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area in Kyoto

Mid-Winter Wagashi: Kyoto Toraya Red Plum Blossom with Frost Theme Namagashi Confection

Mid-Winter Wagashi: Kyoto Toraya Red Plum Blossom with Frost Theme Namagashi Confection

A wagashi confection that was created in 1699 by Toraya is a beautiful and unmistakable expression of a mid-winter plum blossom. It is called Shimokobai 霜紅梅, or red plum blossom with frost. This confection, created centuries ago, expresses something that I can only clearly recall seeing once: fruit blossoms in snow.
While it is mid-winter here in Kyoto, we are…

Kyoto Sawai Shoyu Honten Soy Sauce Candy

Kyoto Sawai Shoyu Honten Soy Sauce Candy

Japanese make hard candy with some novel indigenous ingredients and flavors that often sound culinarily dubious but actually taste quite good. This is one, shoyu ame, or soy sauce candy. It is made by a shinise shoyu producer that still makes handcrafted soy sauce the heart of the ancient city, just a few minutes walk from the Gosho Imperial Palace.…

Dinner at Yoshikawa Ryokan: Tempura Kakiage O-chazuke

Dinner at Yoshikawa Ryokan: Tempura Kakiage O-chazuke

The other day I was fortunate enough to be invited for a wonderful tempura kaiseki dinner by some new friends from San Francisco at one of Kyoto’s most famous ryokan inns: Yoshikawa Ryokan. While Yoshikawa Ryokan is a fine place to stay, it is perhaps more famous for its tempura cuisine. Many Kyotoites go there just for tempura dinner.
Now,…

Izuju: The Best Kyoto Style Sushi in Kyoto

Izuju: The Best Kyoto Style Sushi in Kyoto

Sushi in Kyoto has a long history but it is quite unlike the nigiri sushi that we are used to abroad. Unlike Tokyo, Kyoto was landlocked and that required somehow keeping fish edible after the journey here. Kyoto sushi required some smarts and ingenuity, it also had to be good enough for the emperor! Izuju is a restaurant in Gion…

Gion Hatanaka Maiko Dinner Show Review

I noticed some search access recently for the fake maiko dinner show (Kyoto Cuisine and Maiko Evening) at Hatanaka Ryokan in Gion.
I was invited to review it by Hatanaka and it was horrible. I wrote a detailed critical review but Miwa used to work there so I haven’t posted it yet.
Unprofessional Production
The maiko are cute…

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