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■ Kyoto specialty 1. Maiko

A maiko is a woman who goes out with customers, dances, sings, and plays instruments to entertain them, especially in Gion. A maiko is still an apprentice and becomes a geiko when she becomes a professional.

▼Maiko Kitty

She wears a flower on her ear and a kimono. A maiko is known for her crimson lipstick, but unfortunately Kitty has no lips, so she can’t put on lipstick.

■Kyoto specialty 2. Yatsuhashi

A must for Kyoto souvenir


It’s a traditional Kyoto sweet made of rice flour (made from finely milled rice), sugar, and cinnamon to make a crepe-like wrapper that is then filled with cinnamon-flavored red bean paste. It has a unique chewy texture due to the rice flour.

What is sweet red bean paste (Anko)?

It is indispensable for Japanese sweets.

It’s made of simmered red beans and sugar, and plays an important role in almost all traditional Japanese sweets.

▼Yatsuhashi Hello Kitty

Is it the designer’s kindness that gave it arms and legs? Normally, yatsuhashi is triangle-shaped. This Hello Kitty is green because she represents the green tea yatsuhashi. The see-through red bean paste part is used to create her face.

■Kyoto specialty 3. Traditional Kyoto vegetables

Traditional Vegetables of Kyoto


Kyoto developed its own varities of vegetables because Kyoto is far from the sea. There are many temples where vegetarian cooking prospered, because Buddhists abstain from certain foods like meat and fish. For these reasons, their main cuisine consists of vegetables, beans, and grains. These vegetables are called Kyo-yasai, “traditional Kyoto vegetables.”

Definition of Kyo-Yasai (Kyoto vegetables)

1. Vegetables produced before the Meiji Restoration, back when Kyoto was the capital of Japan.
2. Vegetables produced not only in Kyoto city itself, but all of the Kyoto metropolitan area.
3. It includes bamboo shoots.
4. It does not include mushrooms or ferns (like wild fiddleheads).
5. Vegetables produced are cultivated just for preservation of the species, or vegetables whose species are not cultivated but are preserved. This includes extinct vegetables.

▼Kyoto Vegetables Hello Kitty

A handkerchief with Hello Kitty dressed up as Kyoto vegetables. Carrots, green onions, radishes…all of them are classic vegetables at a glance, but special names have been given to the Kyoto varieties.

By the way….


Japanese women usually have handkerchiefs in their bags. They’re used to wipe sweat, dry washed hands after using the restroom, and as a napkin to protect clothes during mealtime.

▼Kyoto Vegetables Hello Kitty / Kujo Green Onion


Kujo Green Onion

Kujo green onions produced in Kujo, Kyoto.

▼Kyoto Vegetables Hello Kitty / Shogoin Radish Kitty

Shogoin Radish

These radishes originate in Shogoin. They’re round compared to normal daikon, which are usually long and slender.

The local Hello Kitty exists in Kyoto sometimes! Please search in souvenir shops when you come to visit!

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