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JR Kyoto Station is the point of departure for amazing, rich, traditional,kaleidoscopic places and experiences in Kyoto. Or maybe this is your final stop while waiting for a Shinkansen. In any case, your Kyoto experience would begin here.
Did you know that Kyoto station isn’t just a transportation hub but also a cultural hub, especially for Kyoto-based Japanese food ? Yes, I must admit Kyoto station is overwhelmingly modern, and there’s no hint of tradition. That’s right in terms of its building, but it’s not the case when it comes to what you can experience there. Easy access and convenience. Even in Tokyo, there’s no place like this.
Here’s a short list of best shops and restaurants for pro-travelers, who are looking for savoring authentic Japanese tradition.
Its main shop is located in the Shimogamo area, but you can enjoy its cafe and shop on the Shinkansen concourse,too. It’s hard to choose just one item from this shop, but maybe this is the one.
Using renowned high-quality black beans from the Tanba area, “Kurodaizu” is simple yet finger licking good ! It looks like just natural beans, but there are advanced skills to make them sweet like that.
2.京都茶寮 Kyoto Saryo
Located on the second floor of Kyoto Station building, Kyoto Saryo showcases flowery Japanese sweets from long-established shops. You can enjoy not only season-themed sweets from but also Kyoto Saryo limited edition of sweets. Here are some sweets of the month.Hiro – Kokoro☆Photo/Flickr
Toraya is proud of about 480 years history and known for one of the appointed suppliers for the Japanese royal family. Its signature confection is Yokan, red bean paste. After the Meiji Restoration, the royal family moved to Tokyo so Toraya’s headquarter did. But it originated in Kyoto. No worries, there’s still a branch of Toraya. Just next to JR Kyoto Station, Isetan department store’s basement floor has it.
4.川端道喜 Kawabata Doki
Also on the same floor, you can find another appointed sweets supplier called “Kawabata Doki”. You know what ? It was established in 1503 ! Its specialty is “Chikamki”, but you need a reservation to get it. And also it’s not available at Kyoto Isetan. A plan B for that is “Oitopai”, made of Japanese sugar “wasanbon”. Compared to Toraya in Isetan, it’s a bit hard to find this item because it is displayed with a tiny wooden sign along with other stores. So, my recommendation is you should just ask a sales clerk where you can find it.
Speaking of “wasanbon” sugar, Shioyoshiken’s “Yukimaroge” is something you shouldn’t forget. When you put it on your tongue, soon after it starts melting like snow(yuki) flakes. The main shop is in the Imadegawa area, but it’s also available on Isetan B1 .
6.出町ふたば Demachi Futaba
One of the most popular “Mame Mochi (rice cake with beans)” is definitely this. The main shop is located in the Imadegawa area, but Isetan has limited time offer at noon and 14:30. Monday through Sunday except for Tuesday and Thursday. [Note] Saturday service is available at 14:30 only. Plus, there’s no arrival of goods on the forth Wednesday.Hanayakakajin/Flickr
7.京菓子司 満月 Kyokashitsukasa Mangetsu
Named after “Ajari”, a high rank Buddhist priest in Tendai sect, Ajaraimochi represents the shape of the priest’s hat. It’s nice and soft. You can enjoy the harmony of red beans from Tanba. Available at various shops in Kyoto station.
Kyoto Granvia hotel has one of the most famous Japanese restaurants called “Kicho”. The main restaurant earned Michelin 3 stars is located in the Arashiyama area, but there’s a chance to take a glimpse of the pinnacle of Japanese cuisine at Kyoto station. The signature dish is “Shokadou Bento” created by the founder of Kicho, Teiichi Yuki.
Speaking of Japanese cuisine, you can’t miss Wakuden. Wakuden Kodaiji and Muromachi earned Michelin stars and a former executive chef of Wakuden Kyoto opened his own restaurant “Ogata”, which got Michelin 2 stars.
Kyoto Wakuden in Isetan offers you a night view from the restaurant with beautiful Japanese dishes.
10.老舗弁当 Shinise Bento
Isetan B2 has the long-established restaurant’s Bento section. If you don’t have much time to stop by a popular restaurant or you’d like to enjoy your meal at hotel, this is the must stop !
If you want to know more about souvenirs from Japan, also check these articles: