This post is also available in: Chinese (Traditional)
1. Kyoyamato (Kaiseki)
This is a way to reasonably taste the exquisite flavor of the ancient Kyoto-style kaiseki restaurant, Kyoyamato. They sell three kinds of bento, all of them beautifully made with seasonal ingredients. Please enjoy this mini-kaiseki experience (3780 yen (tax incl.)).
2. Shimogamo Saryo (Kaiseki)
Shimogamo Saryo is an well-established shop that opened in 1856. At the JR Kyoto Isetan storefront, you can buy the Kuchifuku Aioi Gozen (2160 yen) and the vegetable bento (1080 yen), two meals that are popular with women and vegetarians. You can also buy side dishes for that night’s dinner and gifts.
3. Hanbey Fu (Seitan/dried beancurd)
It’s been 300 years since this business began. Hanbey Fu specializes in Kyoto seitan and yuba, dried beancurd. Seitan is gluten made from wheat flour, while yuba is made from soy milk that is unused during the tofu-making process. Recently, they’ve gained popularity as vegan low-calorie high-protein foods. Seitan, yuba, and tofu were precious sources of protein for monks who had to be vegetarian, so this is definitely a recommended stop for any vegetarian travelers.
HP: www.hanbey.co.jp/top.html (Japanese Only)
4. Kakisen (Sushi)
This celebrated dish from Nara and Wakayama is made by taking enough vinegared rice to be a big mouthful, putting salmon or mackerel sashimi on top, and then wrapping it in a salt-pickled persimmon leaf. The persimmon leaf has antibacterial properties, so this became very popular as people were able to carry this around with them for days without worrying about it spoiling. Remember to remove the leaf before eating.
HP: www.kakisen.jp/ (Japanese Only)
5. 551 Horai (Chinese)Opponent/Wikipedia
It’s said that there isn’t a single person from Kansai that doesn’t know 551 Horen. That’s how famous this pork bun shop in Osaka is. They don’t sell just pork buns, but also shumai dumplings and ice cream, so definitely try it. At JR Kyoto Isetan, there are counter seats, so you can eat the pork bun but also other famous dishes such as their seafood yakisoba for lunch. There is also a store specifically to buy take-out near the Kintetsu Kyoto Station ticket gates.
HP: www.551horai.co.jp/index.html (Japanese Only)
6. Kobe Croquettes (Side Dish)
This is a croquette restaurant that’s very particular about its ingredients and cooking methods. The brand Kobe Croquette has stores nationwide. They use specific ingredients such as Irish Cobbler potatoes grown in Tanno-cho, Kitami-shi, Hokkaido. This way they use the natural ingredients of the ingredients, and make sure to offer freshly-fried croquettes as much as possible. The menu standard is their simple potato croquette, 108 yen. Please enjoy the freshness of this croquette.
HP: www.rockfield.co.jp/brand/kc/ (Japanese Only)
7. Mamedanuki (Sushi)
Fried tofu that’s been boiled in spicy-sweet sauce is wrapped around vinegared rice or vinegared rice with meat and vegetables. This kind of inari sushi is a popular traditional commoner meal. At the inari sushi restaurant, Mamedanuki, you can choose between their standard inari sushi (80 yen plus tax), gomoku inari (140 yen plus tax), seasonal inari, etc. You should definitely try this sushi that’s a little different from the sushi that’s famous overseas.
JR Kyoto Station Isetankyoto.wjr-isetan.co.jp
Business hours: 10:00am-8:00 pm
HP: kyoto.wjr-isetan.co.jp/ (Japanese Only)
Address: JR Kyoto Isetan B2F, Higashi-Shiokoji, Shiokoji-Sagaru, Karasuma St., Shimogyou-ku, Kyoto