have a fun time picking out which kimono or yukata suits you best! They will even help you put them on, style your hair, and you can take photos too, which makes it a very popular tourist spot.
People from all different countries visit the salon every single day. And if you’re stuck choosing which colour or design to go with, the staff will gladly assist you on choosing one that suits the occasion, or help you pick an obi (kimono sash) that suits you. If there’s anything that you need or want to know about kimono and yukata then they are there to help.
Mei: “I went with something that was similar to my usual outfit – something that just felt right at the time! Since I’m wearing Japanese clothes, I wanted something that had a kind of retro feel to it, since I like that kind of thing. My instinct told me that this was the colour to go with today. And the obi went with it, too!”
The salon’s hair and make-up stylist MAHO will set your hair beautifully based on you styling and hair accessory wishes. Mei didn’t have her hair put up and instead went with a soft and stylish bob.
Mei: “The colour of the yukata is sophisticated, and I want the hairstyle to bring out that Taisho Roman feel, so I went with a big ribbon in my hair that looks like an obi for a yukata!”
There’s also a wide selection of accessories to choose from to go with your yukata, including handbags, geta (Japanese wooden shoes) and more. It’s super fun to pick and choose what colours go with your yukata and find what suits you best. Mei picked out her choice of handbag and geta in just 10 seconds. And she took a commemorative photo before heading out to stroll the town!
Mei: “I chose a handbag and pair of geta with black on them to go with my hair accessory! Wearing black at your feet really brings your whole look together, so I definitely recommend it!”
“Healing power” spots – Seven recommended gardens in Tokyo where you can enjoy wonderful views
The year is coming to an end and I assume that many of you are searching for places with “healing powers.” In this article, I will introduce to you some gardens where you can enjoy superb views and feel refreshed.
Kyu Shiba Rikyu Garden (Hamamatsucho)
This garden is located near Hamamatsucho Station and is close to Haneda Airport and Tokyo Tower. It is known as a former Daimyo’s Garden, or imperial garden of the early Edo period, along with Koishikawa Kōrakuen Garden. Part of the charm of the garden is the large pond in the middle where people can walk around to appreciate the serene surroundings. The garden itself feels cemented in history and is a popular spot visited by company workers on their break, as well as by tourists.
Detailed information: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/47786
Koichikawa Korakuen (Iidabashi)
I would like to introduce to you Koishikawa Korakuen which is designated as the national beauty spot/historical site. The nearest stations are Iidabashi, Korakuen and Suidobashi. You can enjoy beautiful views while enjoying sceneries of shrines and temples. It is recommended that you walk around this garden since it is close to the stations noted above.
This garden was created by a servant of the historical figure Tsunayoshi Tokugawas and is known as one of the two most famous daimyo (Japanese vassal lord) gardens created in the Edo Period. The garden is designated as a national beauty spot. Many trees are planted inside the vast, bright garden and you can enjoy the beautiful scenery both in autumn and winter. The closest station is Komagome Station.
Shinjuku Gyoen (Shinjuku)
Shinjuku Gyoen is a park/garden which you can visit on foot from Shinjuku Station. It is very popular with tourists. In this garden surrounded by nature located in the center of Tokyo, you can enjoy a wonderful time while watching the tall buildings of Shinjuku. You can use this garden for family outings, picnics with friends or as a date spot.
Otaguro Park (Ogikubo)
The closest station is Ogikubo Station. This Japanese garden is a spot where you can enjoy a comfortable, Japanese-style atmosphere. Observing the different expressions of the trees throughout the year is a charm point of this park. The place is gathering popularity among local residents as a “healing spot.”
Mukojima Hyakkaen (Mukojima)
The closet stations are Mukojima Station and Hikibune Station. This botanical garden was created by an antique dealer during the Edo Period and has a different atmosphere than Koishikawa Korakuen and Rikugien since it was created based on the local culture of the Edo Period. You can view Sky Tree from the garden.
Kiyosumi Garden (Kiyosumi Shirakawa)
The building inside the garden used to be the compound of a wealthy merchant living during the Edo Period and the garden became a “kaiyu-shiki rinten” (circuit-style woods and pond). It has a fountain and a small mountain. It is a famous garden which was designated as a beauty spot in Tokyo. The closest garden is Kiyosumi Shirakawa Station.
How did you like our introduction to “healing spots” in Tokyo? Why not visit these beautiful Japanese gardens and come away refreshed and healed?
Fermented Food Cafe ‘Tsuke x Koji Haccomachi’ to Open in Kyoto’s Sanjo Area
19.February.2020 | FOOD
Tsuke x Koji Haccomachi is a new cafe opening in the Sanjo area of Kyoto on February 22, 2020, that is centred entirely on fermented foods.
The name “Haccomachi” derives from the Japanese word Hakko (Hacco), meaning fermented, and Komachi (Comachi), meaning a beautiful woman. The cafe hopes for people to incorporate fermented foods into their livesーsomething which is rooted in Japanese food cultureーand live comfortably.
The cafe’s logo showcases the making of kōjiーa type of mould used in the fermentation process of certain food products in Japan, like soybeans. The logo hope to pass down this long upheld tradition.
Hakko fermentation is a major part of Japan’s food culture. Since ancient times, the sweetness and umami brought about by the enzymes in the fermentation process have served to accompany many foods in the country, such as miso, soy sauce, mirin, rice vinegar, and so onーall traditional condiments used in the Japanese kitchen that are still fundamental today.
The menu at Tsuke x Koji Haccomachi features a line-up of fermented foods made in Kyoto, including those from Kyoto-based soybean makers Fujiwara Shokuhin, Sawai Shoyu Honten which has produced the same high quality soy sauce for decades, sake brewery Kitagawa Honke which has been around since the Edo Period, and more.
A Small Look at the Menu
Haccomachi Special – Fermented Lunch Plate: ¥1,690
This lunch plate is an assortment of hors d’oeuvre made with fermented condiments, tandoori chicken that has been pickled to elevate the umami, marlin fish, soup, and more.
Spare Ribs On The Bone in Miso Yuan Yaki: ¥1,490
This hearty portion of spare ribs are marinated in a miso, mirin, and soy sauce mix. Taste the full umami flavour of the juicy meat.
Namerō Miso Salmon in Yoghurt Sauce: ¥770
The salmon is served namerō style, a type of tataki or pounding method, in miso. The yoghurt has both a refreshing and rich flavour.
Homemade Komekoji Rice Malt Sweet Sake Yoghurt: ¥470
The splitting of the sour yoghurt serves to elevate the sweetness of the sake. This is a drink that even those who don’t like sweet sake are sure to enjoy.
Miso Pound Cake w/ Vanilla Ice Cream: ¥550
The miso pound cake is a collaboration with Japanese confectionery company Sarasa, which has 6 branches of cafes and shops in Kyoto. It’s made using komekoji rice malt powder provided by an old-fashioned Japanese shop (菱六もやし). The umami of the miso is intensified, and the cake stays moist thanks to the powder. It’s served with a dollop of refreshing vanilla ice cream.
Blackcurrant & Vanilla Sweet Sake Affogato: ¥550
A unique spin on the affogato dessert which has you pouring hot sweet sake over tangy and refreshing blackcurrant sherbet and rich vanilla ice cream. Enjoy the mix of the hot sake and the cool ice cream.
Discover the Japanese tradition of fermentation at Tsuke x Koji Haccomachi, opening February 22, 2020.
Tsuke x Koji Haccomachi
Grand Opening: February 22, 2020
Address: 78-1 Masuyacho, Shitagaru Yanaginobamba Sanjo-dori, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto,
Opening Hours: [Weekdays] 11:00-15:00 & 17:00-22:00 / [Weekends & Holidays] 11:00-22:00
Official Website: https://haccomachi.jp/
ART LAB KYOTO: The New Shop Opening at Kyoto City Kyocera Museum of Art
14.February.2020 | SPOT
ART LAB KYOTO is the new museum shop set to open at Kyocera Museum of Art on March 21, 2020 in line with the revamp currently undergoing at the museum, with design work being co-created by Japanese architects Jun Aoki and Tezzo Nishizawa.
Kyoto is known as a hub of Japanese culture, managing to maintain traditions while constantly evolving. ART LAB KYOTO will embody everything about this idea when it opens after the museum’s revamp. The spacious shop will not only sell merchandise related to the exhibitions, but books and goods related to art from Kyoto both traditional and contemporary, items in collaboration with external artists, original and exclusive sweets, and more. ART LAB KYOTO will also host events promoting the diversity of art and culture in Kyoto.
ART LAB KYOTO
Address: Kyoto City Kyocera Museum of Art Floor B1F (124 Okazaki Enshojicho, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto)
Grand Opening: March 21, 2020
Closures: Open every day until April 30, 2020 except March 23. The schedule commencing May will be posted at a later date on the official website.
Opening Hours: 10:00-19:00
Official Website (English): https://kyotocity-kyocera.museum/en/
Experience a Cherry Blossom Burger in Kyoto’s Famous Cherry Blossom Tourist Spot Arashiyama
This March, a restaurant in Arashiyama, Kyoto, that goes by the name CROSS Burger&Beer/Coffee, has announced it will release its new “Sakura Burger” (Cherry Blossom Burger) for the spring season.
CROSS Burger&Beer/Coffee is a restaurant known for its burgers made with pitch black buns – a result from combining the mixture with bamboo charcoal – which are served on afternoon tea stands. All of their patties are made with 100% domestic wagyu, specifically hiragyu from the town of Tanba in Kyoto. To ensure the meat maintains its high quality texture, it is minced together with shoulder and shank, which also creates great flavour.
The new cherry blossom burger uses a pink bun like that of the springtime flower. It has a chewy texture, and the surface is charred so that the outside is crispy and the inside soft. It also means that the meat juice permeates the bun better, and without making it go soggy. The patty is uses the same hiragyu meat, which is breaded and deep-fried to create what is known as menchi-katsu in Japanese. By doing this, it locks in the characteristic and unique flavour of the meat, as well its juice.
Drizzled over the patty is a homemade tartar sauce with Kyoto-style chopped vegetables pickled in salt as the base. The restaurant chops up the vegetables randomly to leave texture in the sauce, which has a refreshing taste thanks to them, creating a flavour you’ll enjoy until the last bite. The burger is also stuffed with a sunny-side up egg and purple cabbage, the latter of which has a slightly bitter bite to it, resulting in an amalgamation of mouth-watering flavours.
Order together with a cocktail or soda float to create an Instagrammable photo.
If you’re heading to Japan to visit Kyoto this cherry blossom season, head to Arashiyama to enjoy the sights and a delicious Sakura Burger.
Address: 48 Arashiyama Kamikaidōchō, Nishikyō Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture
Opening Hours: Lunch 11:00-16:00 / Dinner 16:00-23:00
Official Website: https://cross.grandwest.kyoto/
Kyoto Brighton Hotel Offers 5 New Hotel Plans For Springtime, Cherry Blossom & Temple Experiences
26.January.2020 | SPOT
Kyoto Brighton Hotel is now selling reservations for its new “Haru no Asobi Plan” (Springtime Fun Plan) which is taking place between March and May this year and offers guests the opportunity to enjoy Kyoto in the spring and its cherry blossoms.
Spring in Kyoto is the most popular season for tourists and travellers who flock from not only across Japan but from around the world. The Haru no Asobi Plan is made up of 5 exciting plans to see the ancient capital’s breathtaking cherry blossoms, vibrant green maples, and other offerings.
“Asakatsu” – An early morning temple visit and stroll
Get away from the crowded streets and enjoy the rare opportunity to experience incredible early morning sights you don’t normally get to see. Spend a quiet morning in a gorgeous environment in this plan. Several temples and gardens are in place for the experience: Kōdaiji Temple, Bishamon-do Temple, Taizō-in, Haradanien, and Tenryū-ji.
Kiyomizu-dera Temple special night viewing
One of the must-visit spots when travelling to Kyoto is Kiyomizu-dera, officially a World Heritage Site. This plan rents out the temple for you to experience it at nighttime. The main building is currently undergoing large-scale renovation to secure the roof as well as the inner construction of the temple. Seeing the temple is truly a sight to behold.
You are guaranteed a view of the famous “Stage of Kiyomizu,” an enormous veranda attached to the main hall. The surrounding trees will be lit with enchanting lights, and you’ll be able to gaze at the distant city nightscape. Experience Kyoto like never before as the warm lights illuminate the Niōmon (Deva Gate), 3-storey pagoda, and purified water which runs from the Otowa Waterfall.
Discover the world of Kyoto embroidery
The traditional practice of Kyounui, or Kyoto-style embroidery, has continued since the Heian Period and is even garnering attention overseas. It’s a delicate and refined style of embroidery unique to Kyoto.
After your embroidery session which will take place in a Kyoto town house nearby the cherry blossom-filled Hirano Shrine, you’ll look at kimono and yukata so beautiful they’ll look like they should be in an art museum, before heading to eat together with the creator.
See the green maple trees of Hōgon-in on a private train
Board the private 1-2 carriage Randen train on the Keifuku Electric Railroad, which runs from Shijō-Ōmiya to Arashiyama. This cute retro train will take you Arashiyama where the green maples are breathtakingly beautiful.
You’ll also get to stroll through the quaint gardens of Hōgon-in Temple, view artwork painted by Noriko Tamura, and more.
Enjoy a panoramic view on a private ride of the Sky Bus, a double-decker bus which is gaining huge popularity right now. You will ride through the city of Kyoto and see the rows of pink cherry blossoms. In April, they will also do an evening tour of the cherry blossoms so you can see them at night, and in May they’ll do a green maple tree tour.
Discover the beauty of Kyoto in this very special hotel plan at Kyoto Brighton Hotel.
Kyoto Brighton Hotel
Address: 330 Shiteicho Nakadachiuri Shinmachi-dori (West side of Gosho), Kamigyo, Kyoto
Official Website (English): https://www.brightonhotels.co.jp/kyoto/en/
Plan Page (Japanese): https://www.brightonhotels.co.jp/kyoto/lp/spring2020/index.html
Explore Kyoto With a Hot Pudding Latte From Kyo Yasaka Pudding
24.January.2020 | FOOD
Kyo Yasaka Pudding is a shop with a new vision. Located in Kyoto’s tourist hot spot of Higashiyama ward, it’s home to a team of people who love and are well-versed when it comes to food. Their incredible purin, or Japanese custard puddings, are made carefully one by one to make people happy. These puddings are tried and tested: much trial and error was done to ensure the ingredients, flavours, technique, and appearance were perfect.
On January 24, they’re set to release a new product to the menu: the Kyo Yasaka Hot Pudding Latte.
This hot beverage combines a pudding latte, made from incredible Kyoto milk, with super rich caramel cream. It’s then topped with a mix of tempting decorations. The caramel and cream are of a high quality, with the caramel cream itself having a unique and irresistible bitter bite you won’t find anywhere else.
This is the perfect accompaniment to a winter walk through Kyoto while sightseeing.
Kyo Yasaka Hot Pudding Latte
Release Date: January 24, 2020
Price: ¥700 (Tax Included)
Kyo Yasaka Purin
Address: 87-4 Hoshinochō, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture
Official Website: https://www.kyo-yasaka-pudding.co.jp/
Bunjee Jump From the Top of Kyoto Tower With Their New VR Experience
17.January.2020 | SPOT
Have you ever wondered what the thrill of bungee jumping would be like, but are too afraid of heights to even consider putting it on your bucket list? Have no fear, because Kyoto Tower is bringing a new VR bungee jumping experience to the top of the building which will be available to experience from February 1 for a limited time.
This VR experience was first brought to the tower in the fall of 2018, and this year it is making its grand return. After the event originally ended, there was huge demand for it to be held again.
Those brave enough to have a go at this VR bungee jump (or bungy, depending where you are from), will go above and beyond the 100 meter observation deck to the highest accessible point of Kyoto Towerーup 120.9 metersーwhich is normally closed off to the public, to the special VR deck which has been prepared.
The experience will offer you not only the thrill of jumping from Kyoto’s tallest structure, but the chance to gaze upon a panoramic view of the beautiful city too.
Kyoto Tower VR Bungy Jump
Running: February 1, 2020 – March 31, 2020
Time: 12:00-21:00 (Last Entries 20:45)
Location: Kyoto Tower Observation Deck – Floor 1F (the 11th floor of Kyoto Tower)
・VR Bungy Ticket: ¥800 (Tax Included)
・Observation Deck & Bungy Set Ticket (Tax Included): Adults: ¥1,400 (Individual Purchase: ¥1,600)/High School Students: ¥1,300 (Individual Purchase: ¥1,450)/Elementary & Junior High Students: ¥1,100 (Individual Purchase: ¥1,350)
*Ages 7+ only
*Set tickets are available to purchase on floor 1F of Kyoto Tower
*Run times subject to change
*Ticket charges applied for ages 7+; those aged below 7-years-old are not permitted to use the VR system
*An entry ticket to the Kyoto Tower observation deck is not necessary to experience the VR system
Official Website: https://vr-bungee.com/
Top Matcha Desserts in Kyoto Perfect for Your Next Instagram Post
When you think of Kyoto, matcha immediately comes to mind. Today with the help of the Kansai region’s expert dessert Instagrammer Tiara, we’ll be introducing you to the top matcha dessert shops of the Kansai region.
Matcha Ganache Cake
This matcha ganache cake looks just as good as it tastes. The beautiful smooth matcha coating is delicious and rich. The cake is best enjoyed with a cup of coffee and is the perfect sophisticated treat.
Address: 792 Nishishujakuchō, Fushimi Ward, Kyoto,
Opening Hours: 11:30-18:00
Closed: Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays
Official Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/chika_ara/Chasho Shimizu Ippoen KyotoMatcha Tiramisu Parfait
A delicious spun sugar decoration rests on top of the melt-in-the-mouth matcha tiramisu parfait. The mascarpone and matcha ice cream is made completely from Hokkaido milk. The balance of flavours and moderate sweetness makes this parfait irresistible.
▼Chasho Shimizu Ippoen
Address: 665 Honkawaracho, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto
*Open on National Holiday Mondays but closed the following day. Closed during the New Year Period.
Official Website: https://ippoen.co.jp
MATCHA REPUBLIC, Shimogyō WardRock Salt Cheese Bubble Matcha Latte/ Bubble Matcha LatteThis unique drink belongs on Instagram. A cute ink bottle is filled with a mildly sweet matcha drink accented with a hint of salt. You’ve never tried anything quite like this before.
Address: Floor 1, 721-1 Higashishiokojicho, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto
Opening Hours: 9:00-21:00
Official Website: https://www.matcha-republic.com
JTRRD cafe KYOTO, NakagyōUji Matcha Smoothie (Kyoto-Limited)
Pink, red, orange, yellow, purple, green – this Uji matcha smoothie is a rainbow of colours. There are four different designs and you can choose from three varieties of fruit to decorate the inside of your cup. Each smoothie is made of fruit and vegetables, making this a healthy way to indulge in matcha. It is so beautiful you won’t want to drink it.
▼JTRRD cafe KYOTO
Opening Hours: 10:00-18:00
Closed: The third Monday of every month. No regular holidays.
Address: 135-1 Doyucho, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto
If you’re looking for a shop to satisfy your matcha cravings, you can’t go wrong with Tiara’s recommendations.
Tiara’s Instagram never fails to keep us updated on the most delicious and beautiful desserts in the Kansai region so check it out.
Article Contents and Photos by ＠happy_pinkrose_tiara
5 Must-Eat Succulent Strawberry Desserts in Kyoto That Are Simply Kawaii
Winter is here, which means that the season of strawberries has finally fallen upon Japan. Today we are joined by Instagrammer Tiara, who enjoys posting their adventures around Japan’s Kansai region to try out all of the sweets and desserts. We are taking a look at must-visit locations in Kyoto for a taste of their tempting strawberry delights.
LITT UP.KYOTO in Gion-Shijō
At LITT UP.KYOTO, their “ichigoame” lets you enjoy strawberries in their original cute form.
They are coated in sweet strawberry candy and served on sticks in cups reminiscent of something from a Japanese festival. Part of their allure is how perfect they are as a tasty treat for walking around with. There’s even popping candy attached to the strawberries for an even sweeter textural treat.
▼LITT UP.KYOTO Gion
Address: 533 Gionmachi Minamigawa, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto
Opening Hours: 10:00-18:00
Official Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/litt_up_kyoto/
Kissa Zou in Imadegawa
The “Kisetsu no Babaroa” (Seasonal Baravois) at Kissa Zou has an springy texture and sits in a sweet and sour strawberry sauce.
I recommend ordering one of the separate elephant cookies to place on top too to make this an even cuter dessert.
Address: 440-3 Santeicho, Kamigyo, Kyoto
Opening Hours: 9:00-18:00 (Last Orders 17:00)
No Fixed Holidays
Official Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kissa_zou/
Chounohane in Fushimi
At Chounohane they are serving strawberry barquettes as well as mini versions of them. The dessert itself is of course beautiful, but is made even more so by the antique plate♡
Address: 791 Nishishujakucho, Fushimi Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture
Opening Hours: [Tues/Sat/Sun] Shop & Cafe 11:00-17:00 / [Fri] Shop Only 11:00-17:00
Official Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/chounohane/
Utanekodo in Kyoto Shiyakusho-mae
Utanekodo was renovated from a 100+ year old building and has its own cat cafe. The cafe space is located on the first floor.
Their “Nyanko Strawberry Milk” speaks for itself, topped with adorable kitty ice cream and delicious with its subtly sweet taste.
Address: 155-4 Tachibanayanagicho, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture
Opening Hours: 13:00-20:00 (Last Orders 19:00)
No Fixed Holidays
Official Website: http://utanekodo.com/
MASHOLA in Kyoto Shiyakusho-mae
Finally we have the “Strawberry Tiramisu Cube Cake” served at MASHOLA, a Korean-style cafe. This cake is made with refreshing homemade tiramisu cream, delightful sponge, and is packed full of sweet and sour strawberries which complement the entire thing.
Address: 1-A MOVIX, 406 Sakuranocho, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture
Opening Hours: 10:00-20:00
Official Website: https://mashola.business.site/
All of these cafes are wonderful, so if you’re in Kyoto for the strawberry season, be sure to visit as many as you can.
Tiara has plenty of other recommendations over on their Instagram page, so if you’re a sweet tooth looking for something sweet to indulge in around the Kansai area, be sure to give them a follow.
Text & Photos: ＠happy_pinkrose_tiara
Translation: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga
Kiyomizu Cheese Kobo: Kyoto’s Dessert House Releases Matcha Tiramisu and New Cheese Products
Kiyomizu Cheese Kobo opened in Kiyomizu Gojozaka, Kyoto in July this year as the first place in Kyoto to specialise in “bottled cheesecakes.” This month, they are releasing four new products to continue the cheese craze right to the end of 2019.
The first is a revamp of their number one most popular soft serve cheese ice cream: the “Chocolate Mont Blanc Cheese Soft.” The soft serve ice cream is a mix of refreshingly sweet milk and rich cheese topped with a full-bodied mont blanc-style chocolate—a welcome addition during the winter months when you want to stay in and indulge in some chocolate. The ice cream is finished with crushed chocolate pieces and a crowning raspberry to create a chocolate cake in a cone. You’re sure to become a frequent customer after a bite of this.
And for the Christmas season only, between December 18th-25th the shop is also selling another special soft serve that’s made to look like a Christmas tree. The cheese soft serve is covered with a sprinkling of Uji matcha powder and adorned with chocolate pearls and stars.
Kiyomizu Cheese Kobo is also releasing hot versions of its “Kiyomizu Cheese Drink” and “Matcha Cheese Tea,” the iced versions of which were greatly enjoyed in summer. The Matcha Cheese Tea can also now be ordered with tapioca topping, creating a delicious combination between the expertly crafted rich matcha cheese tea and the chewy and sugary tapioca pearls.
Also released this month is the “Homemade Matcha Tiramisu” when is served in a traditional masu box and served only on the second floor eat-in section. This irresistible delight is made with flavourful mascarpone cheese and bitter Uji matcha from Kyoto to create a dessert that’s perfect during a trip or day out in Kyoto. Because of the hard labour that goes into creating this dessert, only 5-10 are served per day, so be sure to arrive early to not miss the opportunity.
Chocolate Mont Blanc Cheese Soft – ¥550 (Before Tax)
Christmas Cheese Soft – ¥400 (Before Tax) *Available December 18-25, 2019 only
Matcha Tapioca Cheese Tea – ¥550 (Before Tax)
Homemade Matcha Tiramisu – ¥540 (Before Tax)
Kiyomizu Cheese Kobo
Address: 569-10 Shiraitochō, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture
Official Website: http://kiyomizu-cheese.com/
Furoshiki-Wrapped Matcha and Strawberry Sandwich Biscuits Released at PRESS BUTTER SAND
15.December.2019 | FOOD
PRESS BUTTER SAND released two new sandwich biscuit products on December 13. PRESS BUTTER SAND Kyoto Station will release the Tsutsumi Uji Matcha and PRESS BUTTER SAND Hakata Station the Tsutsumi Amaou Strawberry. Both are limited in stock.
Both boxes of these delicious treats contain five of the store’s famous “PRESS BUTTER SAND” sandwich biscuits, and they come gift-wrapped in an original furoshikiーa type of Japanese wrapping cloth. The appearance of both products in their packaging maintain an artisanal aesthetic and capture the vibe of their respective cities.
The furoshiki were designed by Yumiko Kakizaki (BAKE Inc.), the creative director at PRESS BUTTER SAND, and several creators active around Kyoto and Fukuoka. Each design was made to represent the characteristics of Kyoto and Hakata.
Also available is the Tsutsumi Black, a set each of 5 original and black flavoured butter biscuit sandwiches.
PRESS BUTTER SAND boasts over 2.5 million sales a year on average. If you’ve get to try their scrumptious biscuit sandwiches then don’t pass up the opportunity to try these new flavours.
Tsutsumi Uji Matcha (Includes 5 Uji Matcha and 5 Original Biscuit Sandwiches)
Available: PRESS BUTTER SAND Kyoto Station
Running: December 13, 2019 until stock sells out
Tsutsumi Amaou Strawberry (Includes 5 Amaou Strawberry and 5 Original Biscuit Sandwiches)
Available: PRESS BUTTER SAND Hakata Station
Running: December 13, 2019 until stock sells out
Official Website: https://buttersand.com
Handmade Christmas Chocolate Santa and Snowman Released at ATELIER de GODIVA in Kyoto
13.December.2019 | FOOD
GODIVA Japan released two new chocolate products at the Daimaru Kyoto branch of ATELIER de GODIVA, a chocolate shop which combines GODIVA’s skilful craftsmanship with chocolate artistry. Named “ATELIER Christmas Showpiece Santa Claus” and “ATELIER Christmas Showpiece Snowman,” the two chocolate artworks were released on Wednesday and are available until December 25.
Each and every one of these chocolate sculptures are handmade in-store by the shop’s chefs. They are exclusive to ATELIER de GODIVA Daimaru Kyoto and the perfect Christmas treat to adorn any Christmas party this holiday season.
These cute Christmas-exclusives not only taste delicious, but are fun to look at. Santa is sat in a chimney ready to deliver the presents while the snowman is sat next to a Christmas tree looking warm with its scarf.
Both of these are limited in stock and won’t be available ever again after they sell out, so don’t miss out.
ATELIER Christmas Showpieces
Running: December 11, 2019 – December 25, 2019
Price: ¥1,500 Each (Before Tax) *Takeout only
Available: ATELIER de GODIVA Daimaru Kyoto (Daimaru Kyoto B1F, 79 Tachiuri Nishimachi, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture)
Opening Hours: 10:00-20:00
GODIVA Japan Official Website: https://www.godiva.co.jp
Kabuki Cat Mascot Claws Its Way into koe donuts kyoto Collaboration Set
From old shrines and temples to cuisine, Kyoto enjoys a rich arts and culture scene. The former capital is also famed for preserving Japan’s traditional stage drama known as Kabuki. Every year, Minamiza Theatre located on Shijō Street in Kyoto holds a grand Kabuki performance called THE FESTIVE KAOMISE PRODUCTION to commemorate its debut. This year, the performance will run from November 30 – December 26.
To celebrate, koe donuts kyoto will be selling collaboration doughnuts themed around the official Kabuki character “Kabuki Nyantaro” during the same period.
Kabuki Nyantaro’s adorable face decorates some of the doughnuts and can even be seen on the packaging too. This set is exclusive to koe donuts Kyoto.
Enjoy a traditional Kabuki performance with some delicious Kabuki Nyantaro doughnuts to complete your Kyoto experience.
©2017, 2019 SANRIO/SHOCHIKU APPROVAL NO. G603142 著作（株）サンリオ
koe donuts kyoto × Kabuki Nyantaro Collaboration Doughnuts
Selling: November 30 – December 26, 2019
Selling Times: 10:00 – 21:40 (During performance intervals only)
Shop Location: Minamiza Theatre Floor 2, Shijō Street, Kyoto
Box of 6 Doughnuts: ¥1,800 (After Tax)
Information and updates will be posted on koe donuts’ official social media websites.
koe donuts Official Instagram: (＠koe_donuts) https://www.instagram.com/koe_donuts/