October 3, 2017
by Sakina Nishitsuji, Nami Shinkado and Shiho Tojo
Enjoy Learning About Kyoto
October 3, 2017
by Sakina Nishitsuji, Nami Shinkado and Shiho Tojo
by Sachina Matsumoto, Shin Okano & Kyosuke Maruyama
Kyoto is a traditional city in Japan. It has a lot of history and culture. Kyoto is one of Japan’s leading tourist destinations. As a result, the souvenir culture has prospered in particular. And when it comes to souvenirs, Kyoto can be said to have more tradition than other prefectures. In this article, we will introduce souvenirs that are uniquely Kyoto-style.
The culture of sweets in Kyoto has grown remarkably over the years. Visitors to Kyoto can choose from a wide variety of edible souvenirs to enjoy and take home with them. Below are some of the most popular.
Perhaps the most famous edible souvenir in Kyoto is yatsuhashi, which is a traditional kind of rice cracker that is classified as a type of confectionery due to its chewy, sweet flavor. It is made with rice flour, sugar, and cinnamon, which results in a sweet dough that is stretched thinly and cut into different shapes. It can either be baked or eaten raw. The baked form is like a hard, sweet rice cracker. The raw form is soft and is often wrapped around red bean paste.
In 1689, during the Edo period, yatsuhashi was first served at the teashop in Kurodani temple, on the east side of Kyoto city. In the Meiji era (From 1868 to 1912), yatsuhashi became very popular and was sold at Kyoto Station. After the Second World War, raw yatsuhashi was invented, and in modern times this raw version is more popular that the original.
A lot of people who visit Kyoto will buy yatsuhashi. There are also a lot of varieties visitors can buy, such as green tea, white sesame, cherry blossoms, chocolate, blueberry, and so on. Tourists can purchase yatsuhashi in sightseeing spots, major train stations, or specialty shops.
The next edible souvenir is called konpeito. It is a colorful, sugary hard candy. The word ‘konpeito’ originally comes from Portuguese. It also has a long history. The way of making this candy was introduced to Japan in the 1600s by Portuguese traders. In 1847, Senkichi Shimizu began a konpeito specialty shop in Kyoto. For many generations, the Shimizu family has perfected the art of making konpeito.
Konpeito is made with simple ingredients: sugar, water, and some flavoring. The candy made by slowing covering a grain of coarse sugar with syrup in a large, rotating gong-shaped tub. It is a slow process, taking 1 or 2 weeks to make a batch of konpeito.
There are now many flavors of konpeito that tourists can buy, such as strawberry, peach, mandarin, apples, giant pine, vanilla, natural water cider cherries, yogurt, coconut, ripe mango, roasted chestnut, muscat, and so on. The flavors are often subtle, not strong.
Like yatsuhashi, konpeito can be found in sightseeing spots or specialty shops throughout Kyoto. But perhaps the best place to buy it is from the original source: the Shimizu family at their shop called Ryokujuan Shimizu, near Kyoto University.
Another edible souvenir from Kyoto is tsukemono, a word which means ‘picked vegetables’. Japanese people eat tsuekmono with many of their meals.
Kyoto’s tsukemono has a long history and has been a part of the Japanese diet for a long time. The roots of tsukemono are not exactly clear. However, many believe that tsukemono originally came from China.
The land around Kyoto is rich, so it is a place that can produce quality vegetables. For this reason, there are many kinds of vegetables to be pickled. In fact, there are more than 800 kinds of pickles in Japan. Most kinds are made with vegetables such as cabbage, white radish, or eggplant. The taste changes according to different factors, such as time, environment, weather and soil conditions, and so on.
And there are various pickling methods such as with salt, bran, and vinegar. Tsukemono can taste sour or salty or both. It depends on the vegetable used and the pickling method.
Most people like tsukemono. It is very tasty, healthy, and colorful. It goes very well with many Japanese dishes and is often served with everyday meals. You can buy tsukemono in most supermarkets and souvenir stores.
Furoshiki is a traditional Japanese wrapping cloth. ‘Furo’ means bath, while ‘shiki’ means cloth. In old days, Japanese used to wrap their pajamas with furoshiki.
The history of furoshiki goes back 1,200 years. Furoshiki were widely used until the end of the Edo Period. During the Nara Period (710-784), furoshiki were customarily used for keeping valuables. The oldest wrapping cloth used in the Nara Period is now in safe keeping at the Shosoin, a wooden storage house at the famous Todaiji-temple in Nara.
While older furoshiki are fairly bland in appearance, modern forms are very stylish and elegant. Designers use auspicious patterns that transmit a historical feeling of Japan.
These days, Japanese people use furoshiki to wrap a gift, like wine, for example. Also, they use furoshiki when wrapping lunch box.
One place where you can buy furoshiki is a store called Kakefuda. This store offers many stylish patterns. If you just want normal Furoshiki, you can get them at most souvenir shops.
Tabi is a traditional Japanese type of sock, originally from the 15th century. They have a separation between the big toe and other toes. Tabi are suitable for wearing with Kimono or other types of traditional clothing. Tabi are worn by both men and women, with sandals like zori or geta, and other thonged outer footwear. Even construction workers wear them with boots on the job.
You can buy tabi at most souvenir shops in Kyoto. However, a shop called SOU SOU has more stylish Tabi.
SOU SOU: 583-3, Nakanocho, Nakagyo-ku Kyoto-shi, Kyoto, 604-8042, Japan
What we commonly call the Japanese sword originated in the Heian period. That’s why Japanese swords are so famous in Kyoto. You can buy Japanese swords in any souvenir shops. They are great for interior decoration. Indeed, many Japanese style houses have traditional swords hanging on the wall. If tourists prefer, they can buy Japanese sword-shape umbrellas instead of a sword itself. You can usually find them in souvenir shops, and occasionally convenience stores.
Finally, one unique type of souvenir from Kyoto is made of real candy and covered with resin. The candy looks delicious and has a very bright color. You can buy these at a store called Nanaco Plus+. Not only do they sell key rings, but also other things, such as earphone jacks, earrings, and so on. Most of these souvenirs are priced between 540 and 5,400 yen.As you can see, Kyoto is a city with various charms.
Kyoto is very attractive not only for scenery but also for food, festivals, and souvenirs. I think that we should know about Kyoto more, and inform other people who don’t know about the charm of Kyoto. I will be happy if you read this article and you are interested in Kyoto.
2015UA0042 Mina Ito, 2015UA0064 Shiori Iwawaki, 2015UA0067 Hinako Uematsu
Have you ever tried Japanese style pickles? If you imagine they are like foreign pickles, you would be wrong, because they are very different. Nowadays, there are many pickles in the supermarket, but the pickles in this shop are much nicer compared to them. “Doi no Shibazuke” (Doi’s Pickles) might be the perfect Kyoto souvenir for your relatives or friends.
Doi no Shibazuke is one of the most well-known pickle making companies, and is famous for its shibazuke. It has a very long history and has been loved by many people for years. The company was founded in Ohara, Kyoto, in 1901. Ohara is a famous red perilla (Japanese basil) growing area, and is the birthplace of shibazuke, which are pickled summer vegetables.
The first CEO of the company wanted many people to know about shibazuke, so he founded this company there, first of all selling tsukemono (regular pickles) just in front of the family home. After years of struggle, they finally managed to build the main store in Ohara, and thereafter opened more branches, one after the other, throughout Kyoto. Now, they currently have 15 stores including a sub-branch in a department store. There are also branches in 6 other prefectures: Osaka, Tokyo, Chiba, Kanagawa, Fukuoka, and Kagoshima. This company has only had five presidents in its history, and the current Mr. Doi is the 5th CEO of the firm. He has worked at Doi no Shibazuke as a staff member since he graduated college, and in 2001, when the company celebrated its 100th anniversary, he was inaugurated as the new CEO.
Doi no Shibazuke has their own farm for growing perilla leaf, and the reason for this is that they can have greater control over the taste of the product. They grow perilla leaf from seed, so they can have the same level of quality year on year. They don’t use agricultural chemicals to grow their perilla and use a cultivation method that is more than 800 years old. From June to July is generally the season for growing perilla leaf, but they extend their growing beyond this to make sure they can provide more pickles.
Importantly, Doi’s way of making shibazuke is to use eggplants only, and not cucumber. A cheaper way to make shibazuke is to use cucumber instead of eggplant because it reduces the cost and the process is easier, but Doi insist on eggplant for the sake of quality.
First they get the best eggplants from their partner farms. Secondly, they use a machine to chop the eggplant into smaller pieces. Thirdly, the employees hop into a big wooden barrel containing the eggplant, fine perilla leaves and salt, and then tread the mixture
with their feet, just like they do with grapes for wine making. The reason they tread the eggplant mixture is to help retain the taste and smell of the vegetable. If they don’t tread it, the good smell will disseminate and the great taste of the perilla will not be mixed in.
Finally, the mixture, along with added ginger, is packed into a wooden barrel and left to ferment for around one month, with a large stone placed on the barrel lid to seal everything in. Every year, this company makes 120 huge wooden barrels full of pickles and keeps them for shipment. Overall, they produce an average of 200 tons of pickles in a year, so in the busy period they can make up to one ton of pickles a day.
So where can you buy them? Doi no Shibazuke has 6 shops in Kyoto, and they are also sold in department stores in Japan, so you should be able to locate them easily. If you do have a problem hunting them down though, you can also buy them on the Internet. (http://www.doishibazuke.co.jp/)
The best 3 tsukemono are; shibazuke (475 yen), senmaizuke, which is made from radish and tastes slightly sweet (691 yen), and assorted tsukemono, which offers a variety of different pickles (2,025 yen). When you buy pickles on the internet, there are some different assortments that are very special and cost around 4,000 or 5,000 yen. We are sure if you buy these for your family or friends they will be really happy. The shop manager also told us a good way to eat pickles is to put them on a cracker with some cheese. Japanese pickles also go well with pasta as a topping, and some match well with certain wines.
Japanese pickles are not like foreign pickles, and this company is a much nicer shop compared to other shops. They have their own farm, grow their own perilla leaves, and make pickles on the premises. If you plan to come to Kyoto, we really recommend you visit and buy some pickles at Doi no Shibazuke – an Ohara and Kyoto tradition.
(permission to use photos given by Mr. Doi)
By Haruka Chaya and Ayaka Endo
Visitors to Kyoto often take back Japanese pickles for souvenirs. Nishiri is one of Kyoto’s famous tsukemono, or pickles, shops. It is located in Arashiyama, but it is not quite like other pickle shops. It offers something different. Japanese have been eating pickles since olden times and they usually eat them with rice. Like this:
The traditional basis for a Japanese meal is often referred to as “one soup; one dish.” Rice and pickles are givens, so the fundamental Japanese meal consists of one soup, one dish and then rice and pickles. This is the usual manner in which Japanese eat. However, we’d like to recommend another way of eating Japanese pickles.
In the Nishiri pickle shop, there is a meal that looks like a box of carefully prepared sushi called Kyo-tsukemono-sushi. Almost everyone likes sushi, don’t they? So this bento meal looks quite appealing.
However, the individual items are not raw fish placed on cakes of rice. In this case, all of these toppings are different types of Japanese pickles that are made from eggplant, radish, ginger, daikon and shibazuke (chopped vegetables pickled in salt and shiso leaves). This really suits the Japanese taste.
Furthermore pickles are good for you. They have a lot of dietary fiber, vitamins and lactobacillus. Also, they are low in calories, and are good for your skin. If you get tired after walking through Arashiyama, you can take a rest at Nishiri and eat pickle sushi. Besides experiencing traditional Japanese tastes in a novel way, you will get health and beauty.
If you decide to buy a box of pickle sushi for your family or friends, please be careful because it spoils easily and needs to be kept refrigerated. It is worth giving to a friend at least once; imagine their surprise!
Nishiri also sells small servings of pickles in what is called a “cutting cup.” This enables customers to try a wide variety of pickles without spending a lot of money. The price of just one cup of pickles is 108 yen. Three cups are 324 yen. You can enjoy sampling many kinds of pickles this way. At Nishiri, the foods are dished up so beautifully. This is an example of Japanese sincerity when it comes to guests.
UNESCO World Intangible Cultural Heritage Certification
Traditional Japanese food —washoku—was recently added to UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural heritage list . Japanese food was evaluated as being fresh, healthy, well-balanced in nutrition, and beautiful.
Where is Nishiri?
Nishiri is in Arashiyama in western Kyoto and is near the famous Arashiyama landmark, the Togetsu Bridge. From the bridge please go straight east down the bustling road and you will see Nishiri on your left side.
by Yuria Shinya
Kyo-tsukemono are Japanese pickles that are made in Kyoto, Japan. The image of kyo-tsukemono is one of simplicity and a refined taste. However, there is no exact definition of kyo-tsukemono. Yet, pickles play a very important role in Japanese meals. It is often said that if tsukemono taste bad, the entire meal will be spoiled, no matter how delicious the other dishes are.
Clear water and fresh vegetables from Kyoto are essential in making kyo-tsukemono. Softness is a key characteristic of the water in Kyoto. Furthermore, since the city lies in a basin surrounded by mountains, Kyoto is blessed with rich groundwater. That’s why many products—and arts—developed by using kyoto’s clean water. Just a few examples among food include sake, tofu (soybean curd), and kyo-gashi (Kyoto sweets); and most notable among the arts is sado (the tea ceremony).
Kyoto is also famous for its own unique, local varieties of vegetables. They are popularly known as “kyo-yasai” in Japanese. Of course, these vegetables are grown with Kyoto water. Most kyo-yasai have unique shapes or distinct flavors, and so they often cost more than other vegetables. Kyo-yasai are therefore treated as high-grade vegetables in Japan, and so many first-class restaurants use them in their dishes.
Kyoto’s climate is also a key factor in the taste of Kyo-tsukemono. From olden times, a special technique for preserving food was developed because Kyoto’s summers were so hot and humid, and foodstuffs would quickly spoil. Combined with this traditional technique, Kyo-tsukemono are made from superb ingredients—clean water, vegetables, and Kyoto’s specific climate. The result is that kyo-tsukemono are regarded as one of the best varieties of pickles in Japan. No doubt, then make a good souvenir from Kyoto.
1. 千枚漬 Senmaizuke
Senmaizuke pickles are made from the Shyogo-in kabura, a traditional Kyoto turnip. The origin of Senmaizuke can be traced back to Tosaburo Ofuji, who after serving the government in Kyoto, invented these pickles and started selling them at his own shop. However, Senmaizuke didn’t become familiar with everyone in Japan until it was exhibited at a national exhibition in Kyoto about 140 years ago. “Senmai” literally means “one thousand slices” in Japanese. One of senmaizuke’s main characteristics is that is very thinly sliced, hence its name. The thin slices give it a light and fresh taste.
2. すぐき Suguki
Suguki are pickles made from suguki leaves. Suguki is another kind of turnip. Cultivation of suguki began in the Momoyama period (1381～1614) when Shinto priests had obtained some seeds. It was treated as a luxury food and often used as gifts for the upper classes during the Edo period (1603~1867). It is difficult to like its strong salty taste.
3. しば漬 Shibazuke
It is said that Shibazuke pickles were the creation of a monk who lived in Ohara, an area in the northern part of Kyoto. Shibazuke is a mixture of chopped eggplants, cucumbers, and myoga (native Japanese ginger), and is salted with shiba (red perilla). Ohara is suited for the cultivation of shiba because there is plenty of clean water from the surrounding mountains. Furthermore, the fragrance of shiba is really nice and distinct.
AKOYA-CHAYA is on Ninenzaka lane near Kiyomizu temple which is one of the most famous tourist spots in Kyoto. This restaurant offers a buffet of kyo-tsukemono for ￥1,280. You can enjoy 25 different of kinds of tsukemono with Ochazuke which means “soaked in green tea”. So ochaduke is bowl of rice with green tea poured over it. It is considered a light meal in Japan and eaten with salty food such as pickled vegetables or dried fish and seaweed boiled in soy sauce.
AKOYA-CHAYA(阿古屋茶屋) is on the way from Ninenzaka(二年坂) to Sanneizaka(産寧坂). It is a 6- to 10-minutes walk, from Kiyomizu temple. >>Access Map
- Open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. / no holiday
- WEB http://www.kashogama.com/akoya/index.html (in Japanese)
by Serizawa Tomomi
Nishiki, com as suas mais de 100 lojinhas, é o mercado mais famoso de Quioto.
O seu nome já aparece registrado em obras literárias escritas em 1054, mas foi depois de acabar a guerra Onin (Onin-no-Ran), no século XVI, que Nishiki se tornou no mercado popular de Quioto.
Antigamente, existia uma pequena fonte perto de Nishiki, o que levou a que se estabelecesse como um importante mercado de peixe. Em Quioto não há mar, pelo que esta pequena fonte era utilizada para conservar os peixes trazidos via fluvial.
Ainda hoje, Nishiki se mantém um importante mercado não só de peixe, mas de todos os produtos culinários. Por este motivo, é comum chamar ao Nishiki a “Cozinha de Quioto”, pela simples razão que aqui podemos adquirir todos os produtos utilizados na culinária típica da cidade.
Quando se aproxima o ano novo, o mercado fica lotado com os habitantes da cidade a fazerem as suas compras para celebrarem o ano novo que se aproxima. Tudo se pode comprar em Nishiki, mas as iguarias japonesas como tsukemono ou tofu são muito apreciadas.
Aqui também existem alguns pequenos restaurantes, sítios privilegiados para experimentar a gastronomia japonesa.
Metrô: Estação Shijo (siga pela Avenida Shijo e vire à esquerda no department store Daimaru. Ande mais um pouco até chegar ao mercado.
Ponto de ônibus; Shijo-Takakura.
by Fumiko Ueno; Megumi Tanenaka
Quem visita o Japão, sabe que a palavra omiyage significa lembrança.
Há muitos tipos de omiyages interessantes em Quioto.
Um dos mais famosos é um doce chamado “Yatsuhashi”.
É como arroz de massa com feijão doce no seu interior.
Recentemente, podemos encontrar algumas variações, com sabores a chocolate, morango, chá verde, banana, etc…
É fácil encontrar “Yatsuhashi” ao gosto de cada pessoa.
Em Quioto também se pode comprar “Tsukemono”, picles japoneses para serem desfrutados com arroz.
Porém, Quioto é uma das cidades mais tradicionais do Japão, sendo por isso também famoso omiyages como leques, bonecas e brinquedos japoneses, artigos sobre Samurai, kimonos, palitos, etc…
Escolher um ou mais omiyages é um dos prazeres mais apreciados dos que visitam Quioto.