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Top Foods to Try in Kyoto

Top Foods to Try in Kyoto

Traditional Kyoto dining relies on vegetables, tofu, and rice—a simple but elegant diet of delicacies that for centuries have catered to monks and vegetarians. To try Kyoto cuisine, orKyo-ryori, for yourself, here are five essential ingredients.

Pickles Order a meal in almost any restaurant in Japan, and the entrée will undoubtedly be served with pickled vegetables. This rings true in Kyoto, where three main types of pickles are specialties of the region. The first issenmaizuke, thinly sliced turnip pickled in salt and seaweed with sugar sprinkled on top to add unexpected sweetness.Shibazukeis salty, pickled eggplant with a hint of ginger, whilesuguki, or pickled turnip, is fermented in salt.

Fu It's hard to describe fu, translated as wheat gluten, but the protein-rich, elastic, textured substance replaces meat in many contemporary diets. Other cultures refer to the dish as Seitan and wheat meat. Having been produced in Kyoto for over 100 years, the meat substitute is served in a variety of ways, including as a popular ingredient in soups.

Tofu The staple of Kyoto is tofu, made from soybeans. The healthy protein is abundant and fresh across the city, usually hand-made. While every region of Japan produces the meat substitute, Kyoto is renowned and revered for its production and version of the dish. Found in soups, stir fry, alongside rice and sometimes simply paired with pickled vegetables, Kyoto reveres its tofu. In the bustling Nishiki Market, patrons can also purchase and sample the local delicacy yuba, or tofu skin.

Seasonal vegetables Fresh, regional vegetables have been a mainstay in the Kyoto diet for centuries, and they are vast and varied—emi imois a variety of yam easily distinguished by its prawn-like pattern on the skin;horikawa gobois a root vegetable from burdock;kamo-nasuis a type of eggplant; andkintoki ninjinis a long, thin, red carrot. These vegetables and many others can be found everywhere from house kitchens to large restaurants.

Ochazuke This tea-flavored rice might be the most quintessential Japanese dish, made from the country’s two major staples: rice and green tea. The simple dish is prepared by pouring green tea over rice and adding savory toppings like pickled plums, seaweed, salmon flakes or even broiled eel. Normally eaten as a simple snack or a late-night meal,ochazukeis Kyoto comfort food.

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5 Tours and Activities | All Kyoto Tours

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Japanese Tea Ceremony with a Tea Master at Wakwak-kan

Japanese Tea Ceremony with a Tea Master at Wakwak-kan

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Experience the traditions of Japan at a tea ceremony in Kyoto and learn the origins of this ancient practice. Choose from one of two different tea ceremony options—one is hosted in a machiya (typical wooden house) and the other ceremony is complete with kimono dress. Your ceremony includes a guide, who provides translation.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$40.93
Price varies by group size
From
$40.93
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Kyoto Cooking Class, Sake Tasting and Nishiki Food Market Walking Tour

Kyoto Cooking Class, Sake Tasting and Nishiki Food Market Walking Tour

star-4.5
Make a food-lover’s journey through Kyoto, stopping at its best food shops, famous Nishiki Food Market and a sake brewery before finishing with a cooking class during this small-group, 3.5-hour excursion limited to 7 participants. Learn about Japanese ingredients at Kyoto’s top market, check out the city’s lesser known food shops and stop by a sake brewery for a tasting. End your food experience with a 1.5-hour cooking class making sushi, soup and salad. This small-group excursion also includes admission and tasting at the sake brewery.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Taking safety measures
From
$145.40
Price varies by group size
From
$145.40
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Kyoto Sushi-Making Class

Kyoto Sushi-Making Class

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Become a sushi chef for the day, and then enjoy your creations for dinner, during this small-group, 90 minute sushi-making lesson with instructor in Kyoto. Join your professional instructor inside a traditional Japanese townhouse as you immerse yourself in the techniques for 'makizushi,' a rolled form of sushi made with dried seaweed. After a short demo, try your hand at making this uniquely Japanese cuisine, using your choice of ingredients. This small group class, limited to no more than 7 guests, also includes an English-speaking guide to help with translation.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Taking safety measures
From
$70.01
Price varies by group size
From
$70.01
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Fushimi Inari and Sake Tasting Tour

Fushimi Inari and Sake Tasting Tour

star-4.5
Discover two sides to Kyoto as you visit one of its most famous shrines, then learn about sake production and tasting, during this 3.5-hour excursion in Kyoto. Begin with a visit to Fushimi Inari Shrine, an iconic religious site with striking red torii (gates). Then visit Gekkeikan Okura Sake Museum, to learn how the drink is made and try some samples. Finish with another tasting at a Kyoto sake store. This 3.5-hour visit includes a guide, train transport and all sake tastings and entrance fees.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Taking safety measures
From
$145.40
Price varies by group size
From
$145.40
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Kyoto Cooking Class

Kyoto Cooking Class

star-5
Combine Kyoto cuisine with Imperial history during this 1.5-hour cooking class. Led by a food-loving local, the class is set in one of Kyoto’s age-old wooden houses and includes the meal — after you’ve cooked it, of course. Choose to create an ‘obanzai’ vegetarian meal or a teriyaki chicken dish with soup and salad. This experience runs with just six people for an intimate and authentic experience.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$73.24
Price varies by group size
From
$73.24
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures