Discovering Kyoto involves not only exploring its historic sites but also tasting its unique, local cuisine and bringing home memorable souvenirs. Here’s how to enjoy the best of Kyoto’s gourmet scene and find perfect keepsakes to remember your trip.
Kyoto’s Must-Try Dishes
Kaiseki Ryori is a traditional multi-course Japanese dinner, often considered the pinnacle of Japanese cuisine. Many Kyoto ryokans (traditional inns) serve Kaiseki meals to their guests, presenting an array of seasonal and local specialties.
Yudofu, or hot tofu, is a simple dish where tofu is gently simmered in a kombu-based broth. This dish is especially popular in Kyoto due to the city’s high-quality, silky tofu.
Kyoto is famous for its matcha (powdered green tea) which is incorporated into a variety of sweets. Look out for matcha-flavored ice cream, parfaits, and traditional Japanese sweets like mochi.
Kyoto’s soba noodles are renowned throughout Japan. Whether served cold with a dipping sauce or hot in a flavorful broth, they’re a must-try.
Where to Eat
This narrow alley is packed with a variety of restaurants, offering everything from yakitori (grilled chicken skewers) to high-end kaiseki cuisine.
Known as “Kyoto’s Kitchen”, Nishiki Market is the perfect place to sample street food and pick up local ingredients to take home.
Famous for its geishas, Gion also boasts a range of restaurants serving everything from traditional Japanese cuisine to modern fusion dishes.
Teramachi and Shinkyogoku Shopping Streets
These two parallel shopping streets in central Kyoto offer a plethora of shops selling traditional Japanese crafts, perfect for souvenirs.
For traditional Kiyomizu pottery and ceramics, visit Kiyomizu-yaki Danchi. Here you can even try your hand at pottery making.
This shop near Gion specializes in Japanese paper goods and incense, offering unique souvenirs or gifts.
Enjoying the gourmet offerings in Kyoto is just as important as exploring its historical sites. So make sure you take the time to savor the local flavors and find unique mementos to take home, enhancing your overall Kyoto experience.