Fashionable Cafes in Kyoto

September 21, 2019

by Miyu Arimoto, Yuko Yasuda & Yuma Ogata

Nowadays, most people in the world use SNS like Instagram. They usually take pictures many fashionable places and post these pictures for their followers to enjoy. In Japan, we call something instabae that is very photogenic. It is like the English term Instagrammable. In this article, we will introduce you to three fashionable cafes in Kyoto. All of them are instabae. We want to help you to make your Instagram page more attractive. If you are interested in instabae and fashionable cafes, then read onward.

Walden Woods Kyoto

Walden Woods Kyoto is a café located near Higashihonganji Temple. This shop opened in December of 2017. It is located in a very old building, so customers can feel a nostalgic atmosphere. It has a probat (roasting machine) from the 1969s, which is very nice. And recently this shop has become very popular, appearing on many websites and in magazines. Thanks to this, Walden Woods is now known to all generations.

 

This is the drink menu. This menu is written in English, so it is easy for foreign customers to order beverages.

Walden Woods offers seasonal beverages. For example, a seasonal tea soda is made from a hibiscus and rosehip blended tea with soda. In addition, it includes fruit chips, so we can smell fresh fruits in the soda. They also offer ginger latte, which is a new style latte. It made with ginger, milk and strong coffee. We can taste ginger’s nice punch, which goes well with the milk and coffee. They also offer a delicious hot latte. It is very simple, but this shop is known for its latte art. The shop owner is a barista who is good at doing art, so most customers come to experience his latte arts. You should try the ginger latte and the Ethiopia blend. The Ethiopia blend is mild black. It has a nice bitter taste when you drink it without sugar.

   

 

Usually, Walden Woods Kyoto is opened every day except for special day. Opening hours are from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm. Expect to spend between 500 yen to 1000 yen ($5 to $10). We went to this shop several times and we know the owner. He is very friendly and staff members have a nice smile, so I recommend that you visit this shop and take nice photographs. This is web site.

(http://www.walden-woods.com/)

1er ETAGE

1er ETAGE is located only about 5 minutes on foot from Kawaramachi station. Opening hours are from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. everyday. This café’s name means “First Floor” in French, but in fact, the first floor in France is actually what we call the second floor in English. So the English translation would be “second floor”. As its name suggests, the café is on the second floor of the building.

    

 

1er ETAGE has a relaxed atmosphere, so you can enjoy your time there. There are a lot of dried flowers, so the air is filled with a sweet and subtle natural perfume. The café has stylish and antique interior, so any photo you take there will be instabae. As you look up at the ceiling, it looks like a flower garden of dried flowers. Many kinds of dried flowers are hanging from the ceiling. So, it is beautiful, and you will be impressed. However, we recommended that you should avoid after lunch time because there are just a few seats available.

 

 

1er ETAGE serves drinks and homemade cake. This picture is of the menu. As you can see, a dried flower is attached to the cover of menu. It is so cute. We drank roasted green tea café latte “Houji cha latte” in Japanese, lemonade, and we ate chocolate banana brownies. They were very delicious. Especially we recommend you drink the lemonade. It was sour and tasty. Often the homemade cake is changed according to the season.

 

 

1er ETAGE also sells dried flowers, which start at 200 yen.

There are various dried flowers, so you might be able to find your favorite flower. Dried blue roses caught my eyes. They were particularly beautiful. The staff makes a dried flower bouquet. Even if you don’t like flowers very much, I think you will like this café. So, if you come to Kyoto we recommend that you visit this café.

 

 

Litt Up Kyoto

There is a cafe named Litt Up Kyoto near Gion-shijo station (Keihan line). It takes 3 mins on foot. Usually, it is open from 9:30 am to 2:30 pm, but if you would like to go there in the afternoon, you have to go to another cafe named The Mark Fizz. They are open from 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm. Of course, you can make a reservation. Both of cafes offer almost the same type of things. But you have to be careful: as these are outdoor cafes, they close on rainy days.

Litt Up Kyoto’s atomosphere is so calm, and everyone is talking comfortably, so you can take a break with alcohol here when you get tired or want to have a drink.

The interior is arranged with white color. On the weekends, there are many people drinking and talking pictures.

   

They serve a variety of drinks of many different colors. All of the pictures above are of alcohol drinks, but they also have soft drinks. Everything there looks pretty and gorgeous, so it is sure to be instabae. They have not only drinks, but also toast in case you get the munchies.

As you can see it, it’s so sweet toast and looks cute. They also serve ham and cheese toast.

If you are interested in this cafe or want to take pictures here, you should avoid rainy days. Don’t forget about that. They don’t have web site so please check their Instagram page.

LITT.UP KYOTO @litt_up_kyoto

THE MARK FIZZ ROOF TOP @the_mark_fizz_roof_top

There are lots of fashionable cafes in Kyoto and to find café is one of interesting things. As we recommended all three cafes, especially after lunch time will be busy and crowded so you should avoid crowded time and think about time and weather. Let’s take a break at fashionable cafes in Kyoto and take plenty of super stylish photos.

As you can see, with a little effort, you can visit a stylish, instabae cafe right here in Kyoto and have a great afternoon with your friends or family. Just don’t forget to post photos of your visit on Instagram. What are you waiting for?

Samurai Kembu Theater

by Yusa Inoue & Misaki Horita

Most tourists have enjoyed shopping sprees in Japan, but recently they have become interested in the experience of traditional Japanese culture. One such experience is kembu, which is a traditional Japanese stage performance art with the katana, or Japanese sword.

To understand kembu, you should first understand something called shigin, which is to combine poetry – especially Chinese poetry and Japanese poetry – with music. Kembu and poetry are said to dance in accordance with Shinto. And when a person dances with a sword, that is basically kembu. Without a sword, we might call it poetry dance. In the movie, The Last Samurai, you can see an actor performing kembu on the day before the battle.

Samurai Kembu Theatre

Many foreigners imagine that there are samurai in Japan, even now. About 70% of foreigners come to Japan with this image in their heads. However, of course, even though we have lived in Kyoto for a long time, we have never seen any samurai while walking around. However, we understand the desire to see a real samurai, so we suggest a place where visitors can not meet any samurai, but can feel like they have. It is a place where visitors can experience being a samurai and seeing a sword dance, It’s called Samurai Kembu Theater, and it is located in Sanjo street. In this theater, visitors can take a lesson to be like a samurai, and they can wear samurai’s clothes, and then take photographs to commemorate the experience.

In this way, visitors can enjoy the traditional culture of Japan while making a precious memory.

Types of Courses

The Full Course

The Full Course allows visitors to experience the Samurai Spirit by performing kembu. In this course, they will learn the basic techniques of kembu, such as handling a Japanese sword, performing slashing techniques, and employing some simple samurai actions. They will also learn the correct way of bowing and walking in traditional Japanese arts. The course is completed with a performance by each participant. The will perform with their sword on stage, accompanied by the song of a poem written by a samurai. There is some time allocated for picture-taking after changing into the costumes. The instructor will also help participants by showing them some cool Samurai poses.

The Light Course

In this course, participants can learn and practice some aspects of samurai etiquette, as well as practice basic kembu, including how to use the Japanese sword. Also, there is some time allocated for picture-taking after changing into the costumes. As in the Full Course, the instructor will help participants get into some cool Samurai poses.

Feedback from participants is often enthusiastic. Not only can participants learn about the history and tradition of samurai, but they can also have a lot of fun doing it. Even better, they have great photographs of themselves that can prolong their memories for many years to come. Also, the instructors speak good English, so visitors will have no problem communicating with them. Moreover, Samurai Kembu Theater was chosen as one of the top five sightseeings spots in Kyoto in 2016.

As you can see, we highly recommend the Samurai Kembu Theater to visitors to Kyoto. Visiting Kyoto should be more than just shopping and temple viewing. We think it is also necessary to spend time and money for memorable experiences, like the ones offered at Samurai Kembu Theater. In fact, even most Japanese people do not know how to dance Kembu. Furthermore, there are even plenty of people who do not even know the meaning of Kembu. Therefore, you should consider adding a visit to Samurai Kembu Theater to your travel itinerary for Kyoto.

Detective Conan Tour

by Mayu Nishikawa and Natsumi Nishimura

Detective Conan is one of the most popular manga (comics or graphic novels) in Japan. It was written by Gosho Aoyama in the mid-to-late 90s. The main character is Conan Edogawa. His real name is Shinichi Kudo. He is a high school student. He is very smart. However, he looks like child because of a poison he ingested, but his brain remains that of an adult. He hides his real self from around people. He uses the name “Conan Edogawa.” He lives in his girlfriend’s house, but she doesn’t know that Conan is actually Shinichi.

In the story, he always happens to be at the scene of a crime. Then, he solves criminal cases. This manga has not concluded yet. Last year, the 95th volume was released. The 95th volume contains the 1000th episode. Commemorative of the 1000th episode, the main characters went to Kyoto on a school trip. Conan temporarily returns to Shinichi as an antidote. However, at the hotel where they stayed, there was a murder case. Moreover, the romance between Shinichi and his girlfriend, named Ran, developed at Kiyomizudera temple. They visited this famous tourist spot in Kyoto.

In this article, we’d like to introduce three tourists spot they visited. These are Kiyomizudera temple, Kinkakuji temple and Kitanotenmangu shrine. If you like Detective Conan, you can enjoy these spots. Even if you don’t know much about Dectective Conan, you will like those spots and become interested in Detective Conan.

Kiyomizudera

Kiyomizudera temple

Kiyomizudera temple is one of the famous temples in Kyoto. It was built in 778. It was burned to the ground by fire over ten time, but it was reconstructed again and again. It was registered one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Kyoto in 1994. There is main gate called Nioumon. This is a good picture spot because it is a beautiful red color and so big. Kiyomizu temple is also famous for cherry blossoms and autumn leaves. If you go there, we recommend you visit in the spring or autumn. Kiyomizu temple also has a stage called Kiyomizu stage. The picture of the stage is front cover of the 95th volume of manga. The view from the stage is wonderful. On the stage, Shinichi and Ran had their photo taken by their friend. At the end, Ran expressed her feelings to Shinichi. Moreover, he solved murder case. The Kiyomizu stage is the best place for Detective Conan’s fans.

Kinkauji

Kinkakuji temple

Kinkakuji temple is another one of the World Heritage Sites of Kyoto. It was built by Yoshimitsu Ashikaga in 1397. He is the third Shogun of the Muromachi Shogunate. This Shogunate is the samurai government of the Muromachi Shogunate. The official name of Kinkakuji temple is Rokuonji. Kinkakuji temple was burned to the ground in 1950, but it was reconstructed in 1955. This temple is a three-layered building, but only the second and third layers are covered with gold foil. This golden Kinkakuji temple reflected in the pond is very beautiful.

Shinichi and his friends visited Kinkakuji temple. They took photos and enjoy the view.

Kitanotenmangu

Kitanotenmangu shrine

Kitanotenmangu shrine deifies Michizane Sugawarano. He has great ability for studying. For example, he is well known for composing an emotional Japanese poetry and creating Chinese poetry. He is called the god of learning, so this shrine is famous as a place where people pray for success in school. This shrine was built in 947. There is a light up event held in the precincts on the 25th of every month. This day is called Tenjin Day, because Michizane Sugawarano’s birthday is on July 25th. Every month of that day, there are many food stands.

After Shinichi solved the murder case at Kiyomizu stage, they visited Kitanotenmangu Shrine as the end of sightseeing. If you want to be smart like Conan, you should visit and pray there.

As you can see, we introduced three spots where the main characters of Detective Conan visited: Kiyomizudera temple,Kinkakuji temple and Kitanotenmangu shrine. If you visit these spots, we are sure you feel like you are a member of Conan’s school trip. Every place is perfect for sightseeing in Kyoto. Let’s visit those temples and shrine!

Access

Kiyomizudera temple

The opening hour 06:00~18:00 (~18:30)

The entrance fee is 400 yen for adults (high school students and above)
and 200 yen for elementary and junior high school students.

From Kyoto station- No.86, 206, 100 city bus, get off “Gojozaka”

Kinkakuji temple

The opening hours 09:00~17:00

The entrance fee is 400 yen for adults (high school students and above)
and 300 yen for elementary and junior high school students.

From Kyoto station- No.101, 205 city bus, get off “Kinkakujido”

Kitanotenmangu shrine

The gate opening hours: April~ September 05:00~18:00, October~ March
05:30~17:00

From Kyoto station- No.50, 101 city bus, get off “Kitano Tenmangumae”

From Demachiyanagi station- No.102, 203 city bus, get off “Kitano
Tenmangumae”.

Love Fortune in Kyoto

by Mayu Nishikawa & Natsumi Nishimura

There are many kinds of shrines and temples in Kyoto. There people pray for various things such as health, happiness, work, and learning. Of course, praying for love is important in life. Many shrines in Kyoto house the deity of love. Moreover, the Gion area, where many shrines are gathered, is best for praying for love. If you are in love or are considering getting married, you should go to places that we recommend, and try a love fortune. First, do you know what omikuji is? Omikuji is the paper that tells us about our future. One of the kinds of omikuji is a love fortune, which tells us about our future as concerns love. In this article, we will introduce two places that are well-known for their love fortunes: Yasui Konpiraguu and Jishu-Jinja shrine.

Yasui Konpiragu

Love Fortune in Yasui Konpiragu
Power Stone

If you want to meet the god of marriage, you have to go to Yasui Konpiragu. It was built by Kamatari Fujiwara in 671 A.D. Yasui Konpiragu is the shrine connected with breaking off all kinds of bad relationships and initiating good ones. You can break off not only relationships between men and women, but also all relationships with things such as sickness, alcohol, cigarettes and gambling. Once you do so, a happy life will follow. The love fortunes at Yasui Konpiragu are colorful and very cute. These omikuji in this picture are pink and blue. I’ m sure you’ll want to take a picture them. The way to draw a fortune is to pick a stick, and then you tell the Shinto priests the number on the stick. They give you the love fortune paper. It tells your fortune on the topics of health, love, and money. There are several kinds of luck. Daikichi means best luck, kichi means good luck, and kyou means bad luck. If you get a lucky strip, you should bring it home, but if you get an unlucky strip, you should go home after tying the strip to something, like a tree or fence, in the shrine. In the shrine, there is a power stone monument for breaking off relationships and initiating good ones. It is in the shape of an ema, or wooden prayer tablet. It is said that if you pass through this stone with a wish, the wish will come true. Do you want to meet a wonderful boy or girl? If your answer is “yes”, we recommend you that you go there immediately.

Jishu Jinja Shrine

Lovefortune in Jishu-jinja
Love Stone

Jishu-jinja Shrine is located within the famous Kiyomizu Temple. This shrine is the oldest shine containing the deity of love in Kyoto. The history of the shrine is not clear because it is said the shrine was founded before Japan was established around 660 B.C. This shrine is famous for its love stone. This stone has existed from the Jomon era (12,000 B.C. ~ 4500 B.C.) There are two stones in the shrine separated by about 10 meters. The way to have your fortune told is simple, but difficult. First, you must stand in front of one stone. Next, close your eyes and walk to the other stone while making a wish. If you can walk to the other stone, your wish will come true soon. If you can’t walk, it takes a long time to make your wish. Furthermore, if you can walk because of people around you, your wish will come true by being helped. In other words, advice from people around you helped your wish come true. The shrine has not only love stones, but also love fortunes. There is a graph near the fortune section. If you draw a fortune, please follow instruction on the graph. Finally, the shrine sells love charms of various types. Therefore, you can find the perfect charm for you. As we said before, the shrine is in Kiyomizu temple. Many tourists go there. Therefore, we recommend that you go to the shrine in the early hours of the morning on weekdays. We hope your wish come true!

We recommend you to visit two great love fortune places. Which shrine do you like? There are many shrines and temples in Kyoto. They will help your love, and you will be able to make a boyfriend or girlfriend. Moreover, if you have a lover, god will lead you into marriage. Let’s try drawing a love fortune.

Access

Yasui Konpiragu

The shrine is accessible 24 hours a day. The reception desk’s opening hours 09:00~17:30 From Kyoto station- No.206 city bus bound for Kitaoji bus terminal, get off “Higashiyama Yasui” bus terminal.

Jishu Jinja Shrine

 The opening hours 09:00-17:00 From Kyoto station- No.86,206,100 city, get off “Gojozaka”

Kimono Date Plan in Kyoto

by Norika Uchida, Kanako Fukushima, Noeka

Kawamura Have you ever tried to wear a kimono or yukata? They are famous Japanese traditional attire. Also, kimono were worn by people during the Heian Era (794-1185). Kimono nowadays are worn only for special occasions such as weddings or graduation from school. Conversely, a yukata are a little more casual and are the standard outfit for going to firework festivals in the summer. The Gion Festival is held every July in Kyoto, and you can see a lot of people wearing yukata there. In Kyoto you can experience wearing kimono or yukata, as there are many shops where you can rent them easily. Let us then recommend some good kimono rental shops, and the perfect plan for wearing your kimono on a date with your special someone

In Kyoto, there are many kimono and yukata rental shops where you can rent them easily and dress up like a tradiational Japanese person. So, we will now introduce some of our recommended rental shops to you.

Kyoto Kimono Rental Wargo

The first is Kyoto Kimono Rental Wargo. This shop’s selling point is that they have various plans. For example, The popular standard plan is reasonable with good value, so we recommended this plan to those who are renting a kimono for the first time. This plan costs 3,500 yen (without tax). Then, the Premium Kimono Plan offers many famous brand name kimono. This plan is perfect for the people who want to enjoy the luxury of decorative modern kimono. This plan costs 4,500 yen (without tax). Also, there is the High-end Kimono Plan, which has the best luxurious brand-name kimono with various patterns, so if you can afford it, you should choose this plan. This plan is 5,500 yen (without tax).

Access
1 minute walk from Randen Lines [Saga-Arashiyama Station]
1 minute walk from Keihan Kyoto Line [Gion-Shijo station]
2 minutes walk from Kyoto Station
It’s on the 3rd floor of the Kyoto Tower Building.

Opening hours: 9am – 7pm

Kyo-Temari

The next shop is named, Kyo-Temari. The main selling points of this shop are its simple price and its photography plans. Here, you can rent a high-class, 100% silk kimono at a price of 5,000yen (with tax) which includes dressing up. Also, you can experience a variety of photo shoots, including studio photo shoots and on-location photo shoots. Of course, you can receive the digital data from the photo shoot, and it is also possible to make an album. This plan will certainly give you an awesome Kyoto experience. However, you need to tell the shop what you would like to do when making a reservation.

Access

a 3 minutes walk from Hankyu Kyoto Line [Hankyu Kawaramachi Station], or 5 minutes walk from [Karasuma Station] •5 minutes walk from Kyoto City Subway [Shijo Station] •5 minutes walk from Keihan Main Line Gion [Shijo Station]

Opening hours: 09:00am – 07:00pm

Taking a Rickshaw Ride

We recommend a taking a rickshaw ride when you wear a kimono and go on a date in Kyoto. We often see many couples wearing kimono and riding rickshaws in Kyoto. Rickshaws are mainly used for sightseeing purposes at tourist spots. In Kyoto, Ebisuya runs rickshaw services in the Arashiyama and Higashiyama districts of the city. So, you can ride them there.

In Arashiyama, you can start from the Togetsu-Kyo Bridge, go to the Bamboo Forest, and look around the temples of Sagano, such as Nison-in and Jojakko-ji.

In Higashiyama, you can start from Ichinenzaka or Heian-jingu Shrine, and look around Kiyomizu-dera, Gion and Nanzen-ji.

The price is 3,000 yen per person and 4,000 yen per couple for the cheapest course. Also, there are 30-minute and 1-hour courses. The 30-minute course is 7,000 yen per person, or 9,000 yen per two people. The 1-hour course is 13,000 yen per person, or 17,500 yen per two people. The price is a bit expensive, but it is worth it!

When you ride in a rickshaw, you can enjoy the sights from a slightly higher position. And, you can enjoy them slowly because you are just sitting. So, you do not get tired, even if you wear a kimono. Also, a blanket is provided to keep you warm in winter. Furthermore, rickshaws have a roof, so you can ride them even on rainy or snowy days.

In addition, the rickshaw man will explain many interesting things to you about Kyoto in English. So, it will surely help you have a memorable date in Kyoto. Moreover, he takes a lot of pictures at various spots that are beautiful and photogenic. I absolutely think you will love it. Please enjoy the best dating in Kyoto by rickshaw.

Rickshaw of Ebisuya
View from a rickshaw

Ebisuya in Arashiyama Access:

Address: 3-24 sagatenryu-ji bounobaabamachi ukyo-ku Kyoto Japan
Opening hours: 9:30 am – sunset (There is fluctuation by the season.)

It’s a 4 minute walk from Keifuku railway Arashiyama station, and a 7 minute walk from Hankyu Arashiyama station.

Tel: 075-864-0690

Ebisuya in Higashiyama Access:

Address: 558-9 yugyomaecho higashiyama-ku Kyoto Japan
Opening hours: 10:00 am – 18:00 pm (weekday) 10:00 am – 18:30 pm (Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays) There is fluctuation by the season.

It’s a 5 minute walk from Kyoto city bus Higashiyamayasui, and a (Ichinenzaka) 1-2 minute walk from Kyoto city bus Ginkaku-ji mae. (Ginkaku-ji bashi)

Tel: 075-533-2600

You can also make a reservation.

Arashiyama Yoshimura and Arabica Kyoto

We also recommend going to Arashiyama during your kimono wearing experience because Arashiyama is one of the many beautiful places in Kyoto. There is such a good atmosphere there, so couples can have deep long talks and enjoy a meaningful moments together. So, we highly recommend visiting Arashiyama on your date.

In Arashiyama, you will see the Togetsu-kyo bridge, which has become an iconic symbol of Arashiyama. Many movies and dramas were filmed there. Also, there is a bamboo forest that has become a famous spot in Kyoto.

In addition, there are other places that you can enjoy around Arashiyama. One such place is a soba restaurant called Yoshimura. Soba are noodles made from buckwheat flour. The restaurant is located near the Togetsu-kyo bridge, so you can enjoy eating your noodles with a good view the river and a sense of openness. You will have a great time eating soba there. When we went there, we ordered Tenzaruzen for 2019 yen. It included soba, tempura, rice, and pickles that were made in Kyoto.

View from the 2nd floor
Tenenzaruzen for 2019 yen

Yoshimura is really popular, so you might have to wait if you don’t have a reservation. You can get a reservation online, but making a phone call is more reliable than trying to reserve online.

When we went there, there were a lot of people – both Japanese and foreigners – who had already been waiting. Since we didn’t have a reservation, we had to wait for an entire hour. However, it is easy to kill some time if you have to wait because there are some shops nearby. They are some good places to pick up some souvenirs or get a cup of coffee.

There is also a famous café along the river, called Arabica. There is often a long line at this coffee shop. They have two shops in Kyoto, and one is located in Arashiyama. Their coffee is tasty for sure. Also, we recommended their lemonade, if it is hot outside.

Front of store
Their signature is “%”.

Arashiyama Yoshimura Access:

Opening hours: 11:00am~5:00pm (Off season) 10:30am~(Peak season)

It’s a 3 minute walk from Keifuku railway Arashiyama station.

English, Chinese, Korean and Taiwanese menu are available.

Arabica Kyoto Arashiyama Access:

Opening hours 8:00 – 18:00

It’s a 5 minute walk from Keifuku railway Arashiyama station.

Conclusion

Having a kimono or yukata experience with your partner must be an unforgettable memory in your life. There is no doubt that you can have an awesome time in Kyoto. Also, kimono have various patterns and colors, so maybe you can try to wear another design when you come to Kyoto again. Wouldn’t it be amazing to make your sightseeing trip to Kyoto better and create great memories by wearing a kimono or yukata with the person you love the most?

Ladies Night in Kyoto

by Norika Uchida, Kanako Fukushima & Noeka Kawamura

Recently in Kyoto, the number of contemporary restaurants and bars have been increasing, not just traditional ones. If you are looking for the good place to have a good time with your girlfriends at night in the Karasuma area, this article will be useful for you. You can have a ladies’ night out while enjoying a very Japanese vibe. Also, the restaurant and bars we will introduce look cute, so they are perfect for Instagram. People will definitely give you a thumbs up on your posts. We are now going to introduce two restaurants – Awomb and Kushibashi Modan – and a bar – the Spring Valley Brewery Kyoto.

Awomb

Awomb is a Japanese restaurant in Kyoto. Recently, it has been receiving a lot of attention from different kinds of people. The most popular item on their menu is teori sushi for 2,970 yen. Its appearance is appealing in a way that girls would like. They serve a plate with the sushi lined up neatly that it looks very colorful and tasty. Teori sushi is hand rolled sushi with obanzai, which means ‘Kyoto-style home cooking’. There were some vegetables, tuna, salmon, scallops, chicken, etc. in obanzai.

Making teori sushi is easy. First, pick up a sheet of seaweed and put some rice on it. Then put some obanzai of your choice on it. There are also different kinds of sauces and spices, so you can use those as well. After that, wrap it up and eat away! It is easy and fun. Its taste is like that of other Kyoto cuisine, which means it has a subtle flavor.

Awomb also offers a dessert menu as well. Items on the menu use different kinds of Japanese ingredients. I tried the white miso pudding. It was so tasty and creamy.

The design of the restaurant is based on white, which makes people feel calm. It has a relaxing atmosphere. Also, their staff was so kind to the customers. We highly recommend this place for you.

Awomb is located near Karasuma Station. You can go there on foot in 5 minutes. After you exit the station, find the MacDonalds on your left, and then go straight until you get to DEAN & DELUCA. Then you will be able to see Awomb on your left.

Address: 189 Ubaynagi-chou Nakagyo-ku Kyoto 604-8213, Japan
Phone number: 050-3134-3003
Lunch: 12:00-15:00 (LO 14:00) Dinner: 18:00-21:00 (LO 20:00)
Open: 7 days a week
http://www.awomb.com

This is a photo of Teori sushi, the most popular item on their menu for 2970 yen.

Kuchibashi Modern

Kuchibashi Modern is one of the best hidden restaurants in Kyoto, known only to those in the know. This restaurant is located in very convenient area that is about a five-minute walk from Karasuma Station.

It is a popular restaurant in Kyoto where customers can taste a particular type of yakitori (Japanese-style skewered chicken). Among them, we recommend the tsukune (chicken meatballs), which are crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. It is definitely worth trying.

In addition, the restaurant has variety of chicken dishes and salad. We especially like the salad using a lot of delicious salt and the braised duck breast with mustard. The braised duck breast is very soft and it goes well with white wine.

Also the chochin is loved by many people. It looks somewhat unique, but you should still try it, as it is really delicious. The round orange things on the tip of the skewers are the immature eggs of a hen.

(Chochin)
(The braised duck breast with mustard)
Also, chicken is a very healthy meat, so this restaurant is not only good for women, but also men.

Fortunately, there are many kinds of alcohol at Kushibashi Modern, for example, beer, cocktails, whisky, fruit liquor, shochu (distilled rice liquor), and a lot of wine and Japanese sake that goes well with chicken dishes. So, if you like to drink you are lucky! You can enjoy delicious dishes while drinking plenty of alcohol. Of course, you can enjoy some special sweets after the last dish.

Moreover, this restaurant has relaxing atmosphere and is surrounded by warm lighting, so we felt that it is more like a stylish restaurant perfect for a ladies’ night out rather than just a standard Izakaya (Japanese-style restaurant). Ladies should definitely give Kuchibashi Modern a try.

Open: 6:00 pm to 11:30 pm (LO 11:00pm)
Address: 153-8 Nagaharacho, Shimogyo-Kku Maison Maxim 1F, Kyoto 600-8073 Kyoto Prefecture
Access: a 3-minute walk from Hankyu Karasuma Station a 4-minute walk from Hankyu Kawaramachi Station

Spring Valley Brewery Kyoto

Spring Valley Brewery Kyoto (SVB Kyoto) is a bar and restaurant in Kyoto, located near the famous Nishiki Market. It’s about a 5-mintue walk from Kawaramachi station. The building is a renovated 100-year-old townhouse. Attached to it is a brewery to produce craft beer.

The most popular item on their menu is the Beer Flight for 1,300 yen. It allows customers to taste six different kinds of basic craft beer. There is also Paring Set for 2,300 yen. It is a set of six craft beers along with appetizers that are a good match for each one. So, you can enjoy a variety of craft beers and food together. Also, you don’t need to worry about money because the price is very reasonable.

In addition, the names of craft beer sold at SVB Kyoto are unique, such as After Dark and Daydream. Our recommendation is Daydream. It has the flavor of dumpling and yams. It is very delicious. There are also many other kinds of craft beers. The smells and tastes are good and the appearance is colorful. Also, people who are not experienced at drinking beer can drink happily and easily. Please find your favorite one.

You can buy SVB bottles for beer at various stores around town, as well as at the Kirin online shop DRINX. In this way, you can enjoy SVB beer in the comfort of your own home.

These are six kinds of basic craft beer and appetizers.

Address: 587-2 takamiyacho nakagyo-ku Kyoto Japan
Open: 11:00 – 23:00 (food LO 22:00, drink LO 22:30 ) Phone number 075-231-4960
Access: Hankyu Kawaramachi station walk for 5 minutes Hankyu Karasuma station walk for 7 minutes

Conclusion

As you can see, these three bars and restaurants are perfect for a ladies’ night out in the Karasuma area of downtown Kyoto. Karasuma is easily accessible, so you can easily go to these places after sightseeing. Enjoying nice food and alcohol after a day of sightseeing is a great way to spend wonderful time with special friends or your partner. Anyway, we are absolutely sure you can be happy and have a memorable night. We hope you have a nice ladies’ night in Kyoto.

Donguri Restaurant Chain

by Saki Hirota

Donguri is a popular okonomiyaki restaurant chain in Kyoto with over 300,000 customers per year. The total number of restaurants in the chain is now nine, with the ninth store opening in 2015. Among them, the most famous store is the one at Kyoto Station Square. It is frequented by not only people from Kyoto, but also from other areas of Japan and even from abroad. Most of its seats are filled with reservations every day, so many customers are often waiting to get inside. The secret of its popularity is in its stylish appearance. It is not a typical Okonomiyaki shop. In fact, it has a menu with over 200 types of food and drink on it. Donguri is even highly ranked at a gourmet site famous in Japan, called Taberogu. Also, many entertainers and celebrities have eaten there.

More About Donguri

The very first Donguri restaurant was started in 1977 in near Fujinomori station of the Fushimi area in the south of Kyoto. This shop was built by Kouichi Kawamura. At that time, the shop was very small and personally managed, with only 24 seats for customers. The owner’s vision was to make Donguri the number one okonomiyaki store in Kyoto, as measured by sales, profit rate, number of stores, number of visitors and brand awareness. The restaurant strives to use local products for items on its menu. Donguri is committed to making sure that all of the following items in its restaurant are locally produced: flour, rice, vegetables, soy sauce, sake, tea, pickles, sauce, tofu, and beer (Suntory Premium Malts).

Currently, there are nine Donguri shops: Kyoto Station Square・ Kyoto Station Square East ・Shijo-Kawaramachi ・Shijo-Teramachi ・Shijo-Karasuma ・Shijo-Omiya ・Sanjo-Kiyamachi ・Shin-Horikawa ・Yamashina ※Fuzinomori store was closed in 2008.

Recommended Menu Items

Lotus root with shrimp

Lotus root with shrimp is very popular at Donguri. Its taste is surprising for both Japanese and foreigners. It is delicious.

Tonpei-yaki

Tonpei-yaki is the most recommended item on the menu. It is loved by many customers. It is made from pork rib, eggs, cabbage, leeks, ginger, and tonpei-sauce.

Gyoza

Chinese-style dumplings are very popular amongst customers, especially foreigners. They are delicious and very inexpensive.

Yakisoba

It is normal and standard Yakisoba. Many customers order it every day. It is made with beef, pork and squid.

Tonari-no-Micchan

This is okonomiyaki. Most okonomiyaki in Japan is made with cabbage, but this one uses kujo-leeks from Kyoto, chikuwa, and konjak. Chikuwa is like a fish sausage, while konjak is a jelly-like food made from the starch of the konjak potato. This results in a unique new taste and texture.

Donguri also has an online shop where you can buy items from the menu. Most people order it so they can prepare and eat it in the comfort of their own home. http://www.dongurionline.com/

As you can see, Donguri is very famous store in Kyoto. If you come to Kyoto, you should go to this store. Which menu are very good taste. Also, many foreigners came to 2 consecutive days to this shop.

Nishimura Tie-dye

by Saki Hirota

Kyoto has been the center of Japanese culture since ancient times. Long ago, it needed to produce clothing for the royal court. Using water from the Kamogawa River, dyeing colors were vivid and of high quality. In Kyoto, there are different methods of dyeing fabrics. One style of dyeing in Kyoto is tie-dye.

There are many countries that do tie-dye. Japan, however, is famous for its own style, called Kyo-dye. Kyo dye is generic name to dyeing in Kyoto. One form of Kyo dye is Shikanoko dye, which was connected with nobility in ancient times.

Tie-dye is created by making knuckles, or knots, in a cloth before dyeing begins. This prevents the penetration of dye for that part for the cloth. Also, this results in a unique pattern on the cloth after dyeing is finished.

There are actually many different tie-dye methods. Some say there are over 100 types in Japan. This includes some that create an uneven and three-dimensional effect on fabric’s surface. What makes tie-dye special is the unique bleeding and blurring that occurs. For example, if you tie-dye 100 different cloths, each one will be different from all the rest. This is particular and unique result of tie-dye.

History of Tie-Dye

The history of tie-dye is very long. Originating in India, tie-dye was transmitted through the Silk Road to Japan in the 6th and 7th centuries. From that point, dyeing technology evolved in Japan. In the Azuchi-Momoyama period (1568~1600) stitch-resist dyeing was employed. It is a dyeing technique called Tsujigahana, which means “flowers at the crossroads.” There is also a method of dyeing called dappled. It was popular in the Edo period and became highly developed. It is a type of dyeing common in Kyoto in which the cloth is wrung or twisted during the dyeing process, which produces a cloth that has dappled spots.

Workshop Nishimura

This shop was built in 1929, and does traditional tie-dye, or Kyo-dye. Mr. Keiji Nishimura is the owner. This shop name is Workshop Nishimura. This shop is very old and small, as it is a family-run business. They make and sell tie dye products. For example, we can buy scarves, T-shirts, handkerchiefs, etc. Furthermore, we can experience a making our own tie die. It is very easy and enjoyable.

Preferences of Nishimura Tie-dye

Many customers wonder if it is possible to use vegetable dyes in the tie-dye process. The method of dyeing in which dye is made or taken from vegetation is called kusakizome. The answer is no. Basically, Nishimura uses chemically synthetic dyes. This is the most famous and popular method, so Nishimura tie-dye uses this method.

Experiencing Tie-Die

We can experience making our own tie dye at Nishimura Workshop. This is especially popular with Japanese children and foreigners. Along the way, customers learn the techniques of tie dye while making their own tie dye item. Afterwards, the items are mailed to the customer’s house when the items are finally dry. So it takes several days to receive them.

The name of the experience is Kyoto Shikanoko Dyeing. It takes 40 minutes ~ 2 hours.

There are four types of items you can make:

『Large format handkerchief』1500〜

『T shirts』3000〜

『Eco bag』3000〜

『Scarf』3000〜 etc…

 

Access

〒600-8377

Up Gojo-cho 392, Omiya Tori Matsubara, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto city in Kyoto

Tel: 075-821-0640
Open: AM10:00- PM7:00
Closed: Irregular holidays

Souvenirs in Kyoto

When you go to Japan, you can find a lot of souvenir shops, especially in Gion, Kawaramachi, Shinkyougoku, and places close to famous temples. Kyoto’s souvenirs are mostly traditional Japanese things. Therefore, people come to collect them from all around the world, include Japanese people. We focused on one of the souvenir shops in the Shikyogoku area of downtown Kyoto. It is called Kyo-no-Furusato, which means “Hometown of Kyoto.” They can speak seven languages, and are open from 10:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Kyo-no-Furusato is located on Shinkyougoku street, which is about 10 minutes on foot from the Hankyu Kawaramachi station. As you walk towards Kyo-no-Furusato, you can see many local shops. We chose to focus on this shop because there it is a very popular and busy shop. There are three main very popular souvenirs in Kyo-no-Furusato, so if you are interested in getting some great souvenirs from Kyoto, you should go there.

Fuurin

The first souvenir is called Fuurin, which is a bell made of metal, glass, and/or pottery, with a strip of paper dangling below it. You can enjoy hanging it under the eaves. In the picture seen here, the front is made of metal and the back is made of glass. We usually use it from the summer to the beginning of fall. When we hear the Fuurin sounds, our mind becomes calm and at ease. It is known as amulet. It was first used by nobles and then later used by the general population. 

The metal ones are traditional, while the glass ones is are more modern. Both of them are the poplar. You can find them in the center of shop.

Ochoko

An ochoko is a small bowl like a glass when you drink tequila shot. It is made from glass and pottery. The name ochoko comes from choku which mean ‘little by little’. We usually use it when we drink Nihonshu, or Japanese sake. The alcohol percentage is high, so we drink it with an ochoko. At first, it is used exclusively by nobles. But its use spread to the common people in an interesting way. The pottery in the form of Higuchi seems to have been old, but it was explosively spread in the middle of the Edo period when Soba (buckwheat) noodles were popular. They used it a way to drink Soba soup. After that normal people were able to drink sake then use the cup as glass of drink like now.

The ochoko in this shop has a lot of beautiful designs, which are all Japanese patterns. We recommend that if you would like to buy lots of ochoko, you can use them as ornaments. They are all so small, so you can bring them back to your country easily. You can find ochoko in the back of shop and along the right side.

Japanese Snacks

There are many Japanese snacks available in Souvenir Shops like Kyo-no-Furusato. Especially, Kyoto is very famous for green tea, so many snacks are made with green tea.

 Everyone knows Kit Kat. In Japan, however, the snack is made in a very Japanese way. For example, there are Kit Kat chocolates with sake of plum, chocolate with sake, chocolate with roasted green tea, green tea, and Uji green tea (Uji is a part of city of Kyoto that is very famous for green tea). In addition to Kit Kat, there are many other famous snacks from Kyoto, including:

1. Yatsuhashi 2. Malebranche from Cha no ka 3. Senju Senbei from Kogetsu 4. Ajarimochi from Mangetsu 5. Green Tea Corneta from Jouvancelle 6. Torori Warabi-mochi from Warabin 7. Kyo Baumkuchen from Otabe 8. Hogyoku-do’s Fox senbei from Hogyokudo 9. Macha Tea Roasted Chocolate from Nakamura Tokichi 10. Kyoame Koicha Temari

There are many kinds of snacks unique to Kyoto. However, it is not just Kyoto that has special snacks. Other prefectures also make unique snacks, so when you have time in Japan or when you go to other prefectures, it is better to find that snacks from that prefecture. It can be a very interesting experience during your trip.

In conclusion, Kyoto is wonderful city, especially for traditional things. When you come to Japan, you must be open minded, so it is important to try things outside of what is normal for you. For example, you can buy a Huurin and use it in your own country. In this way , you can feel the Japanese summer in your own country, or choose Kyoto’s special snacks and eat them in your country with your family, friends, and neighbors. You can share what Japanese people like the most. Let’s enjoy your trip to Kyoto by experiencing true Kyoto things.

Craft Beer Restaurants in Kyoto

by Mayu Arimoto & Chinatsu Yoshida

Many people like beer. Especially, there are many foreigners in Kyoto, and they might want to try craft beers in Japan. Nowadays, craft beer is getting more famous in Kyoto because of its association with green tea. Kyoto is very famous for green tea, and there is no green tea beer in the world until now. In 1870, people started to research how to make beer in Kyoto. They started to use the water from Kiyomizu temple for brewing beer. This was the beginning of Kyoto’s beer. In this article, we will introduce four different beer restaurants that serve beer made in and around Kyoto. If you are interested in Kyoto’s beer, you should go these places.

Before 9

Before 9 is a super fashionable and new beer restaurant in Kyoto. The building is a renovated old Japanese wooden house, so the atmosphere is traditional Japanese. You can really feel the old Japanese style there. It’s easy to go there alone. There are seats both inside and outside, as well as seats for one person (standing style). Also, there is a second floor, but you should be careful going up and down because the stairs are very steep!

 

Before 9 is famous for local Japanese beer. You can drink not only craft beer, but also Japanese sake. There usually are eight kinds of beer in this restaurant, and you can also eat some otsumami (food that goes well with alcohol) with beer. The food in this restaurant is wonderful. There are not only normal Japanese foods on the menu, also unique ones.

 

Beer is served in three sizes: Small (240ml) for¥700, Medium (310ml) for¥850, and Large(450ml) for¥1200. They change the beer they serve from time to tome. They also have an English menu. They change beer times.

Ordering is easy. First, you go to the counter to choose the beer and food you want, and then you pay right there. Next, you get your beer and look for a seat. After that, you simply wait for your food to arrive while talking with friends or simply enjoying the atmosphere inside. There are many foreign and Japanese customers. It’s better to go there at an early time. It takes 3 minutes on foot to get there from the subway Karasuma-Oike station. They are open from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. every day.

Beer Pub Takuiya

Beer Pub Takuiya is near Before 9. The staff is very friendly, and the atmosphere is very good. There is smoking area outside, so if you are smoker, you can smoke outside. There are 25 seats in this pub, so you can stay here longer. Some of the staff can speak English, so it’s a good place for foreign visitors.

Beer Pub Takuiya offers over 300 different Japanese beers. They usually have 10 different kinds of craft beers available in the restaurant. They server beer in three sizes: Small (240ml) for¥700~, Medium(350ml) for¥900~, and 1 pint (470ml) for¥1,000~. There are also many delicious foods on the menu. This is Kara-age (or deep fried chicken) and three kinds of cheese. There is an English menu, so it’s very easy to read the menu and place an order.

This location is a little bit complicated to find, so checking it first on Google Maps is advised. The customers are also friendly and nice. You can make Japanese friends and talk with Japanese people easily here. It takes 5 minutes on foot to get there from the subway Karasuma-Oike station. They are open from 4 p.m. to midnight every day.

Craft House Kyoto

It is the newest craft beer place of Kyoto since 30th of January. It takes 3 minutes from Shichijo station (It’s Keihan line) on foot or takes 10 minuets from Kyoto station on foot. They open everyday 11 a.m. to 12 a.m. Stuff is very friendly. I met same walker with Beer pub Takuiya. He said I was helping at Beer pub Takumiya so if you go to some craft beer’s of Kyoto, you can see same employee. There are more than 50 seats in this pub. They have 2nd floor and outside area so you can choose your favorite seats. Also there is smoking area outside so you can smoke outside.

 

This is IPA from Kyoto (S size 750 yen M size 900 yen L size 1100 yen). You can choose from 12 type of beer. Almost from around Japan. but later time, poplar beer will be sold out so I recommend go there before 6 pm. They have other drinks. You can enjoy to drinking Japanese whiskeys and Kyoto gin.

This is part of food menu. There have variety of food. Also they are sometime doing DJ and events.

In conclusion, we recommend these places. There is good beer, good atmosphere and can meet good people. When I go these places, I always meet somebody and can make friendship ever.