【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?
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.
Sacred Sword Site Plan
Running: September 6, 2019 – Late December 2019 (subject to change)
Target: Guests staying at Anshin-Oyado Premiere Kyoto Shijo Karasuma
Information (Japanese): http://ur0.work/UmQaAnshin-Oyado Premiere Kyoto Shijo KarasumaAddress: 239-1 Shinmeicho Higashihairu Higashinotoin Ayanokojidori Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, 600-8092
Official Website (English): https://www.anshin-oyado.jp/english/kyoto/
Six Scrumptious and Satisfying Sodas in Kyoto You Have To Try
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.
Blood Orange (left) Blue Curaçao (right): ￥690With 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-SETSUAddress: 277 Enpukujimaecho, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto
No fixed holidays
Official Instagram: ＠shinsetsu.kyotoRhône（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.▼RhôneAddress: 645-1, Sanjoinokumacho, Nakagyo Ward, KyotoOpening Hours: 12:00-22:00Closed: Wednesdays and ThursdaysOfficial Instagram: ＠rhone_kyotoKissa Zou (喫茶ゾウ)Cream Soda: ￥550After 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 ZouAddress:440-3 Santeicho, Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto,Opening Hours: 9:00-18:00（L.O 17:00）No fixed holidaysOfficial Instagram: ＠kissa_zouNOTTA CAFECream Soda with Oiri Sweets (left) : ￥600 Custard Pudding (right): ￥500NOTTA 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 CAFEAddress: 37 Saiinkitayakakecho, Ukyo Ward, KyotoOpening Hours: 11:30-20:00 (Wednesdays: 11:30-21:00）Closed: Mondays (additional irregular holidays)Official Instagram: ＠nottacafeKissa Soirée (喫茶ソワレ)Blue Sky Cream Soda (left) Strawberry Cream Soda (right): ￥700 eachThis 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 SoiréeAddress: 95, Nishikiyamachidori Shijo Agaru Shincho, Shimogyo-ku, KyotoOpening Hours1st floor: 13:00-19:00 (L.O.18:00)2nd floor: 14:00-19:30 (L.O.18:45)Closed:MondaysMaeda Coffee (前田珈琲)Colourful Lemonade: ￥600This 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 CoffeeAddress: 236 Takoyakushi Dori Karasuma Nishi Iru Hashibenkeicho, Nakagyo- ku, KyotoOpening Hours: 7:00-19:00Open 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.
Running: November 16, 2019 – December 1, 2019
Anshoji Temple, Kajū-ji Temple & Honkokuji Temple: 9:00-16:30 (Last Entries 16:30)
Zuishinin Temple: 9:00-17:00 (Last Entries 16:30)
Bishamon-do Temple: [Until November 31] 8:30-17:00 (Last Entries 16:30) / [From December 1] 8:30-16:30 (Last Entries 16:00)
Anshoji Temple: ¥500 / Kajū-ji Temple: ¥400 / Bishamon-do Temple: ¥500
Zuishinin Temple: ¥500 (¥700 during illuminations at 6pm-8:30pm)
Honkokuji Temple: ¥500 (+¥500 to view the Kyōzō)
More details can be found over on Totteoki Kyoto Travel: https://totteoki.kyoto.travel/ (Japanese)
Cute & Shiny Doraemon Cookies & Dango Tin Are Kyoto Souvenirs You Can’t Leave Without
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
Dokodemo Doraemon Kyoto Exclusive Printed Cookies
Price: ¥800 (Before Tax)
Release Date: Early September 2019 (Date may differ from store to store)
Location: Souvenir shops and variety stores in the Kansai region
Dokodemo Doraemon Kyoto Exclusive Shiny Tin
Contains: 2 bags (8g each) of lemon flavoured ramune candy
Price: ¥600 (Before Tax)
Release Date: Early September 2019 (Date may differ from store to store)
Location: Souvenir shops and variety stores in the Kansai region
Heso Production Official Website: https://www.heso-pro.com/
Feast On Kyoto Vegetables & Italian Cuisine at MERCER BRUNCH TERRACE HOUSE KYOTO
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.
MERCER BRUNCH TERRACE HOUSE KYOTO
Address: 123 Ishiyacho, Kiyamachi Sanjo Sagaru, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto , Kyoto Prefecture
[Mon-Thurs] 11:00-23:30 (Last Orders 22:30)
[Fri & Day Before Public Holiday] 11:00-Midnight (Last Orders 22:30)
[Sat] 10:00-Midnight (Last Orders 22:30)
[Sun & Public Holiday] 10:00-23:30(Last Orders 22:30)
*Dinner time is from 17:00
No Fixed Holiday
Official Website: https://mercer-brunch-kyoto.com/index.html
teamLab Now Holding Digital Art Exhibition at World Heritage Site Shimogamo Shrine in Kyoto
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
Address: 59 Shimogamo Izumikawachō, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture
Official Website: https://www.shimogamo-jinja.or.jp/english/
Digitized Forest at the World Heritage Site of Shimogamo Shrine, Kyoto Art by teamLab – TOKIO INKARAMI
Running: August 17, 2019 – September 2, 2019
Time: 18:30-22:00 (Last Entries 21:30)
Location: Shimogamo Shrine
Price: Weekdays ¥1,300 / Weekends ¥1,500
*Free entry for elementary school children and below. Must be accompanied by a parent or guardian aged 20+.
Official Website: https://www.teamlab.art/e/shimogamo/
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.
Itohkyuemon X Uji Hojicha Fair 2019
Running: September 2 ー 30, 2019
Available at: Uji Main Store, JR Uji Ekimae Store (in front of Uji Station), Gion Shijo Store, Byodoin Store, Kyoto Ekimae Store (in front of Kyoto Station), Online Shop.
*The desserts sold can differ from shop to shop.
Website: https://www.itohkyuemon.co.jp/site/houjicha/ (scheduled to open on September 2)
Uji Hojicha Parfait
Available from: September 2, 2019
Price: ￥1,080 (on its own, after tax)
￥1,480 (drink set included, after tax)
Hojicha Tea Ceremony: ￥1,780 (after tax)
Uji Hojicha Dessert Plate
Available from: September 2, 2019
Price: ￥1,680 (on its own, after tax)
¥1,980 (drink set included, after tax)
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.
ANDY WARHOL KYOTO
Running: September 19, 2020 – January 3, 2021
Location: Toyama Cube, Kyoto Kyocera Museum of Art
Exhibition Website: https://www.andywarholkyoto.jp/
Exhibition Twitter: https://twitter.com/andywarholkyoto/
Exhibition Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/andywarholkyoto/
Exhibition Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/andywarholkyoto/
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.
Kyo no Ondokoro Nishijin Bettei
Address: 265-1 Tatekameyacho, Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture
Grand Opening: October 1, 2019
Price: ¥150,000 per night (Before Tax)
Capacity: 8 people
Bookings: Open from September 2, 2019 (*Open now on select websites)
Check-In: From 16:00 (Wacoal Shin-Kyoto Building front desk open 10:00-17:00)
Check-Out: By 11:00
Kyo no Ondokoro Official Website: https://www.kyo-ondokoro.kyoto/
4 Must-Try Kawaii Bubble Teas & Desserts in Kyoto
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
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.
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.
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.
Kyo Yakasa Pudding
Address: 87-4 Hoshinocho, Higashiyama, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture
Opening Hours: 10:00-17:30
No Fixed Holidays
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.
Running: November 4, 2019 – December 8, 2019
Time: 17:30-21:00 (Last Entries 20:30)
Price: Adults ¥800 / Children ¥400 / Infants – Free
*Groups of over 20 people – ¥700
Music Performances: Everyday at 18:00/18:45/19:30
Running: Fridays & Weekends
Time: From 17:00
Price: Adults ¥1,200 / Children ¥600
Address: 121 Kurodanicho, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture
Event Page: https://www.kurodani.jp/lightup_aut/