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Kyoto Food
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Dinner and the Market

Eating at a Ryokan

Dinner At Ryokan
We arrived at our hotel after 7pm and the hotel staff was quite happy to see us - we had booked 4 nights for 4 people and arrived later than most guests.  After the greeting, we were asked at what time we would like to receive our meals.  While in Beppu, we found our meals were an additional cost and this room was already 10,000 yen a night/person so the prospect of an additional cost (probably 4,000 yen a day) wasn't thrilling.  After much explaining, we finally understood - the 10,000 rate included meals (contrary to what our English reservations said) so we gladly accepted.

Ryokan dinners have a traditional form where every bite can be different.  The meal often has a plate of appetizers - little bite sized savory snacks.  All meals include pickles, some of which are unique to the area or even the establishment.  Our soup included bit of matsatake mushroom.


The meal tries to emphasize the difference - different textures, sweet, sour and salty.  We got crab rolls wrapped in Tofu skin, tempura vegetables and fish custard.

Crab RollsTempura VegetablesCustard With Fish

Most meals include fish.  This meal had a piece of grilled sea bream and a selection of sashimi.  This meal included a large pot of tofu that is boiled and then seasoned with soy sauce, sesame seeds and wasabi.

Piece Of Sea BreemSashimiTofu Boiling

Desert was always fruit.  This meal had grapes and persimmons for desert, but pear was also common.


Nishiki-koji Street Market

The next day we were shopping downtown when it started to rain - some of the only rain we saw the whole trip.  Checking the guidebook for something to do close by (and hopefully out of the rain) we read about (and then found) the Nishiki-koji Street Market.
Fishes On Skewers
The market seems to cater to the Ryokans and restaurants of town.  Fish is a very common sight, either cooked or raw.
Fish On Metal Skewers

Trays Of MeatsTako Under Glass

Fish is available in a surprising number of forms.  As a vegetarian, there are two types of fish I find hard to detect until it's too late - the first is fish flakes (bonito).  They are often sprinkled on top of dishes but are quite sticky when they contact fluid.  The second is tiny rice sized fish they mix in with (surprise) rice.  You will notice them when you see little eyes in your rice.

3 Bins Bonito FlakesRice Sized Little Fishies

Not all food in requires further preparation - there was an Oden stand (soup with fish and tofu in it) and stuffed tamago - egg cooked with fish or eel in it.

Food In SteamersTamago
The fresh vegetable market was the only place that said no to me taking photos, so I don't have many pictures of green things.  You can see vats of pickles for sale - most of the vegetables used I don't recognize.  The second expensive buy was mushrooms - some of these mushrooms are over one hundred dollars US.

Lots Of PicklesExpensive Mushrooms
Next: A Few Temples in Kyoto

Tofu Boiling
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Crab Rolls
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Tags: Japan, market
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Food In Steamers
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Dinner At Ryokan
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Lots Of Pickles
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3 Bins Bonito Flakes
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Tempura Vegetables
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Piece Of Sea Breem
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Expensive Mushrooms
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Rice Sized Little Fishies
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Fish On Metal Skewers
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Fishes On Skewers
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Tako Under Glass
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Custard With Fish
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Trays Of Meats
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Tags: dessert, food porn, fruit, Japan
Tags: Japan(19), market(10), food porn(10), seafood(9), mushroom(2), octopus(1)
From: John Harvey Photo > Trips out of the Country > A Second Trip to Japan > Kyoto Food

Thank you this really helped me with my year 7 project on the food of Kyoto.
Anthony Loschiavo
Sunday, May 20th, 2007 at 01:05:04

Really cool photos, thank you for sharing.
Sunday, December 30th, 2007 at 11:20:45

Which Ryokan did you stay in? I have not found any for that price not even without food!
Sunday, February 17th, 2008 at 08:59:36

cool facts. Thanks
Sunday, March 23rd, 2008 at 17:14:13

Wow those things make me wanna go to japan
Tuesday, March 25th, 2008 at 02:58:08

The Ryokan was called kogetsuso, but I did a brief search and I'm not sure it exists any more. Check out a site like: - they list lots of Ryokan for 10,000 yen a night and less.
John Harvey
Tuesday, October 21st, 2008 at 22:59:22

Thanks for helping me with my school project.
Monday, February 9th, 2009 at 06:28:59

Thank you it helped me very much Love Atyum
Atyum Freton
Monday, April 6th, 2009 at 23:35:38

Yes thank you so so much!!!!
Sunday, May 31st, 2009 at 05:09:56

they design it so greatly. this helped. thanks

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009 at 18:43:08

Thanks for sharing (and taking pictures) of all the delicious delights!
Monday, December 14th, 2009 at 23:18:00

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