Feature Articles

Sharing Kyoto's monthly special reports about the seasons, traditions, and popular spots of Kyoto.

19Articles
Feature

The first day of summer in Kyoto

After the cherry blossom season, just when the hot summer is beginning, many people may think of this period as just a time when Kyoto is sleeping and waiting for the jubilant events of Gion Matsuri and Gozan no Okuribi. Kyoto is surrounded by mountains and because of this the summers are extremely hot and humid; so much so that you may be tempted to just stay in air-conditioned cafes and restaurants. But after the cherry blossoms, it is time for spring greenery in Kyoto, and there are many fun events and places where you can enjoy the green leaves! The grand play of nature you get to see at Kifune Shrine and Kurama Temple; the maple leaves almost shining in vivid shades of green; the cute hydrangea flowers you get to see during Japan’s rainy season, “tsuyu;” the beer gardens sure to be make you refreshed… In the four parts of this article, you can find out about the best ways to spend your summer in Kyoto. I hope this article can be of help to you when you come to Kyoto in summer!
Season Jun. 08, 2017
Feature

Shopping in Teramachi and Shinkyogoku!

If you look up places to go shopping in Kyoto, you are going to run into Teramachi and Shinkyogoku shopping streets. These streets used to be famous only in Japan, especially among students, but right now they are also famous with visitors from overseas. This is a feature article that will guide you through both of these streets! Sharing Kyoto will tell you which of the old shops are in even to this day, and which of the new ones are worth a visit, and lastly, we even have a shopping report! Join us on our fun trip to Teramachi & Shinkyogoku!
Area May. 18, 2017
Feature

A complete guide to Fushimi Inari Shrine

Maybe the most famous among the many sightseeing spots in Kyoto is Fushimi Inari Shrine. Many people head to the shrine to see the mysterious sight of the countless torii gates and the many foxes guarding the shrine. But Fushimi Inari Shrine is not only about torii gates and foxes, there is a lot more to the over 1000-year old shrine. By reading this feature article you will get a better sense of what Fushimi Inari Shrine really is about, like: What is Fushimi Inari Shrine’s history like? Why are there shrines all the way up the mountain? Why are there so many foxes at Fushimi Inari Shrine? And why are there so many torii gates? What are the most popular Fushimi Inari Shrine souvenirs? You will find the answers to these questions and more by clicking on the links below:
Area May. 11, 2017
Feature

Soba and udon have always been loved by the people of Kyoto

Soba and udon noodles are Japanese comfort food. The history of soba and udon in Japan is actually really long, Japanese people have known soba and udon for around one thousand years. I don’t know but maybe it is because of this history that I sometimes just really want to eat soba or udon. I run into a restaurant to taste those fragrant noodles with the delicious dashi soup that goes down so well. I smell the fragrance of the bonito and kelp stock and slurp the noodly deliciousness. Mmm… yummy! I wonder why soba and udon make my heart flutter. In this feature article I am going to find out what makes Japanese people love soba and udon. Of course there are many famous and long-established restaurants in Kyoto. I am going to introduce many long-established restaurants that have been loved by many generations of Kyotoites, but I am also going to establish the latest and hippest in the world of soba and udon. In part two I am going to introduce to you the cool and fashionable way of using soba restaurants as pubs. Drinking at soba restaurants was called “sobayanomi” in Japan 300 years ago. Nowadays many young people don’t even know about “sobayanomi”. But drinking at soba restaurants is not like drinking at pubs, it is cooler. I am going to introduce you the best places to do “sobayanomi” and how to enjoy it to the fullest. Welcome to the profound world of soba and udon. After reading this feature article I am sure you will want to fly to Kyoto and enjoy the fragrance and taste of soba and udon. Let’s all get immersed into the world of soba and udon!
Culture Mar. 24, 2017
Feature

Yuka - Outdoor Riverside Dining in Sunset and Night of Kiyamachi

The summers in Kyoto are hot, which is why the people of Kyoto have thought of ways to enjoy their summers in cooler ways. One of these ways is yuka, which literally means floor, but which in Kyoto means outdoor riverside dining areas that are set along the Kamo River. Restaurants that have yuka dining are open from May 1 to September 30. Offering both lunch and dinner, but the best time to visit a yuka has to be during sunset, although many of the restaurants are open until 11 p.m. The cool river air and the sky turning to pleasant yellows and fiery reds make you wonder why anyone would like to go to any place but Kyoto.
Season Mar. 17, 2017
Feature

Exclusive Sushi Experience in Kyoto

It is no exaggeration to say that the very essence of Japanese culture can be found packed into a single roll of sushi. From the beautiful appearance, through to the uncompromising obsession with the quality of the ingredients, the skill of the chefs, and the dining etiquette, signs of “Japanese-ness” and Japanese spirit can be found everywhere you look, both in the sushi and in the green tea which accompanies it. You can get an even stronger sense of all of these things in a small, hand-rolled sushi restaurant where the only seating available is at the counter. Perhaps the very reason you are planning to visit Japan is to eat delicious sushi. In that case, welcome to Kyoto! This is a place which has prospered as the birthplace of traditional Japanese culture since ancient times, and which continues to both observe and convey the spirit of Japanese cuisine. While Tokyo may be the home of hand-rolled sushi, Kyoto not only has delicious hand-rolled sushi, it also has its very own form of “sushi cuisine”, which developed in harmony with the climate of the region and the lifestyle of its people. So come to Kyoto and become acquainted with the skill of its people and the beauty of their labor for making sushi, as well as discovering just how delicious, convenient, and fun the food made from everyday ingredients can be. Let us help you to turn your experience of eating sushi in Kyoto into a wonderful and unforgettable memory!
Culture Mar. 17, 2017
Feature

Extraordinary Kaiseki Dinner in Kyoto

What is “Washoku”? When posed with that question, what comes to your mind? Sushi? Tempura? Or ramen? Japanese food comes in many forms. There is a diverse range of popular foods and trendy foods, and Japanese food has also rapidly undergone a myriad of changes in response to the trend of the times. But even so, can new cuisine that have evolved with incorporations of the current culture and trends be really called Japanese food? Does this “Washoku” that was registered as a UNESCO intangible cultural heritage in 2013 include ramen and curry rice? UNESCO does not define “Washoku” as a reference to the menu itself. Instead, it refers to a hearty, balanced menu that cherishes the four beautiful seasons, respects nature and enjoyed with customs that seek its harmonious coexistence. These spiritual and aesthetic consciousness is a unique culture of Japanese cuisine and this is what was registered as a UNESCO intangible cultural heritage. In this way, it is precisely this expression of the transitions of the four seasons and respect for the original flavours of the ingredients that make a meal “Washoku”. So, where exactly should one dine at in order to experience the charms of “Washoku”, the traditional food culture of the Japanese people? The answer is none other than Kyoto. There are a few reasons for this, but the biggest one is because Kyoto is known as the “Home of Washoku”. On that note, this time’s feature will be about the Washoku restaurants in Kyoto that have been loved in the past and is still loved today. I will write about the following four points to showcase the beauty of Washoku: “Kaiseki cuisine,” traditional Kyoto Washoku that more prominently brings out the allure of Washoku, hot and popular Washoku in Kyoto evolving day by day, Washoku that can be enjoyed lightheartedly, as well as ways to enjoy Sake, the perfect drink to go with Washoku.
Culture Mar. 17, 2017
Feature

4 Ways To Enjoy Gardens In Kyoto

Gardens have been part of the Japanese culture for centuries, and Kyoto being the old capital of Japan, principles of garden creations was popularized in this very same land. Through history of destroying and rebuilding of the city, some gardens remain for over 1000 years mostly in temples, and that is something Kyoto can be proud of. There are countless gardens in Kyoto, some are ancient while others are modern, and appreciating them will take your soul on a unique time travel. Not only there are different types of gardens with variety of qualities, there are also different methods in appreciating them. We picked up 4 different ways to enjoy gardens in Kyoto and introduce them to you in 4 different parts. Within different ways to enjoy gardens, you will sure to appreciate the art in which garden designers created. What’s behind the design is something deep, yet visually looks simple at times. What was desired in a garden changed in different eras, that’s also something enjoyable to look and compare. We hope that you will get a chance to see several different gardens and consider the different ways of appreciating them. From abundant garden choices you can choose from, we are confident that you will find very memorable ones here in Kyoto.
Culture Mar. 17, 2017
Feature

Kyoto Station: More than Just a Gateway to Kyoto

This modern station building may surprise you at first glance with a thought of it really being in the old capital city of Japan. The station itself went through a massive remodeling which finished in 1997, and it continues to boom with new shops services service to welcome visitors. As a transportation hub, Kyoto Station is considered a gateway to Kyoto located about 1.5 hours away from Kansai International Airport by train and just 35 minutes away from central Osaka. Many visitors will likely to come across this area at least once during a trip in Kyoto. Some will only zip through here heading out to explore further into the city. However, most convenient services are available here along with countless eateries and shops that you may want to consider staying and spend some time in the area. Basically there are two sides, Hachijo-guchi (Hachijo Street side) and Chuo-guchi (JR central gate side). There are underground passage ways along with many shops and eateries. Take a moment and get to know what is available in Kyoto Station!
Area Mar. 17, 2017
Feature

Recommended places to visit during cherry blossom season

The cherry blossom season brings many sentimental feelings to people of Japan every year. With the start of a new school year for students in April in Japan, the cherry blossoms bring encouragement to all the people of the world. Cherry blossoms, also known as sakura in Japanese, are often used as the symbol of Japan. Now cherry blossoms can also be seen in places far across the globe like in Washington D.C. because the Japanese government gives cherry trees out as presents to foreign states in order to strengthen international relations. In Japan, there are about 300 different types of cherry trees. Among them, Somei Yoshino is a type most familiar among people of Japan. Interestingly, most cherry trees are planted and so most trees at the same place are related to each other sharing the same DNA. They tend to blossom at the same time, and the petals also fall off at the same time. The trees are beautiful in any place they bloom, of course. The whole country will be swept over with cherry blossom from March to May. Nonetheless, you do not want to miss the historical city of Kyoto during this wonderful season. We hope that you will spend the cherry blossom season the same way the people of Kyoto do. From wonderful walks by the canals lined with cherry blossoms to feeling the spring air swirling the petals off the trees, there are incredible things to experience in Kyoto. The spring time in Japan is extra special because of the attitude and sentimental feelings people have toward this short time frame when the trees blossom, usually for about 2 weeks.
Season Mar. 17, 2017

Page Top