Adventures in Kyoto [JP]

Tsukiji Fish Market was tons of fun in Tokyo, but I made a few other delicious stops in Kyoto as well. I’ve been taking Japanese for the past three semesters, and it’s been marginally useful at restaurants despite my terrible conversational skills. Pointing to pictures and smiling at waiters were definitely the most useful skills by far.

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Most of the planning by my father went into which temples and shrines we were going to visit on each day, so our food choices were minimally planned. It worked out pretty well, given how delicious all of our food tasted even at random choice.

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Our first stop was one of the ramen restaurants in the Kyoto Ramen Street, which is at the 10th floor of the Kyoto train station. It’s a surprisingly long corridor of only ramen, and each of them had this ticket machine that you used to order and then stand in line. Thankfully, there were English instructions.

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We were starving, so we chose a shop with a bearable line, though my suspicions would be that the shops with the longer lines might have had better ramen? Who knows.

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SO GOOD. The soft boiled eggs are the perfect touch to the terrifyingly savory broth.

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I’ll have to admit, I wasn’t the best food blogger in Kyoto, not keeping track of all the names of the restaurants.. This next place was in Gion where we each got “sets” with a main entree and small sides of miso soup, rice, and salad.

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Steak set (above) and tofu set (below). I had to scoop my tofu up from the soy soup that was kept warm with a flame underneath!

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Another thing about Kyoto? (Or just Japan in general?) There is matcha flavored everything here. I love matcha flavored things (wrote that post about matcha snacks a while back), and so this was a heavenly discovery.

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You could find matcha soft serve like this at practically every street corner.

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And above were some lovely matcha sundaes and lattes at a random cafe we stopped into.

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Uji, a town on the outskirts of Kyoto, is known for its matcha, and so we stopped into one of the restaurants for some matcha soba. I got mine served cold (intentionally!), and I dipped them into the sauce before eating them.

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Mom and dad both got theirs in soup form, and so their noodles had a slightly softer texture. Dad’s set included rice with egg (above). And shoutout to my right-handed mom for using her left hand to get me this shot below.

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For dinner one of the days, we went to たん味屋, an izakaya restaurant in Kyoto, which is the equivalent to a gastropub or tavern by American standards. We got two different kinds of yakisoba (fried noodles) and okonomiyaki, a type of Japanese savory pancake, all of which was served on the hot counter.

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Of course, we also had tonkatsu (fried pork cutlets) a few times. It usually comes with a small bowl of rice and miso, and it’s just a perfect combination all around.

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Above are images from Suika KYK, located beneath the Kyoto Station. Below is tonkatsu from a different restaurant.

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And this was just the food! The other sights and sounds were equally beautiful. 10/10 would recommend.