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?

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.

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.

Bread Shop Tour in Kyoto

Yuka Yamazaki Riko Adachi, and Taiga Fukushima

Do you know that Kyoto is actually being evaluated that the level of bread is high in the image of Japanese food? Indeed, long-established shops that have continued since the Showa era also have recently been built Bou Lingerie Kyoto’s bakery shop has many exaggerated shops in materials and manufacturing methods. It is a restaurant that never blows hands and makes careful bread making. It is also a harsh food place. However, there are too many tourists who do not know the bread in Kyoto. Therefore, this time we will introduce a baker who also accepted the chef who knows the taste even in the bakery in Kyoto. And we will teach you how to eat delicious bread, charm.

The first shop is Bremen. This bakery is founded in 1977 and is located in Iwakura. Wooden toys are decorated and breads are arranged in a familiar store. For side dishes popular among junior high school students, consider the health of people who eat up to authentic French bread. Some people visit from other prefectures for the sake of bread being made sincerely. And not only bread but also freely available coffee and homemade bread crumbs service. It is a wonderful consideration. Especially recommended among the many breads is the vegetable Focaccia. Bread using eggplants, lotus root, mushrooms and other seasonal vegetables. It is a dish that is satisfactory enough to eat easily and nourish. It is recommended to bake this bread thoroughly in an oven for about 3 minutes and bake until the edge bread becomes savory. It is near from the station Iwakura Hieidentestu so you can easily go.

The second shop is Fiveran. This bakery is founded in 2015 and located in Karasumaoike. The shop is really fashionable space and easy to enter even by one person. Breads are arranged in a familiar store. For side dishes among Housewife groups and kids, consider the sweets. Some people visit from other prefectures for cream bread. This bread can buy 5 for each. Cream bread is really popular bread in this bakery. Cream bread is a rich cream like a pudding cream bread with a texture that melts dough with fluffy. Fiveran has eat in space so you can take a break of around the walk in Kyoto with Delicious coffee. Cream bread is not the only recommended bread here. Mentaiko French bread is also one of the recommended breads. A popular stick type mentaiko, this is not a French but a little baguette size bread is used and it fills in the mentaiko on the surface and it is packed tightly inside this thoroughfare. It is near from the station Karasumaoikae subway so you can easily go.

The third shop is TAMAKITEI. This bakery is founded in 2015 and located in Uji. The shop is really calm down atmosphere space. The store manager has strong commitment. Breads are manage the dough and check all the stages until baking, continue to make it throughout the day in a fresh state. That is the stance of Tamakitei, refusing to open a department store or opening a store in a commercial facility, and not doing any Internet mail order is stunned. The unnaturally processed food has bad aftertaste and it is bunched into the bread or kneaded in, so no matter how much time it took time to spoil the bread itself.

Domestic production in Tama Tatei, Overseas Production (Europe and Canada) We have selected high-quality materials. You can enjoy a lot of bread not many other bakeries, such as bread using bread and fruit using tea which is a specialty of Uji. Japanese chestnut bread is really popular bread in this shop. It is a fabric of hard system, but it is not too hard, the outside is a crunchy texture. The inside is dusty. Excellent compatibility with Japanese chestnut and condensed cream and bread. It is near the Oubakueki JR Uji so you can easy to go.

How about going to a bakery where you can go soon as you get tired of walking in Kyoto sightseeing and meet your stomach and relax? Please find your favorite bread and have fun with coffee and tea.

Orizuru Kaikan

We will introduce Orizuru Kaikan. Have you heard about Orizuru Kaikan? There are some restaurants in Orizuru Kakan, which is something like a small pub village nearby Saiin Station. Orizuru Kaikan is not one, but several pubs next to one another.

First, there is a standing pub which is called is Sai.


This is a style of pub where people can enjoy drink and dishes while standing. Standing style pubs have become less common recently so you can feel and enjoy Japanese classical atmosphere there.
The prices tend to be cheaper than most Japanese pubs, that’s why Sai has been familiar to people who are around Saiin Station for long time.

According to ‘Tabelog’, the average budget for dinner is between one thousand yen and two thousand yen. It means Sai is actually easy on your wallet.These are some pictures of Sai’s meals:

These are typical Japanese style BBQ (which is called ‘yakitori’).
From left, liver, heart and next picture is a shrimp.

All of these dishes are priced at 110 yen. Moreover, you can drink a glass of beer for 380 yen. This is very cheap when you compare it with other typical Japanese Izakaya. For example, Yakitori Ichiban, which is one of a most popular chain yakitorirestaurants in Kyoto. In this restaurant, a glass of beer is priced at 450 yen. How about Torikizoku which is also one of the very famous Yakitori restaurants in Japan. In Torikizoku the price of beer is 280 yen which is actually lower than ‘Sai’ but the price for meals are all 280 yen. It’s little bit higher than ‘Sai’. (Of course it depends on your order but totally the price is very cheap. Anyway what I want to say is that people hardly had an oppotunities that you meet such a nostalgic Japanese pub so you should visit and feel the Japanese classical atmosphere like ‘Sai’ at least once.

Second, please let’s you know about Kashio Saketen.

That is also a standing pub adjoining Orizuru Kaizan, and must provide you with ideal food at reasonable prices. When you visit this shop for the first time, you might think it only organizes traditional or old-fashioned Japanese food because of the appearance of the building. You also might think it is a bit fretful to enter this shop, because it is a tiny shop and often popular and crowded. Once you step inside Kashio Saketen, however, you would fall in love with its unique atmosphere. Almost all materials of this shop are wood so you can feel Japanese wah. The space is not so wide, so it is easy to communicate with clerks and other customers. They are usually very friendly and kind, and sometimes they tell you their favorite food or drinks in the menu, so it is one option to find your favorite ones.

Kashio Saketen is a Japanese pub so needless to say, you can have various Japanese dishes there. In addition, this shop adopts some ways of cooking (such as smoking, low-temperature cooking) and prepares other countries’ dishes (such as curry or pasta) into Japanese food. These efforts make Kashio Saketen so unique and popular among people. Saketenmeans alcohol drinks shop in English, so the assortment of alcoholic drinks is plentiful. They prepare a lot of sake and shochufrom many Japanese prefectures, and beer, wine and Scotch as well. I often visit this shop and to have food and drink some, but I guess there are so many food and drinks in the menu I have never tried. You might be bewildered the first time you visit this shop because of the abundance of menu items, so I recommend you asking clerks’ suggestions.

I promise all food cooked in Kashio Saketen will satisfy. Some favorite ones are odenand chicken liver cooked in low-temperature. Price is cheap rather than normal, so why don’t you choose Kashio Saketen for your dinner?

Third, we want you to know about “HU” which is one of popular Japanese Izakayas, that we cannot enter without reservations, is open as a second shop around Saiin Station of Hankyu-Kyoto line.

The head shop is also located at Saiin. Those, the head shop and a second shop, are nearby. It takes in 5minutes to get to the head shop from the second shop.

There is a strict atmosphere at Orizuru Hall, and “HU” is located on a bottom of Orizuru Hall. These are causes that people who have never been to Orizuru hall and tourists refrain from entering shops in Orizuru Hall.

But, foods are very high quality like the head office, and inexpensive. Drinks are also inexpensive. In other words, all drinks are offered for not more than 500 yen. Food prices range is approximately from 500-900 yen.If you want to have a good time at HU, you need 2,000 yen at least. This is a pretty good price for food and drink at Saiin, because there are a lot of izakaya at Saiin area but others set a more expensive price.

In HU, there are elaborate and unusual dishes different from the the standard menu items, such as potato salad with blue cheese and fried quail. In my opinion, the customer’s curiosity is aroused by the dishes and I want to try all foods.

HU is often filled with people, so it is best to go there as soon as HU opens. Incidentally, HU is open from 19:00 to 23:00.

Finally, there some other good restaurant in Orizuru Kaikan, so it is worth to visit there. When you go to Saiin Station, why don’t you enter that such a great Sake Villege.

Kyoto Restaurants for a Special Day

by Manaka Tsuneyama, Mayu Nishikawa & Natsumi Nishimura

How would you like to celebrate your friends or family? There are many situations when you need to celebrate, such as birthdays, celebration of achievements, weddings, and getting a new job. Some people prefer to make a surprise for a friend or loved one. Mostly, people may celebrate at their home or restaurant. We recommend that you celebrate at a restaurant in Kyoto because you can make the party a surprise by cooperation with the staff. But maybe it is difficult to choose a special restaurant for our friend’s birthday dinner. You want to enjoy eating good food and seeing a beautiful view. Also, it would be nice to see a night view and a view of rivers like the Kamo-gawa and the Takase-gawa from the restaurant. We have been to some very nice restaurants in Kyoto and want to share our experience. These restaurants’ names are Marcafe, Sunny Café, and Pizza Salvatore Coumo. You can enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of Kyoto while having a good time with your friends at all three of these places.

Marcafe

There are some special things about Marcafe. For example, this restaurant has a history of over 100 years. Also, you can see the Kamogawa (Kamo River) and the Higashiyama area of town while enjoying your meal. The Kamogawa is the most famous river in Kyoto. It is loved by many people because we can experience the feeling of each season as it changes. For example, there are cherry blossoms in the spring, people playing in the river in the summer, autumn colors in the fall, and bird watching in winter. In addition, the Higashiyama area has famous buildings such as Kiyomizu temple and Ginkakuji temple. If you want to see these famous temples while you eat, we recommend Marcafe.

Inside the restaurant, you’ll notice a vintage interior as soon as you enter. You can feel an open atmosphere full of antique furniture. In fact, each chair and table is unique, so you can enjoy the feeling of a special atmosphere. Marcafe also has a big window through which you can enjoy seeing a beautiful view, both in the day and at night. In addition, there is terrace seat. And if you make a reservation, you can eat the birthday course meal, which includes an appetizer, a main dish and a birthday desert plate. For example, this might be a caesar salad, roast beef, cheese fondue, pasta and a special desert. Especially, the cheese fondue is delicious because it uses Kyoto-grown vegetables and other seasonal vegetables. You can enjoy a rich taste cheese while talking about your funny personal stories. Also, you can request a message to be included with your desert plate, which consists of cream brulee, chiffon cake, a blueberry tart, and a cookie. You can hold a celebration at Marcafe for someone important to you with their special celebration plan.

Sunny Café

The Sunny Café is on the top floor of a building, so you can see the beautiful scene of Sanjyo street, which is a prosperous place with many people, heavy traffic and a lot of stores. But when you open the door to the Sunny Café, you can feel relaxed in a stylish atmosphere. This restaurant is perfect for adults, as there is a bar counter seat where you can enjoy drinking many kinds of alcohol, like wine, whiskey, beer and cocktails. This restaurant’s birthday course is a little expensive, however. But all dishes made by chef are delicious. The Japanese black beef grill steak is the most popular dish at the Sunny Café. It has a tender texture and a special flavor, so this beef is loved by everyone in Japan.

Also, the Sunny Café is near the Kamogawa, so you can sit at a table facing the famous river. This restaurant’s main course includes hors d’oeuvres, steamed vegetables and a main dish, which is often Japanese black beef grill steak. The seasonable pasta is fresh pasta. Finally, the waiter will bring a desert on a stone plate with a live sparkler. When the waiter brings the desert, the restaurant’s background music changes to the birthday song. Therefore, we can celebrate a special day for a friend or loved one. The Sunny Café features a stylish space and delicious food. The birthday dessert plate is also very good. And the waiters will take a picture for you, so you can remember your experience forever.

Pizza Salvatore Coumo

If you want to taste genuine pizza, we recommend Pizza Salvatore Coumo. This restaurant is right next to the Takasegawa (Takase River), which was made famous by a Japanese short story called, Takasebune, written by Ogai Mori. He is one of the greatest novelists in Japan. Takasebune is about the rights and wrongs of euthanasia, so you will be interested in this historical river. Even before entering the restaurant, you can smell the aroma of baked pizza in the air. The grand pizza oven catches your eye as soon as you enter the restaurant, and you can see the open kitchen.

Many foreign tourists come here to dine. They tend to choose terrace seats, because they want to enjoy the unusual, but pleasurable feeling of being right next to the river. However, the inside of the restaurant is nice, too. You can enjoy the feeling of a relaxed atmosphere in Kyoto.

In terms of food, the pizza baked in their authentic pizza oven is the best dish on the menu. The offer many kinds of pizza. They are made by an Italian chef called Pizzaiolo, so this is a traditional method. We recommend the standard margarita pizza, four kinds of cheese with honey pizza, and the Marinara made with four kinds of tomatoes, basil and garlic. They also serve an award-winning pizza from the World Neapolitan Pizza Competition called D.O.C. It is made with cherry tomatoes, basil, mozzarella and grana Padano. You will feel as if you are in Italy when eating such a great pizza.

There are many other items on the menu, like classic penne, cream gnocchi, pepperoncino, and shrimp and mushroom ajillo. Moreover, there are various other tasty things to nibble on. Why don’t you have a few drinks while celebrating your special day? After you finish the main dish, the chef will prepare for you a desert plate with a special message and illustration. Your friends will certainly be pleased with this special plate. It’s perfect for celebrating with friends or family.

Conclusion

As you can see, Marcafe, Sunny Café and Pizza Salvatore Coumo are each great restaurants to visit on a special day. You can enjoy both eating great food and seeing beautiful sights, such as a night view of the river in Kyoto while eating dinner. We promise you will have a memorable time.

Access

Marcafe

The opening hours 11:30~24:00

Kiyomizu-gojyo station 4 minutes on foot

Kawaramachi station 8minutes on foot

Sunny Café

The opening hours lunch: 11:30~15:00, dinner: 17:00~23:30

Sanjyo station 3 minutes on foot

Pizza Salvatore Coumo

The opening hours lunch: 11:00~15:30, dinner: 17:00~23:00

Sanjyo station 3minutes on foot

Kyotoshiyakushomae station 3minutes on foot

Japanese Sweets of Kyoto origin

by Kanae Hamano & Shiho Fujinami

Do you know about the Japanese sweets called, wagashi? Wagashi is a whole category of confectionary made using traditional production techniques in Japan. In addition, Kyoto is famous for wagashi, as there are many well-established Japanese sweet shops throughout the city.

About Wagashi

Wagashi is a term used to differentiate traditional Japanese sweets from European-style confectionary, which first made its appearance in Japan after the Meiji period. Wagashi includes mochigashi (Japanese rice cake), youkan (azuki bean jelly), manju (sweet buns) and senbei (rice crackers). Wagashi rarely uses oil, fat, spice or dairy products in comparison with European-style confectionery. Instead, grains, beans, starch and sugar are its main ingredients. Also, green tea is commonly used to make Wagashi. Finally, wagashi is closely associated with the four seasons of the year. This is because it is often used for annual functions and as gifts in Japan.

History of Wagashi

In 1800, an envoy from China, named Kentoshi, brought some sweets to Japan. One of those was danki, which was a fried sweet with persimmons, chestnuts, and apricot with black sugar. It was the first time for sugar to come to Japan. In modern times, Japanese people eat yokan with Japanese green tea. But originally, yokan from China contained mutton and was eaten with meat soup. When the Chinese envoy brought yokan to Japan, Japanese people avoided eating meat. So, the Japanese substituted azuki (red beans) for the mutton. In the latter half of 1500, Christian culture had begun to take root in Japan. At that time, kasutera (Japanese sponge cake), was brought in by Portugal. Once in Japan, these sweets spread all over the country. These are the origins of wagashi.Below are some famous wagashi shops in Kyoto.

Mangetsu (満月)

The first shop is Mangetsu, which is a famous shop founded in 1856. It specializes in making Ajarimochi, which is a specific type of manju. Manju itself is a traditional Japanese sweet made by wrapping flavored ingredients, such as azuki bean (red bean) jam in kneaded dough made from wheat or other ingredients. Ajarimochi, however, is baked and it consists of sweet bean paste sandwiched between chewy dough. The bean paste in Ajarimochi is tsubuan (mashed sweet bean paste) made from Tanba dinagon azuki , which is a local red bean of a large grain. It also happens to be very delicious and very affordable. Just one piece costs 108 yen. It is wonderful that you can taste something so delicious, yet so inexpensive. In addition, there are sets of 10 pieces for 1,188 yen, 15 pieces for 1,836 yen, 30 pieces for 3,456 yen, and so on. The expiration date is only five days from the date of manufacture, and it is possible to store it at normal temperature. We recommend you to buy it as a souvenir, but it should eaten soon.

Mangetsu(満月)

 

 

 

 

Tsuruyayoshinobu (鶴屋吉信)

In 1803, this Japanese confectionary store was founded in Kyoto. It is famous for yokan, which is like a bar of gelatinous sweet bean paste. One of its main characteristics is that its design and taste are associated with the 4 seasons. They are also iconic of Kyoto confectionary, so you can experience Kyoto by eating yokan. This shop is famous for not only yokan, but also kyokanze, which is a Japanese sweet shaped like a spiral, giving an image of water ripples. The black part is Ogura bean paste and the light-colored part is a type of candy called murasame. It is a wagashi which allows us to enjoy its texture. One piece is sold for 260 yen. It is a representative wagashi of this shop. The taste of Kyokanze changes with the seasons, so you can enjoy the taste of each season when you visit in Kyoto at different times of the year.

Tsuruyayosinobu(鶴屋吉信)

 

 

 

 

Toraya (虎屋)

This shop was founded in Kyoto in the late Muromachi period (1338-1573) and has been in business for five centuries. Currently it is opening stores in Tokyo, too. They are famous for their yokan. They offer many flavors, so you can get your favorite taste. In addition to Yokan, they also sell monaka (red-bean-paste-filled wafers), baked goods, and green tea. Each monaka has a nicknames, for example Yasaka, which is the most basic one. It is made by stuffing sweet bean paste into chrysanthemum shaped leather. ‘Yasaka’ means flourish and because the chrysanthemum flower is a noble and congratulatory flower, so it was named Yasaka (弥栄). Therefore, if you celebrate someone or some event, I recommend you to purchase it.

Toraya(虎屋)

 

 

 

 

Shop Information

Mangetsu (満月)

Address Imadegawa Marikouzidori, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto-city, Kyoto prefecture

Phone number: 075-791-4121

Business hours: 9:00-18:00

Nearest station about 7 minutes on foot from Keihan Demachiyanagi station

 

Tsuruyayoshinobu (鶴屋吉信)

Address Imadegawadori Horikawa Nishi, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto-city, Kyoto prefecture

Phone number: 075-441-0105

Business Hours: 9:00-18:00

Nearest station about 10 minutes on foot from Kyoto subway Imadegawa station

 

Toraya (虎屋)

Address 415 Hirohashidono-cho, Ichizyokado, Karasumadori, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto-city, Kyoto prefecture

Phone number: 075-441-3111

Business hours: 9:00-19:00 (weekdays)

9:00-18:00 (weekends, holidays)

Nearest station about 7 minutes on foot from Kyoto subway Imadegawa station

Ramen of Saiin

by Kanae Hamano & Shiho Fujinami

About Saiin in Kyoto

What do you imagine when you were asked for famous foods in Kyoto? You will imagine a lots of food like Matcha or Japanese confectioneries and so on. However, ramen is the famous food in Kyoto. Not many people know about that.

In this time, we are going to introduce about history of Kyoto ramen and three ramen shops at Saiin in Kyoto where we recommend. Saiin is located near Kawaramachi of the sightseeing spot. And Hankyu train and the bus go along this town and it is easy to access. Also there are some university in Saiin area, for example Kyoto university of foreign studies and Kyoto Koka woman’s university. So there are a lot of cheep and yummy restaurants in this area.

About Ramen

First, the ramen in Kyoto is thick type of soup. That is common. As history of Kyoto ramen, according to Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum, Kyoto ramen was started by Chinese man in 1938. That person opened a ramen shop called “Shinpukusaikan” near Kyoto station. It is the start of Kyoto ramen. After that, the number of ramen shop gradually increased.

Shinpukusaikan(新福菜館

The first ramen shop is “Shinpukusaikan” There are just one kind of taste.That is one of the shops that surely(definitely) comes out if you search with Kyoto ramen. There are 5 stores in Kyoto. There are so many people who come all the way from a distance. This shop is famous as a shop that became the origin of Kyoto ramen. It is that has a lot of history.We visited to the Tenjingawa branch in Saiin area. Inside of the shop makes us nostalgic. A pitch black soup is characteristic. This ramen shop is famous not only ramen but also fried rice. There are 7 set menus; setA ( regular size ramen and fride rice), setB (small ramen and regular size fride rice), setC (ramen, fride rice and gyoza), Fried chicken set menu, Korokke (fried mashed potato) set menu, Pork cutlet set menu and Ground meat cutlet set menu. You can choose favorite one from these set menu and you can add more toppings. The best thing of all, the price is very cheap. Set menu is all 950yen. And you can take out ramen, fried rice, gyoza and so on.

Shinpukusaikan Ramen

 

Yakiniku no buru(焼肉ノぶる)

The second restaurant is Yakiniku-no-buru. Yakiniku means Japanese barbecue. Do you know that ramen of Japanese yakiniku restaurant is so tasty? This restaurant is a Japanese yakiniku restaurant not a ramen restaurant. But this place is a so famous at Saiin area for having delicious ramen. There are two kinds of tail ramen and yukgaejang ramen. Of course, it’s available to order only ramen.

Tail Ramen

This ramen is based white soup. This soup is condensed umami(delicious taste) because it’s stewed for three days. This place is a Japanese Yakiniku restaurant that’s why can offer. Also, tail is stewed spending a long time and it’s soft.

Tail Ramen for 1050 yen

 

Yukgaejang Ramen

Yokgaejang is Korean spicy meal with beef and some vegetables. This ramen has a very red and gives a strong impact. But it combines not only spicy but also umami(delicious taste). And it has a lot of ingredients such as egg and bean sprouts, so it gives a sense of satisfaction. For those who love spicy foods, cannot contain yourself for joy.

Yugaejang Ramen for 950 yen

 

Toritani(鶏谷)

The third restaurant is Toritani. This restaurant is a relatively new one opened in 2014. However, it’s so popular year by year. And this place is liked by many students of Kyoto university of foreign studies because it’s near university and Saiin station. Also, it’s often full and you may wait for a while.Ramen has five kinds and side menu has two kinds.

Torisoba

There are various kinds of torisoba such as rich taste (kotteri) and rough taste (assari). Every ramen has a soft char-siu chicken, you can enjoy chicken. Soup of rough taste torisoba is lightly but you can feel the taste of chicken tightly. Tori means chicken and soba means noodle, so Torisoba means chicken ramen.

Torisoba

Mazesoba

This ramen restaurant is popular mazesoba besides torisoba. This has ginger as a very good accent. The combination of mazesoba and torimeshi is the best. Mazesoba is that it is not include soup, so you can eat mixed them with dipping sauce. And torimeshi is chicken rice.

Mazesoba

Torimeshi

 

There are a lot of famous hotspots for ramen in Kyoto. Unfortunately, Saiin is not well known. But there are many great ramen restaurants that we know that’s why we are students of Kyoto university of foreign studies at Saiin area. Please try to eat the cheap and delicious ramen that Kyoto is proud.

Access

Shinpukusaikan

Adress: 33 Umezu Minami hiromachi, Ukyo-ku,kyoto-city, kyoto prefecture

Nearest station: 10 minutes on foot from the Randen-Tenjingawa station

Phone number: 075-864-9728

Regular holiday: Wednesday

Business hours: 11:00~23:00 (LO22:40)

Yakiniku no buru

Address: 2F 36-11 Kitayake-chou, Saiin, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto-city, Kyoto prefecture

Nearest station: 3 minutes on foot from Hankyu Saiin station

Phone number: 075-925-9029

Regular holiday: Thursday

Business hours: 18:00~01:00(LO 00:00)

Credit card: VISA, Master Card, JCB, American Express, Diners Club

Website: http://www.yakinikunobull.com/sp_saiin/

Toritani

Address: 1-22 Shijoubata-chou, Saiin, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto city, Kyoto prefecture

Nearest station: 7 minutes on feet from Keihuku Arashiyama line Yamanouchi station

15 minutes on feet from Hankyu Saiin station

Phone number: 075-754-7969

Regukar holiday: Monday

Business hours: on weekday 11:30~14:30/18:00~22:00

on holiday 11:30~15:00/18:00~22:00

Credit card: unavailable (only cash)

Demachi Futaba – Traditional Sweets Shop

by Misaki Horita & Yusa Inoue

What kind of Japanese food are you interested in? There are many Japanese foods that are popular among many foreigners in Japan, for example, sushi, udon noodles, tempura, flour-based foods, andso on. Certainly, these Japanese foods are very tasty and highly popular among foreigners. However, many foreigners do not know about Japanese confectionery culture. Meanwhile, there is a store in Kyoto that has been specializing in Japanese confectionery for almost 200 years. Founded in 1823, it is called Demachi Futaba, and it is located in the Demachiyanagiregion of the city. Since then, the store has been making Japanese confectionery by traditional methods. This store has been chosen as the most delicious Japanese confectionery for the fourth consecutive year at the Japanese Confectionery Competition in Kyoto. Also, this store has been given many awards at the Japanese confectionary competition in Japan.

Rice Cake with Beans

Because Demachi Futaba is so famous, there are often long rows of people waiting in line to buy their products, even on weekdays. There are usually 10 types of items for sale on any given day in Demachi Futaba. The most popular item is a rice cake with beans. This Japanese confectionery has lots of sweet bean paste inside the rice cake. And the rice cake is covered with big black beans. The white color of the rice cake and black color of the beans create an excellent color balance. Also, the texture is so soft that it feels like a cheek of a baby. However, rice cakes have elasticity. The taste is very elegant. This rice cake with beans uses good quality rice with salted beans that balance the sweet bean paste. This rice cake with beans has a very good balance of taste all around.

A rice cake with beans

It is one of the most wonderful Japanese sweets among the many in Japan. Therefore, all people can enjoy the rice cake with beans of Demachi Futaba, from children to old people alike. However, as soon as you buy this sweet, you must eat it right away. These kind of Japanese sweets don’t keep for a long time. So, it may not be suitable as a souvenir for someone the day after. This short shelf life is because this Japanese confectionery is using a delicate technology. It is an advanced technique of craftsmen who have developed it over many years. I recommend eating your freshly bought rice cake with beans on the banks of the nearby Kamoriver. Eating a rice cake with beans while watching the beautiful view next to the river is particularly special. This Japanese confectionery can also be bought at department stores in Kyoto Station. However, you cannot buy it in other places except Demachi Futaba and department store in Kyoto station. Therefore, we can understand that craftsmen value the quality of rice cake with beans.

Enjoy with the Five Senses

There are many types of Japanese sweets other than bean cake in Demachi Futaba. For example, pink-colored sweet rice cake wrapped in a cherry leaf, rice cake stuffed with sweet adzuki paste and wrapped in an oak leaf, three color dumplings, and so on. The appearance of rice cake with beans is very simple. However, these other Japanese confectioneries are more colorful and beautiful than a simple rice cake with beans. They are especially popular amongst women, and can be enjoyed with eyes in addition to our tongues. The colors of pink, green and yellow stimulate our appetite.

Three color dumpling

Furthermore, this shop also has seasonal Japanese confectionery. A lot of foreigners can experience the aesthetic qualities of the four seasons of Japan. If there are no seasons in your country, we would like you the experience the seasons of Japan through the Japanese confectionery of Demachi Futaba. This store is a special place for foreigners who are interested in Japanese food culture. Please visit to experience the appearance, flavor, seasons of Japan.

Information of Demachi Futaba

Demachi Futaba is one of the most famous Japanese confectionery stores in Kyoto. So, this store can have long lines, even on weekdays. You should except to stand in line for at least 15 to 30 minutes. But it is no matter, as you will surely will be satisfied with the taste, appearance, flavor of the sweets. A lot of people say, it is worth lining up for. And the price is also reasonable. I think easy for anyone to buy sweets there, so it is popular among all generations. And although Demachi Futaba is a little away from the center of Kyoto, it is still easy toaccess because it is very near the train station and the bus stop.

In sum, Demachi Futaba is a place where you can learn Japanese traditional Japanese confectionery culture. If you are interested in Japanese confectionary culture, you should go to Demachi Futaba.

Access

Keihan Railway, Demachiyanagi station. It’s a 7-minute walk to the west. Cross the Kamoriver and Kamo bridge

Kyoto city bus, Aoibashi Nishizumie bus stop. It’s 2-minute walk to south. And Kawaramachi Imadegawa bus stop. It’s 3-minute walk to northwest.

Opening time:              8:30
Closing time:             17:30
Regular holidays:    Tuesday, the fourth Wednesday
Seats:              Only takeout