Old Schools as the ‘New Kyoto’

August 6, 2018

Background

At present, Japan has an aging population and declining birthrate problem. Therefore, the government has been closing about 500 schools a year. Rather than let these buildings go to waste, the closed schools are being revamped into new places such as welfare facilities, hotels, community centers and so on. The closed school sites are attractive plots of land in Kyoto due to it being a crowded city that sits in a basin. The densely populated situation in the city center means that any large spaces are far and few between. Plus, the school buildings themselves have historical value.

There are 3 main advantages of using old school buildings. First, the ample space can be used effectively, for example, holding seminars in the classrooms and enjoying sports in the gymnasium or outdoor ground. Second, by using existing facilities, new ventures can significantly decrease their costs. Finally, the site of a former school is designated as cultural property as a historic building, so they should be maintained as such. The Kyoto Art Center and Comic Museum in Kyoto are both housed on old school sites. On the other hand, there are demerits too. These old schools need repair work which means they are not always easy to use as a welfare facility or for social gatherings. They also need a lot of money to look after them. As explained, using these sites has various problems which need to be considered carefully.

 

Renovations

Currently, even in the center of Kyoto, there are 10 sites where elementary schools used to be. These buildings have been turned into libraries, hospitals, homes for the elderly, NPO offices, museums, cafés and spaces for volunteer activities. Kyoto International Manga Museum is a famous museum for overseas visitors. Inside there is a café, shop, exhibition room and memorial hall about the old elementary school. Before this site was used as a museum, it used to be Tatsuike Elementary School. The wooden floors and stairs faced of stone and tiles still remain. The floor creaks under your feet when you step on it, giving sweet memories of times gone by but in a modern setting. Moreover, visitors can read various comics and books in the surroundings of an old school. In one of the buildings, there is still the principal’s office. You can see the main terrace by the playground from the window in this office.

Kyoto Art Center used to be Meirin Elementary School. You can see the design of floats that were used for traditional feasts in Kyoto in front of the building. There is a large tatami mat -156 square yards- which adds to the traditional Japanese atmosphere. This facility also has a library, cafe and workspace for art. The management of the facility wanted to revive Kyoto, so they established the center in the old school. In 2008, there was some resistance to use the site as a cultural property, but this school was used carefully for a long time by the people in the neighborhood. Even now, a lot of people go there to learn and see the art, drink something and catch up.

The Department of Administration in Kyoto City Hall has beautifully renovated these old elementary schools into new facilities with thoughtful consideration of the local community. Elementary school buildings create fond memories for many children and adults, so it is important that the new facilities do not destroy old memories.

 

Future of old schools

Finally, let’s take a look at some future plans for reusing old school sites. Until now, old schools in Kyoto have been transformed into new facilities through a careful renovation process that does not break up the existing buildings, creating spaces for bustling communities and thriving cultural exchange. Planners care about the thoughts of the local community more than anything else and intend to continue this way in the future. They have to observe the rules made by the city. For example, stores that are built inside of these old schools must be local business’ that have a link to Kyoto’s traditions. As a result, local people who have affection for the old school buildings agree to the new utilization plans. As an example, there is the case of Rissei Elementary School. It is located in Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto and closed in 1993. This school will be renovated by 2020 and opened as a new complex that includes a hotel, café, library, resident committee meeting space among others with the cooperation of the city, local self-governing associations and real estate companies. Furthermore, a similar cultural complex will be opened in 2021 at the site of Shirakawa Elementary School in Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto. In this complex, planners intend to build shops that exhibit and sell Kyoto’s traditional crafts, a garden where local people can feel free to gather, and a hotel where guests can experience Kyoto’s culture. You will be able to see a lot more renovated buildings with new cultural complexes that protect the old school buildings. The purpose of the old schools can live on through these reconstruction projects.

Vegetable brand “Kyoyasai” worth trying

Risa Uemura, Mika Nakajima and Mai Hayakawa

What are kyoyasai ?

Kyoto is far from the sea, so it was hard for people to get seafood a long time ago. That’s why people living in Kyoto used to eat mainly vegetables. 1,000 years ago, local people presented the Emperor, who used to live in Kyoto, with several vegetables grown in other prefectures in Japan. Then these vegetables were grown in Kyoto and became good quality thanks to the climate, clean water and cultivation methods there. This was the beginning of Kyoyasai and Kyoto’s speciality vegetables. Even now, some of these vegetables are still grown using the same traditional methods.

There are several requirements for vegetables to be registered as kyoyasai. To suit the image of Kyoto, they have to ship to other prefectures, and must consistently meet the quality standards. Farmers must avoid using pesticides under the Kyoto Kodawari cultivation rules. Also, only types of vegetables that have been grown before the Meiji era are allowed to be called kyoyasai. These special vegetables are used in restaurants and even at home for cooking.  Recently, scientists discovered that “Kyoyasai has an original smell, taste and colors. Furthermore, they have many health benefits such as preventing cancer and keeping a healthy weight as they are low in calories.”

 

Kyoto vegetables which you can try now

Currently, there are twenty types of Kyoto vegetables registered. Some of them are available to harvest all-year round, and some are only available at certain times of the year. Kyoto Mizuna (pother mustard), Kujo green onions, and Mibuna (similar to pother mustard) are grown all-year. Kyoto Mizuna has leaves with a deep slit, and has a crisp texture. It can be cooked in various ways in a range of dishes, for example, with deep-fried bean curd (tofu), dishes prepared in seasoned broth, salads, and can be made into delicious light pickles. Kyoto’s famous springtime vegetable is takenoko (bamboo shoots), also called shiroko. Compared to other bamboo shoots, these have a sweeter taste, and the texture is fleshy and soft. In summer, shishigatani kabocha (pumpkin) is popular. It has a rough shape, like Japanese gourd. Due to its shape, it is sometimes used like a plate, with other food placed on top. An example dish is shishigatani kabocha, which is pumpkin stuffed with minced beef. The shape is unique, so people also use it for its appearance. Fall in Kyoto brings eggplants and chillies to the kitchen. They have various shapes, sizes, and other individual features. There are many Kyoto vegetables harvested in the winter. Above all, the most famous vegetables are kintoki ningin (carrot), Horikawa gobo (burdock) and seigoin daikon (radish). Kintoki ningin carrots are bright red from the surface to the inside. Therefore, they are used to add color to winter dishes such as miso soup and osechi (Japanese New Year’s cuisine). The burdock is bigger compared to normal burdock and has a hollow trunk. So, they soak up surrounding flavors. Seigoin daikons do not taste bitter; instead they have a faintly sweet flavor, so they are often used in oden (Japanese hotpot with assorted ingredients like radish, tofu, or boiled egg). Of all the Kyoto vegetables, the most famous are Kujo green onions and Kyoto Mizuna because they are well known and available to harvest all year.

 

Recommended stores and restaurants for Kyoto vegetables

Finally, we would like to introduce several cafes and restaurants where you can eat Kyoto vegetables. We recommend three restaurants in Kyoto. Isoya on Sanjyo is a casual restaurant where you can eat grilled Kyoto vegetables with an original sauce, a selection of salt, or Miso (bean paste condiment). In the restaurant, fresh Kyoto vegetables which were picked that morning are lined up, and a chef cooks those in front of you. So, you can enjoy eating different Kyoto vegetables and cuisines depending on the day you visit. If you go Isoya, we recommend you reserve in advance.

Gion abbesses on Gion Shijyo is located in an old Kyoto townscape. It is a luxury French restaurant, and you can try authentic French cuisine with colorful Kyoto vegetables. There are more than 150 kinds of wines including natural wines in this restaurant, and you can consult with a wine sommelier.

Obase on Sanjyo. It is a Japanese style restaurant in a renovated kyo-machiya (a traditional tile-roofed wooden house structure with mud walls and an inner garden, built using a framework construction method). This restaurant is very particular about the interior because it chose pieces of furniture to match the traditional building. You can eat original Japanese and Western course meals with Japanese tableware and chopsticks.

We introduced three restaurants where you can eat Kyoto vegetables in a wide variety of dishes. Kyo-branded Products Association (Public Interest Group Corporation) has certified formal Kyoto vegetable dealers in the metropolitan area and the Kinki area as bases for consumption promotion and sales promotion. Now, twenty-five stores in the metropolitan area and twenty-four stores in the Kinki area are certified, and you can easily get Kyoto vegetables at those stores. On the Kyo-branded Products Association’s official site, a lot of cooking recipes using Kyoto vegetables have been released. If you are interested in those dishes, please try cooking them yourself at home!

 

The Hottest Ramen Noodles in Kyoto

by Kensei Iizuka, Yuta Kobayashi, Takanori Tsuhako

As you know, there is a lot of delicious food in Kyoto. In this article, we are going to tell you about the noodles. Kyoto, especially Kyoto City, is one of the most famous places for noodles in Japan. That is why there are a lot of great noodle restaurants here. In this article, we will introduce you to Menya-Kirameki: a really famous noodle restaurant on Kyoto Sanjo and part of the Kirameki chain of noodle restaurants in Kyoto. We will introduce other Kirameki restaurants at the end of this article. If you want to get more information about the Kirameki Group, please check them out.

Menya-Kirameki Kyoto Sanjo 

Taiwanese Spicy Soupless Noodles

The most famous noodle dish in Kirameki is their Taiwanese Soupless Noodles. This dish was born in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture in 2008. It was created from meals that were prepared for the staff of a Taiwanese restaurant in Nagoya. The Taiwanese owner used to serve these soupless noodles only for his employees until one day a customer saw them and asked him to put it on the regular menu. The owner tried to add some spices to make it tastier because it was a simple dish compared to other items on the menu in this restaurant. The dish contains ground meat seasoned with some spices that are placed on the top of super thick noodles. It also has fish meal, leeks, Chinese chives and fresh egg yolk. The way to eat it is straightforward: you just mix all the ingredients to taste them together. You might be surprised by the flavors when you eat this for the first time. However, we are sure that you will like it more and more as you continue to eat. When you have finished eating, it is recommended that you put a small cup of rice into your noodle bowl that still has some flavor from the spices. This is called “shime” in Japanese, and it is meant to refresh your mouth. To put it simply, it plays the role of brushing your teeth. By eating a bowl of plain white rice, you can ‘clean up’ the remaining flavors in your mouth. In Kirameki, you can get a small cup of rice for free when you order Taiwanese Soupless Noodles. It is okay to put the rice into your noodle bowl at the end of eating, and it is great to eat the noodles and rice together. It definitely makes you full and satisfied. But, please take care of the smell of your breath after eating Taiwanese Soupless Noodles! Those are some spicy flavors!

 

 

Chicken Bone White Broth Noodles with Soy Sauce

There is a wide range of noodles in Kyoto. Most noodle restaurants in Kyoto specialize in ‘rich noodles.’ Kyoto is called the “Student City” because there are many universities in Kyoto City. Students want to feel full and satisfied for as little money as possible. That is why many noodle restaurants are serving ‘rich noodles’ to make students-the main customers-feel satisfied. Kirameki serves ‘rich noodles.’ The soup in this dish is made from chicken bones. It takes a long time to produce the umami flavors from the chicken bones. Umami is made from the chicken bones and adjusted for taste.When you eat ‘rich noodles,’ at first, try a spoonful of just the soup and enjoy each original rich flavor. Secondly, pick up some of the noodles and eat them together with the rich soup. The noodles are all made from Japanese flour called yumemanten, which is made in Nagano Prefecture. They are really thick and chewy. Most people fall in love with these divine noodles due to their texture. Also, you can enjoy some awesome toppings such as slices of roasted pork, juicy menma (bamboo shoots), shredded green onions, and a slice of lemon. They make these noodles even tastier.

 

Chicken Bone Noodles

As well as their soy sauce dishes, Kirameki also serves noodles that have a delightful salty taste. This dish is very similar to the soy sauce options. However, the color of the soup is a little different. These dishes have a special handmade sauce that contains salt made from fresh sea water from Vietnam and France. You can taste the natural flavor of the salt, which gives you a very different taste to the soy sauce noodles. It would be great to share two noodles with others if you go to Kirameki with your friends. Comparing two flavors is just one way of enjoying noodle restaurants and becoming an expert in Japanese noodles!

 

Golden Noodles with Sesame Sauce

In Japan, especially in Kyoto, the temperature reaches up to about 38 degrees in the summer. It is said that the summer climate in Kyoto is worse than a desert. Someone might say “I don’t want to get hot food on such a humid day.” But, for those people who need to cool down in the coming summer season eating noodles can be a great option. Golden noodles with sesame sauce is a dish of cold spicy noodles. It has plenty of shredded meat on top and also some peanuts. The peanuts play an important role in this dish. The sweet taste of the peanuts balances the spiciness. In Kirameki, this dish is served only in the summer. It would be the perfect noodle dish for anyone who really wants to eat noodles even on a hot day. Although we concentrated on Kirameki noodle restaurants this time, enjoy discovering and experimenting with a variety of noodle restaurants around Kyoto. You may be able to find a special noodle restaurant that your friends don’t know, and can be your noodle heaven.

【Access】

There are six Kirameki restaurants in Kyoto:

1. Kirameki-no-tori

This was the first Kirameki restaurant opened in Kyoto. If you visit Kyoto Imperial Palace, Kirameki-no-tori is nearby. The opening hours are 11:00-15:00, and 18:00-23:00. The telephone number is 075-231-2505.

2. Yuhi-no-kirameki

This was the second Kirameki restaurant. If you visit Ichijoji, or Takaragaike, it is nearby. The opening hours are 11:00-15:00, and 18:00-23:00. The telephone number is 075-746-5388.

3. Kirameki Chicken Heart

This is Kirameki’s third restaurant. It is near Kyoto University of Foreign Studies. If you visit Arashiyama, you can go there by bus. The nearest bus stop is Shijo-kadono-oji, which takes about 15 minutes from Arashiyama. The opening hours are 11:00-14:30, and 18:00-22:30. The telephone number is 075-754-6388.

4. Kirameki ☆ JAPAN

Kirameki ☆ JAPAN, the fourth Kirameki restaurant, is near Demachi-yanagi Station and Kyoto University. Take the Keihan Railway and get off at Demachi-yanagi Station. It is easy to get there. The opening hours are 11:00-14:30, and 18:00-22:30. The Telephone number is 075-741-7174.

5. Komugi-no-kirameki

This is the fifth Kirameki restaurant. The nearest station is Kamikatsura, and Katsura. Kamikatsura is on the Hankyu Arashiyama Line. You could visit here before or after visiting Arashiyama. The opening hours are 11:00-22:30. The telephone number is 075-874-4411.

6. Menya-Kirameki -Kyoto Sanjo Street

This is the sixth Kirameki restaurant and the head restaurant of Kirameki. If you visit Kawaramachi, you can visit here. Head to north from Hankyu Kawaramachi Station. It takes about ten minutes on foot. The opening hours are 11:00-23:30. The telephone number is 075-744-6199.

Great Bread around Karasuma Station

by Kensei Iizuka, Yuta Kobayashi and Takanori Tsuhako

As you know, Kyoto has a lot of traditional Japanese food that is popular with tourists. However, do you know that bread is really popular with people in Kyoto? In fact, bread consumption in Kyoto is No.1 in Japan. The reason why bread is so popular in Kyoto is due to its connection with craftsmen. There are a lot of busy craftsmen in Kyoto and bread is really easy for them to eat when they are working. In this article, we are going to introduce some great bakeries near Karasuma Station. This area is really flourishing so you can find not only bakeries but also many nice shops such as souvenir shops, clothing store and so on. Enjoy the metropolitan side of Kyoto and great local bread in this area.

Sizuya

 

 

Sizuya is a famous bakery, which since 1948, has captured the hearts of Kyoto residents. Anyone who was born or grew up in Kyoto can’t but love their bread. There are 22 locations in Kyoto prefecture and the site that we visited this time is located in Shijo-Karasuma in the very heart of the city. This shop is very accessible as it is inside Shijo-Karasuma Station, and you can find it quickly as soon as you exit from the ticket gates. The most famous bread in Sizuya is the Karne -a sandwich with ham, fresh onion and soft margarine. It is very simple but delicious.

Shinshindo

 

 

Shinshindo is known as a bakery pioneer in Kyoto. It was established in 1913, making it 35 years older than Sizuya and the oldest bakery in Kyoto. There are 12 locations in Kyoto; however, some stores don’t just sell bread. Some have a restaurant where you can enjoy lunch or dinner, and others have a coffee shop inside where you can enjoy super fresh bread and excellent coffee. You can walk there in about 5 minutes from Hankyu-Karasuma Station, so you can take a break and enjoy great bread and coffee before or after exploring Shijo. The most popular bread in Shinshindo is said to be their rich buttery croissant. Outside is very crunchy and the inside is super soft. The beautiful flavor of the butter spreads out in your mouth as soon as you bite it. It must be one of the best croissants in Kyoto.

 

Grandir Kyoto


 

This bakery has a cool and trendy appearance with a simple black exterior, and inside there is a wide range of bread on display. Grandir Kyoto opened about 30 years ago and specializes in bagels and panini. People who want to eat a nice bagel or fresh panini should visit there. There are 5 locations in Kyoto and also 3 locations in Nagoya. The shop that we visited is near Kyoto-Shiyakusho-Mae Station (Subway- Tozai Line) and is easy to get to from Kawaramachi or Karasuma. When you open the stylish door and go in, you are surrounded by the pleasant smell of fresh bread. You can choose from a lot of different kinds of bagels as you can see in the photo: cocoa, cream cheese and so on. Just picking which bagel you want is fun. You can also order fresh paninis which the shop staff make to order in front of you. So, you can enjoy a really tasty fresh panini there.

 

Kin-iro Kyoto

Kin-iro Kyoto, was launched just recently in April 2018. It is getting a lot of attention from young people. There are only two kinds of bread, both of which are cream buns. One is called kin-iro which has rich cream and plenty of Canadian honey. It looks really gorgeous because it is decorated with pieces of gold leaf on the top. The other cream bun is called kuro-iro. Kuro means “black” in Japanese, so it is a black cream bun with cacao and coffee in the bread dough. Inside of the bun, you can taste Guatemala coffee’s honey in the custard and cream made from high-class eggs from Oita prefecture. The harmonization of the bread dough made by cocoa and coffee with the rich cream will blow your tongue away!

Kyoto Bakery Market

This bakery is perfect for people who are downtown shopping and don’t want to walk around too much just to find some decent bread. It is on the 7th floor of Marui Department Store near Kawaramachi Station (Hankyu-Kyoto Line). The best thing about this store is that you can find a selection of great bread from various bakeries in Kyoto. You don’t need to spend time and energy going to each bakery to sample their speciality bread. Also, you can take a break and have a coffee in the rest area attached to the bakery. In other words, here is like a culmination of what Kyoto’s bakeries have to offer.

【Information for Sizuya】

Sizuya is in front of the subway ticket gates in Shijo Station. You can also easily access it from Karasuma Station on the Hankyu Railway. The ticket gates are on the lower basement floor. If you come from the ground level, please take the stairs or escalator down. The opening hours are from 7:30am to 9:00pm, and they are closed on January 1st.

【Information for Shinshindo】

You can walk to Shinshindo in about 5 minutes from either Karasuma Station or Shijo Station heading north-east. Diagonally opposite, there is a park that has a playground. Shinshindo has lovely trees and plants, so you can easily find it. Opening hours are 7:30am to 8:00pm. The days when the bakery is closed varies.

【Information for Grandir Kyoto】

Grandir Kyoto is a smaller bakery than others. The closest station is Kyoto Shiyakusyo Mae (Kyoto City Hall) Station; however, you can walk from Kawaramachi. If you go there from Kawaramachi, please head north. It’s about a 15-minute walk. This bakery is next to Kyoto City Hall. You will see bicycles parked in front of the bakery. The opening hours are 8:00am to 7:00pm. The days when the bakery is closed varies.

【Information for Kin-iro Kyoto】

Kin-iro Kyoto is on Sanjo Street. You can walk from Kyoto Shiyakusyo Mae (Kyoto City Hall) Station (10-minute walk) or Kawaramachi Station and Karasuma Station (15-minute walk). The bakery doesn’t have any space to eat inside. The opening hours are 11:00am to 7:00pm. The bakery is closed on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

【Information for Kyoto Bakery Market】

Go to the 7th floor in Marui Department Store, which is on Shijo Street opposite the Disney Store. There are lots of tables and chairs where you can eat. If you are tired of shopping, you can take a rest here. Opening hours are 11:00am to 8:00pm. The bakery is closed when Marui is closed.

 

 

Kizakura Brewery

Kizakura Brewery

 

2015UA0266 Kanako Togami

2015UA0297 Yumi Nishidai

2015UA0301 Yuma Nishihara

 

Some hold the view that Kyoto has the oldest history of making sake, especially Fushimi, which is known as one of the most eminent brewing places in Japan. Fushimi is composed of plains along three rivers; Kamo river, Uji river and Katsura river and the peaks of the Higashiyama, including the Momoyama hills. Because of the geographical features of the land, Fushimi has a good quality of underground water and it gushes out from all over. The water is well-balanced with substances like potassium and calcium, therefore, it is an excellent water to make sake. The tradition of making sake flowered in Azuchi Momoyama Period. Since it started, the tradition has taken over for long time. Now, there are many breweries in Fushimi and many tasteful houses standing in a row. Everybody can enjoy tasting sake at many breweries. We introduce one of the famous breweries: Kizakura.

 

 

  • Kizakura CONCEPT

 

Kizakura provides a place that people can feel Japanese rice wine and they want everyone to deepen understanding of Kizakura products and sake cultures. Kizakura gets support from customers because they make TV commercials first and develop new products which not general idea. Their new products are liked by everyone, because they have a good taste and affordable prices. Making sake is a traditional occupation but this traditional culture depends not only on the manufactures. So they extend their activities for enjoying to drink sake to younger generations. Kizakura has made a facility which people can visit both making premium sake, made from rice polished to 60%, and making locally brewed beer. This brewery open to the public is located near a memorial hall with restaurant. It is called “Kizakura Kappa Country”. This is located in Fushimi Ward in Kyoto city. The best way is to take a train from Kyoto station. Take the Kintetsu Kyoto line to Momoyamagoryomae station and get off there. It takes 8-minutes walks from the Momoyamagoryomae station to the facility. If you take a car, it is OK because there is a parking lot. This is open every day besides the New Year. Moreover, there are English menu for foreign tourists and child menu for children so everyone can enjoy themselves without age and nationality. This is like a theme park of Japanese rice wine and locally brewed beer. So people can drink fresh sake there. Furthermore, the facility can be reserved for private parties. So people can enjoy a closed-door party with many people. Kizakura contributes to the region’s development and sticks to making sake and working on developing sake business.

 

 

  • PRODUCTS

 

Kizakura sells a lot of products. People think Kizakura sells only Japanese sake because Kizakura is the making alcoholic beverages. However, Kizakura makes somethings outside of Japanese sake. At first, I’ll introduce about Japanese sake.

 

1.

This is the Japanese sake of Kizakura. Japanese sake has many kinds of taste and rich in variety. Sake has a lot of ranks. For example, there is the top-quality sake brewed from rice grains milled to 50 percent or less of their weight. This is the top rank in the Japanese sake. At Kizakura, the rice for that top-of-the-line brew is used to make Japanese sake. The process of fermentation is changed every day. Therefore it is difficult to control and make Japanese sake. The experts who have years of experience working at Kizakura check and control the brewing process with scrupulous care day and night.

 

  1. Japanese sake is a relatively new product. This is the Japanese sake, too. And this is the like champagne. It has a good but mild taste. It has a pleasant aftertaste, which is softer than the aftertaste than Japanese sake. Therefore this product’s reputation is growing fast now. Sparkling sake is made from rice and koji ; malted rice. This is a little sweet and moderate sour. Japanese sparkling sake is popular among women.

 

  1. Outside Japanese sake. Kizakura makes and sells a lot of products. First is cosmetics. A professional of skincare say that water in which rice has been washed is very good for skin and has some good effects. Some of women wash their face with that. Therefore Kizakura made many cosmetics that is contained components of Japanese sake that take away alcohol.

Second is a sherbet. The flavors are strawberry and mango. A lot of fruit juice is used in the making of the sherberts. They are alcohol like a dessert. They also make shaved ice that only adults can eat, because they contain alcohol.

Third is resort-packed curry. This contains many vegetables grown in Japan. This taste has deep flavor and is a little sweet. There is no alcohol in the curry, so everyone from adults to children can enjoy eating it.

 

 

  • HISTORY

 

At first, Kizakura did not have a name. In 1925, the founder, Zhiichiro Matsumoto, became independent of his family business of the manufacturing industry of refined sake. He made Matsumoto Zhiichiro shopping district in Fushimi, and this was the beginning of Kizakura. This company has changed its name many times since its foundation.It became a joint-stock company in 1951 and was named Matsumoto Zhiichiro shopping district Co., Ltd. The name was Kizakura making alcoholic beverage Co., Ltd. in 1964 and then in 2006 he changed the name into Kizakura Co., Ltd. The reason of taking away “making alcoholic beverage Co., Ltd.” was to extend the range of their business. In other words, they make not only refined sake but also other kinds of sake. It is said that the company name of Kizakura is taken from the name of a flower. Kizakura is a kind of Satozakura that blooms with light greenish white flowers. Because Mr. Matsumoto loved the flower, he chose this name. Kizakura has the image of a kappa, a Japanese water imp, which they use as their own character on their website and in commercial messages. Why did they choose kappa? The reason was very simple. The second president-director, Shiro Matsumoto, read the comic “Kappatengoku” which is drawn by Kon Shimizu, and he liked it. Since he was so taken with the comic, Kizakura has been using the image of the kappa. After Mr. Shimizu died, Ko Kozhima who is a cartoonist, took over the design of the company’s trademark kappa character. Kizakura is trying to get attention to the culture of refined sake. Therefore, they made “Kappa Country”, which is the first restaurant in Kyoto that serves local beer and has a tour of “Fushimigura” so that people can see the process of making sake and beer at the same time. Kizakura has three wine cellars and makes sake there. And all of them got the gold prize in National New Sake Appraising and Deliberating Fair. Kizakura does not have long history in the manufacturing industry of refined sake, however it has been loved, because of many efforts.

 

Kizakura has a long history and many products, and has been loved for long time, not only by people who live in Kyoto Prefecture, but also tourists. The reason is that Kyoto is full of beautiful natural places. For example, beautiful rivers and mountains. Therefore, people can use pure water to make Japanese sake. Furthermore, Kizakura produces and sells not only Japanese sake but also cosmetics. Women can feel attached to Kizakura. Nowadays, there’s a Japanese sake boom in Japan. Therefore, everyone will drink it more in the future.

 

 

You feel like going to Kizakura, don’t you?

If so, LET’S TRY IT!!

Kyoyasai and Isoya Group

by Mayu Matsumoto, Sae Kawabata and Mayumi Otsuka

Kyoyasai is a general term for all local vegetables that are cultivated in Kyoto. In Japanese, ‘kyo’ stands for ‘Kyoto’, while ‘yasai’ means vegetables. What qualifies as kyoyasai, as opposed to just a normal vegetable has developed with each passing year. At present, there are 35 vegetables that qualify as kyoyasai. And in order for a restaurant to describe their food with the term ‘kyoyasai’, it must meet the following conditions.

  1. The vegetable must have been introduced in the Meiji era.
  2. It must be cultivated all throughout Kyoto Prefecture.
  3. It should contain bamboo shoots, in some form or another.
  4. It must excludes shiitake mushroom and ferns.
  5. It should includes vegetables that were grown or preserved, and extinct varieties.

Vegetables that satisfy these conditions don’t necessarily have to be of a species specific to Kyoto, they just have to be cultivated using methods specific to Kyoto. This would include, for example, Horikawa burdock, Ebiimo (literally, shrimp potato), Kyoto aralia cordata, Kyoto ginger, Kyoto bamboo, and so on.

Isoya Group

Isoya Group

One of the most popular groups of kyoyasai restaurants in Kyoto is the Isoya Group. It is kind of food management company with four strong values.

The first value is original farms. They have farm called Isozumi Farm in Mukou, Kyoto. The company owner grew up on a farm, so he has intimate knowledge of vegetable farming. The dedicated staff grow kyoyasai on these original farms to make customers happy.

The second value is about freshness. It is important to eat vegetables while they are still fresh. Isoya Group employees work hard to limit the time between harvesting and serving the vegetables. Furthermore, employees closely manage ways to keep the vegetables fresh in each restaurant.

The third value is a local farm network. The Isoya Group has cultivated a network of local farms that allow farmers to cooperate with each other. This allows the Isoya Group to always have a fresh supply of not only basic kyoyasai, but also specialty vegetables which may be hard to farm or difficult to find otherwise.

The last value is seasonal kyoyasai. The Isoya Group believes that it is important to eat food that is in season in Japan. Therefore, they make seasonal kyoyasai and cook it in an original way.

The Isoya Group has five restaurants in Kyoto.

Isoya Group Logo

Isozumi

This restaurant’s main food is oden, which is common and popular Japanese food. It contains many ingredients like eggs, white radish, and kelp boiled together in a large pot with a traditional type of Japanese broth called dashi.

Address: 388 Komeyamachi, Kawaramachi line Shijyo, Tyukyouku, Kyoto city
Tel: 075-223-5050
Time: 17:30-24:00 (except Monday)
HP: http://isozumi.isozumi.jp/

Onikai

This restaurant offers many kinds of boiled kyoyasai food like oden, tempura, and nabe, which are typical homemade foods in Japan. Also, nabe is similar to oden, but offers more varieties.

Address: 388 Komeyamachi, Kawaramachi line Shijyo, Tyukyouku, Kyoto city second floor
Tel: 075-223-5052
Time: 17:30-24:00 (except Thursday)
HP: http://onikai.isozumi.jp

Isoya

This restaurant offers many kinds of baked kyoyasai food. Many of their dishes contain salt, miso and some kind of sauce dipped into which you can dip your kyoyasai. Furthermore, they pay close attention to their baking methods and fire temperatures.

Address: 4215, Shimomaruyacho, Kiyamachi line, Tyukyouku, Kyoto city
Radicle Matsuya building 1F
Tel: 075-212-5039
Time: 17:30-24:00 (except Tuesday)
HP: http://isoya.isozumi.jp

Isomatsu

This restaurant make kyoyasai food that pairs well with wine, as it is prepared in an Italian or French style. There are also big wine sellers, so you can enjoy many kinds of wine along with many kinds of kyoyasai food.

Address: 384, Komeyamachi, Kawaramachi line Shijyo, Tyukyouku, Kyoto city
Tel: 075-255-1239
Time: 17:30-24:00 (except Tuesday)
HP: http://isomatsu.isozumi.jp

ISOISM

ISOISM

ISOISM is a restaurant serving many kinds of marinated kyoyasai vegetables. For example, you can eat eggplant marinated in soy sauce, celery marinated in orange sauce , and tomato marinated in white wine. These dishes are unique and original, and are enjoyed by both Japanese and foreigners alike.

Like other restaurants from the Isoya Group, the vegetables served in ISOISM are grown on organic farms and are pesticide-free. Therefore, this restaurant is famous for its originality and safety.

Lunch at ISOISM

Lunch at ISOISM

ISOISM offers a lunch plate of marinated vegetables. You can eat up to 12 marinated vegetables, each of which has good effects on the health of your body. For example, you can eat sweet potato marinated with honey and lemon, and topped with cream cheese and nuts. The effect of this meal is improvement of your intestinal environment. Another one is pumpkin marinated with sweet soy sauce and cheese. The effect is hormonal adjustment and body rejuvenation. A third one is onion marinated with sake and salmon roe. The effect is to speed up the metabolism. Additionally, you can eat seasonal takikomi-gohan and soup. Takikomi-gohan is boiled rice seasoned with soy sauce and mixed with meat or seafood and savory vegetables. In this way you are able to experience the Japanese seasons and you can enjoy Japanese culture in this restaurant.

But be warned: ISOISM is famous, so you should get appointment beforehand.

ISOISM
Adress: 114, Nakai-sho, Karasumanishiiru, Shichijo-line, Gekyo-ku, Kyoto city.
Access: 5 minutes on foot from Kyoto station
Tel: 075-353-5016 ( You can get appointment, if you tell this number.)
Time: Lunch(11:30-15:00) Dinner(17:30-24:00)
HP: http://isoism.isozumi.jp

As you can see, there are many restaurants in Kyoto using Kyoyasai. If you are not sure which restaurant is best for you, we recommend you to go Isoya group restaurants. They have the most enthusiasm toward serving kyoyasai dishes, and they also have the famous omotenashi spirit which makes Japanese hospitality an unforgettable experience. Since their restaurants are sometimes full of customers, we recommend you call ahead and check availability before you visit.

Restaurant Touyoutei

by Maya Kondo, Shiori Iwawaki & Eri Inaba

In Japan, we call hamburgers ‘hamburgers’, but there is no good English word for hanba-gu, unless you include ‘Hamberg Steak’ or ‘Salisbury Steak’. Hanba-gu is made from minced meat, onions, eggs, milk, bread crumbs, salt and pepper. Actually, the word hanba-gu is not English, but rather came from the name of a city in Germany: Hamberg. In Japan, the hanba-gu is a very popular food for people of all ages and there are many shops serving it in Japan. However, the most delicious hanba-gu shop in Kyoto is called, Touyotei. Touyotei is loved by many Japanese people because it has a long history and offer its customers a wide variety of delicious food. The head restaurant/office is a 4-minute walk from Kitayama subway station.

In the 30th year of the Meiji Period (1897), Takahashi Ginjiro served western cuisine at the restaurant of a hotel in the Kawaramachi district of Kyoto city. At that time, western foods were too expensive for the average citizen to afford, so he wanted them to know how wonderful foods these were. On the 21st of December, 1966, he opened his own restaurant, called Kyapitaru Touyoutei in the Kitayama district of Kyoto. When he ran the restaurant in Kitayama, there were no buildings around it. A few years later, however, because of the new subway line reaching Kitayama, many buildings were constructed and many people come to the area. Touyoutei then became one of the most popular restaurants in Kyoto. In 1996, 100 years had passed since Mr. Ginjiro had opened the restaurant. Therefore, he decided to open his second restaurant near Kyoto station in 1997. In 1998, he started serving Tsutsumiyaki hanba-gu (see image below), which has been the most popular dish in the restaurant. In 1999, concerned that the restaurant was a fire hazard, he decided to renovate the restaurant. From 2008 to present, he wanted everyone to know how delicious his meals were, so he opened 7 more restaurants in Kyoto and Osaka. Nowadays, people come to Touyoutei, not only for eating meals, but also for using it as a meeting place. Every location is easy to visit. Furthermore, their aim is to become the number one restaurant serving delicious hanba-gu so that every customer can be satisfied with not only the food but also the atmosphere inside the restaurant.

In Touyotei, there are many good employees because the recruiter for this restaurant chooses the staff carefully. When they choose the employees, they prefer people who like to eat food and talk to people. Moreover, one of the representatives of the company that we spoke with, named Takahashi, said that even if they never held a dish or used a knife, it is fine. More important things are being honest, cheerful, bright, and not being afraid to take on new challenges. Therefore, in Touyotei, every staff member is always doing their best when they work. Moreover, the staff is always thinking of the customer satisfaction first. Mr. Takahashi explained that he wants the employee to grow on a personal level. Touyotei is the place where both the customer and employee can smile and become happy. This is because the behavioral guidelines are to be an employee who is always trying their best. To be this kind employee, they should always reflect on their actions and appreciate everything. Moreover, it is important to identify their strong points and make use of their good points. One more important point about Touyoutei is to make a fashionable and fun space for the customer. Moreover, Touyotei always thinks about the ingreditents of the food, its taste and good service for the customer. Touyoutei’s goal from now on is to have more fans and to create a lively, fun and delicious experience for them.

Tsutsumiyaki hanba-gu

At Touyoutei, the hamburger steak is the most popular dish. It is said that if you come this restaurant, you must order this dish. This hamburger steak is like Salisbury steak. When we order it, the chef grills ground beef and pork. After that, beef stew sauce, hamburger steak, and stewed beef are wrapped in aluminium foil. When the dish is brought to us, the aluminium foil collapses with tasty smell. The moment we open the aluminium foil by ourselves, the smell will hit us strongly. Be careful though! When opening the aluminum foil, some customers risk being splattered with beef stew sauce, so don’t go there with your favorite white clothes. Not only hamburg, but also a side of grilled potato is popular for some customers.

Also, we recommend the whole tomato salad because it is very popular as well. When we entered the restaurant, we saw many boxes of lots of tomatoes. Of course, these tomatoes are used to make tomato salad, and the tomatoes change with each season. This restaurant always uses the most tasty tomatoes, regardless of the area of production. In this way, we can eat tasty tomato salad any time of the year. In fact, this tomoto salad is served as a whole tomato, literally. Normally, we don’t have opportunity of eating a whole tomato, but in this restaurant, we can. This tomato is submerged in hot water for 5 minutes and then placed in cold water. The tomato with peeling skin is arranged on a tuna and onion salad. Finally, on top of it all, a special dressing is placed. This dressing is made by the chef for the tomato, so the name of dressing is ‘dressing for only tomato’. This dressing is said to not fit with vegetables without tomatoes. It tastes a little vinegary and oily. We can buy this dressing in the restaurant for about 610 yen.

picture3 puddingFinally, one more popular item on the menu is a sweet called ‘one hundred puddings’. This pudding was created by the first founder of the restaurant and made with simple ingredients. For this reason, many guests feel nostalgic and like it. When we order ‘one hundred puddings’, the staff brings a cup of pudding and a plate, and then they turn the cup of pudding upside down on th eplate. When we visit this restaurant, we can enjoy this performance.

In conclusion, Hanba-gu is made from minced meat, onions, eggs, milk, bread crumbs, salt and pepper. It is very popular food in Japan. In 1998, Takahashi Ginjiro started serving hamba-gu for the first time in Japan, and it became popular. We want you to try touyoutei hanba-gu when you go to the restaurant.

Kamishichiken and its shops

by Riho Miyagi, Akane Mukai and Yuuka Yamazaki

 

Kyoto has a lot of popular sightseeing spots, for example, Kinkakuji-temple (金閣寺), Kiyomizu-temple (清水寺), and Fushimiinari-shrine (伏見稲荷大社). Speaking of famous places, do you know any essential and passionate places in Kyoto?

 

What is Kamishichiken?

Kamishichiken” is a district of northwest Kyoto. It is the oldest of the five hanamachi  in Kyoto and located east of the Kitano Tenmangu-shrine. Local people pronounce it as “Kamihichiken”. In Kanji, it means “Seven Upper Houses”. In the Muromachi Period, seven teahouses were built from tools and material leftover from the rebuilding of the Kitano Tenmangu-Shrine. Kamishichiken has many traditional wooden buildings, some of which are teahouses or geisha houses. There are approximately 25 maiko and geiko in Kamishichiken now and they entertain in 10 teahouses in Kamishichiken. It is located in Kyoto’s Nishijin area, which is famous for traditional textiles.

 

The Kamishichiken Kaburenjo Theater

The Kamishichiken kaburenjo theater, considered by many to be the main symbol of this small Geiko district, is one of the few remaining wooden theaters. The Kamishichiken kaburenjo is the largest building in Kamishichiken. It is known for the performances of Maiko. Maiko learn and practice their songs and dances here every day. Their performance takes 1.5 hours. There are 20 performers dressed in kimono. This dance performance was first held as Kitano Odori in March 1952, to commemorate the 1050th year anniversary of Sugawara-no-Michizane’s death. He was a highly ranked court noble to whom Kitano Tenmangu shrine is dedicated. It also featured the tea ceremony, where Geisha prepare bowls of Japanese tea and sweets. The performance is considered as both elite and tasteful. The Kitano Odori performance opens on March 25th and ends April 17th. In addition, from July 1st until August 31st, a beer garden is open to the public at Kamishichiken Kaburenjo Theatre and offers unique chance to be served by maiko and geiko.

 

Shops near kamishichiken

The area around Kitano Tenman-gu shrine has lots of wonderful shops and cafés. I recommend you try shaved ice with real fruit syrup in summer time at KONOHANA.  At another shop, YUSURAGO, yuzu-flavored ice is very popular. Yuzu is a fruit. produced by a tree belonging to the Citrus family and is similar to oranges, limes, lemons and grapefruit.. Another area shop is MAEDA, which is famous for baby sponge cake. Baby sponge cake can be eaten in all seasons and can be brought back home. If you want to eat Japanese sweets I recommend TENZINDO. This shop serves rice cakes, one for only 100 yen, so it’s very reasonably priced. And I really want to recommend NERIYA HACHIBE. This shop is famous for bracken-starch cake. This cake comes in two flavors: kinako (soybean flour) and matcha (powdered green tea). Matcha is now popular throughout the world, so you should try it. Kyoto is famous for tofu (soy bean curd) and yuba (bean curd skin). If you want to try one of these I really recommend TOYOUKE CHAYA. This shop is famous for tofu and yuba. you can enjoy traditional Japanese flavors at these shops.

 

Kamishichiken is not as famous as other hanamachi, but there are many interesting and fantastic shops here. Once you go, you can absolutely feel the core of Kyoto culture.

 

Tsukemono

by Sakina Nishitsuji, Nami Shinkado and Shiho Tojo

We will introduce about tsukemono. Tsukemono are Japanese-style pickles. Vegetables are pickled in salt, rice brain, miso or sake lees. They are served with rice as a side dish and with drinks as a snack. Tsukemono are beloved by many people in Japan. You can buy them pretty much everywhere in Japan. If you go to a supermarket, you will find them. There are various kinds. For example, takuan (daikon), umeboshi (ume plum), turnip, cucumber, and Chinese cabbage are among the favorites to be eaten with rice as an accompaniment to a meal. Some Japanese people make tsukemono by themselves. The easiest way of making tsukemono is just putting the vegetables with salt into a Ziploc bag. Roughly cut some vegetables of your choice and put them in a Ziploc bag, then add salt and kelp dashi stock and shake the bag. You release the air from the bag to make a lightly vacuum state in the bag and then stick it in the refrigerator for one or two hours. It is complete. This recipe for this preparation is simple but the tsukemono are delicious. Tsukemono are also popular with foreigners, not just Japanese people. And Kyoto has many specialty shops of tsukemono, so you can buy some kinds of tsukemono at Kyoto. It is really great for souvenirs. Tsukemono is known by most people, but they may not know the particulars about tsukemono. Tsukemono has a long history. So, below, we will introduce about the history of tsukemono, three major tsukemono outlets in Kyoto, and how to make tsukemono.

History of Tsukemono in Japan

Tsukemono have a long history in Japan.  Japan is surrounded by the seas, and it was a longstanding practice that food was preserved in salt or with salt water. Not only vegetables but also nuts, meat and fish were preserved with salt in order times. The origin of the tsukemono is not known for sure. However, when vegetables were not yet farmed, it is possible that people soaked the edible wild plants such as Japanese parsley or the bracken in seawater.

We do know that Chinese also used salt to preserve food. It was written that there was something like tsukemono in the old book called by the Chinese, “Shurei“. From 2000 years ago, it is said that a method to preserve food in salt was performed. As the times advanced, the tsukemono developed more, but came to be called “pickled vegetables” because the fragrance of the tsukemono improved when the Muromachi Era began, in 1336, by fermenting. Not only were tsukemono liked as side dishes and the tea cake of the meal, but also pickled plums came to be used in the sterilization of the wounds in the battlefield to prevent bacterial infection and blood poisoning. The Muromachi Era was an age of civil strife. And in Edo era, beginning in 1603, the tsukemono shop called the pickled vegetables shop appeared. From this era, tsukemono came to be eaten by the people at large. In addition, the kinds of vegetables grown in Japan increased, and during the Edo Era, beginning in 1603, many merchants came from all over the country to study some techniques and innovations in seasoning and how to make tsukemono. In the Meiji Era, beginning in 1868, Takuanduke and Naraduke became the important side business in the farmhouses in the suburbs of major cities, including Tokyo. During Taisho Era, from 1912, and the Showa Era, from 1926, the pickle manufacturing industry developed into a major commercial business. Recently, an important point is focus on the health. Fermented foods, according to recent scientific research, are important for intestinal health. That information made tsukemono even more desirable all over Japan.

 

Three Popular Varieties of Tsukemono

There are 3 famous kinds of tsukemono in Kyoto. One is Shiba-zuke. Shiba-zuke are made of eggplant, perilla leaves and cucumber pickled in natural lactic fermentation. Shiba-zuke vegetables are sprinkled with salt and are matured in a barrel for some months. Shiba-zuke was first made in the latter half of Edo period, about 300 to 150 years ago. A second kind of popular pickled vegetables is senmai-zuke. It is pickled turnip. Senmai-zuke which are sold in supermarkets are traditional pickles in Kyoto and are produced by marinating paper-thin slices of turnips with pieces of kelp, red peppers and vinegar. The third type of pickles is Suguki-zuke. Suguki-zuke is made of suguki, a kind of tunip, pickled with its own leaves. It is a kind of pickle which preserves both the leaf and the root of the Brassica campestris in salt. It features clear acidity. Recently, it gradually has become famous as a health food around the world. These pickles are called three best tsukemono in Kyoto.

The Old Tsukemono Shops of Kyoto

“Kyotsukemono” or Kyoto style Tsukemono includes various kinds of pickles. Pickles are available in many places but there are 5 famous old shops in Kyoto which still the. The first is Daitou. It is the shop which is the birthplace of the senmai-zuke. This shop was built in 1865. It has long history for about 150 years. Senmai-zuke is very popular in Daitou. The reason is rich taste. The second shop is Murakamiju. It is the shop which became the model of the pickle shop when it appeared in the NHK drama “Kyohutari” broadcast in 1990. The third shop is Akaoya. This shop is the oldest of them all. It was built in 1699. It has been making pickles and history for over 300 years. Pickles in Akaoya are made with a moderate amount of salt. The next shop is Narita. It is famous for suguki-zuke. It was built in 1804. The traditional taste continues now. Finally, there is Kinse. This shop was built in 1764. There are various pickles in Kinse. At Kinse, they do not use any preservatives or additives. On the other hand, this shop also makes an effort in new product development.

In conclusion, tsukemono were called the Chinese “Shurei” in long time ago.

After having passed for years, that name changed from “Shurei” to “pickled vegetables”, and it gradually became famous in Japan. Nowadays, many people buy tsukemono. There are 3 famous tsukemono, Shiba-zuke, senmai-zuke, and suguki-zuke in Kyoto. Speciality shops of tsukemono are long established businesses in Kyoto. For example, Daitou, Murakamiju, and Kinse.  These shops are very popular among Japanese people and foreigners. If you want to eat tsukemono, we recommend that you visit Kyoto.

Cafe

By Shiho Tojo, Nami Shinkado and Sakina Nishitsuji

A cafe is a type of restaurant which usually serves coffee and snacks.

The term “cafe” comes from French, and means “coffee”. A cafe is sometimes called a coffeehouse or a coffee shop in English. A Japanese person opened a coffee specialty shop in Japan. It hired barista. A barista stands at the counter of the bar, and receives orders from visitors, and pours the coffee or espresso. That style is known by most people. The famous shop is Starbucks. It is also popular all over the world. In some countries, cafe is closer to restaurants, because cafe is able to provide customers with hot meals, and alcohol. However, British cafes do not sell alcohol. In Japan, the first coffee shop was opened at the end of the Meiji period at Minou city in Osaka. Cafes have improved year by year. There are many cafes all over the world. If you want to relax sometimes, you can go to a cafe and relax there. You can talk with your partner or friends in the cafe. Recently, people can pick up a lot of new information from SNS. People take nice pictures, and post them on the Internet. Especially, Instagram can be connected to many people. We would like to introduce some cafes  in Kyoto. These are really talked about cafes now in SNS.

MACCHA HOUSE

MACCHA HOUSE is one of the most famous cafes in Kyoto. It was built recently. Customers have to wait for about 2 hours every day, because it has a matrix in front of shop. The shop is really popular in Kyoto among young people. MACCHA HOUSE recommends maccha tiramisu to customers. They also seek it. It is really delicious and give a fun impression. Its price is 500 yen. So you can eat it for a reasonable cost. There are many items on the menu as well as maccha tiramisu. For example, green tea, ho-ji cha tiramisu, and maccha parfait. If you visit Kyoto, you should visit MACCHA HOUSE, and eat maccha tiramisu with your friends.

Location

It is near Kawaramachi station. It takes about 3 minutes by walking from exit 3B.

JOUVENCELLE

This cafe is one of the famous cafes in Kyoto.  JOUVENCELLE was built on Oike-street at the time of the Gion Festival in 1988. JOUVENCELLE means “maiden” in French. This cafe uses the seasonal ingredients. This cafe reserves many Japanese confectioneries to customers. It is very popular as an experience of Kyoto.

Location

It is near Karasumaoike station. It is about a two minute walk from exit 1.

GREEN TEA FONDUE

Green tea fondue is the most popular sweet in this cafe. The other popular dishes are pound cake, Dango and other Japanese sweets. Another dish is banana, strawberry, baked orange, sweet potato and Warabi-Mochi. A popular drink served here is chocolate flavored with green tea. It is a little hot and smells of green. Bitterness of the powdered green tea offset the sweetness of the chocolate.
It looks beautiful and cute. So, this cafe is very famous among young people. Green tea fondue is about 1500 yen. You can enjoy eating it.

Location

This cafe is about 100 meters south of south tower gate of Yasaka.

IPPODO-CAFE

Ippodo is a famous shop of Japanese tea in Kyoto. It sells just Japanese tea. Tea is good for the health. Every year, the flavor of tea changes with the temperature. However, this cafe blends their tea so that the taste does not change. In addition, to its café, Ippodo has a classroom and a shop. Classes are held at Ippodo. People can learn how to drink tea with proper manners and rituals, and learn about Japanese tea more deeply. Ippodo-cafe is in the head office. Everyone makes tea by himself or herself in this cafe. Customers can order green tea, gyokuro, gen-tea, ho-ji tea and genmai-tea. These Japanese teas all have different tastes. Each tea has a different level of bitterness. The important points are how to drink, temperature, quantity of the tea leaf and time to brew. Ippodo’s staff tell the customers how to make each tea. People can drink tea with Japanese sweets. You can go with family or friends or just by yourself. There is a menu in English, for the convenience of foreign visitors to Kyoto who come to this cafe. So, foreign people can have a good time. This cafe also has take-out available. The design of the take-out cup is so cute. If you ever visit Kyoto, I recommend visiting Ippodo.

Location

Ippodo is near Kyoto Shiyakushomae Station. It takes about 5 minutes to walk there from the station. There are some antique stores and galleries on this street and people can feel Kyoto.

There are many cafes in Kyoto. Sightseeing spots in Kyoto have many green tea shops. That is because Kyoto is really famous for Maccha within Japan. Particularly popular are Maccha HOUSE, JOUVENCELLE, and Ippodo. Maccha HOUSE is famous for Maccha tiramisu. JOUVENCELLE is famous for green tea fondue, Ippodo is famous for Japanese tea. As for the popular key points, desserts of those cafes are not only tasty but also beautiful to look at. The appearance of these shops is fashionable and there are English menus for foreign tourists.
Nowadays, Maccha is popular all over the world. Maccha is green tea powder. Japanese green tea can be bought from some supermarkets, vending machines, and also in most Japanese tea shops. Recently, Japanese green tea is becoming well known around the world. Japanese green tea shops became famous in Twitter and Instagram. Many people visit cafes in Kyoto and eat a dessert made of Maccha. They also take a stylish picture of food and put down that photo on SNS. After that some other people see that picture on SNS. The popularity of these cafes has spread a lot thanks to SNS.
However, you must line up for approximately two hours on weekdays if you want to visit there, thanks to the popularity. This is a problem caused by popularity and widespread use of SNS. However, people never stop lining up. In this way, the cafe of Kyoto is popular with people from around the world who are able to feel at ease, and able to enjoy an atmosphere only in Kyoto. It is pleasant to visit the cafe of Kyoto on an occasion of the sightseeing of Kyoto. Please try and go.