Sep. 25, 2017 UPDATE

A one-day pilgrimage to the fancy food and culture mecca of Kyoto, Okazaki!

Heian Shrine, museums, and food are all great in Okazaki, so come, let’s be cultural for a day and enjoy life in Kyoto!
okazaki area

The atmosphere in Okazaki is that of refinement. The old and somewhat solemn style of Kyoto is symbolized by the towering torii gate of Heian Shrine, but there are also new and exciting places to visit like many galleries, theaters, and the place just in general has a cultural feel to it. You also have the Okazaki Canal and Keage Incline which are both especially beautiful in spring with the cherry blossoms, but Okazaki has a lot to offer all through the year. There are many great restaurants here too, and now Vanessa is going to take us all on a tour of the area!


9 a.m. The vermilion torii gate of Heian Shrine

This is the perfect starting point for our day, as you have the Okazaki Canal, the torii gate, and the stately feeling of it all. 


But if you go inside the Heian Shrine garden, you get to see the beautiful natural scenery and Japanese architecture. This is just so relaxing. 


Heian Jingu Shrine

Okazaki & Heian Shrine / Central Kyoto Area
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11:30 a.m. Line up for Yamamoto Menzou

Yamamoto Menzou is probably the most famous udon restaurant in Kyoto, and there is always a line in front of the restaurant, even before it opens. But the taste is really worth it! It’s better to get there early if you want to get in without waiting for over an hour. 

The noodles here are chewy in a good sense, they have a nice texture. You’ll know it once you bite into them, and as soon as you take your first bite, you’ll also know why so many people line up to eat their noodles. This restaurant is my favorite udon place in Kyoto. 


Yamamoto Menzo

Okazaki & Heian Shrine / Central Kyoto Area
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1 p.m. Mindfulness at National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto

The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, you get to see all kinds of works of art, even video, and not only by Japanese artists but also by European and American artists. 


Among their works they have Japanese paintings in Japanese and western styles, calligraphy, sculptures, video art; all kinds of art for you to enjoy. 


National Museum of Modern Art Kyoto (MOMAK)

Okazaki & Heian Shrine / Central Kyoto Area
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2 p.m. DIY experience at Kyoto Handicraft Center

Here at the Kyoto Handicraft Center, you get to try your hand at woodblock printing, or you can make your very own folding fan; anyway, you get to experience the culture of Kyoto through handicrafts. 



They also have many traditional handicrafts on sale like these cute purses, but they also have other things like earthenware plates. These things make you really appreciate the labor that goes into carefully making each and everyone one of these traditional crafts. 


KYOTO HANDICRAFT CENTER

Okazaki & Heian Shrine / Central Kyoto Area
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4 p.m. Afternoon tea at Kyoto Modern Terrace

This very chic café is located on the second floor of the bookstore Tsutaya in Okazaki, and inside the atmosphere is fancy and cultural. 



So, Kyoto-style Japanese sweets it is! But first, I want to have a fig tart with a cup of coffee and just relax. 


Their terrace seats are really nice, especially at night. You get to take in the night views while you sip on a drink, and just enjoy your life in Kyoto! 


Kyoto Modern Terrace

Okazaki & Heian Shrine / Central Kyoto Area
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5:30 p.m. Local delicacies at Kyo-Tsukemono Daiyasu

Last, but not least, we have tsukemono, Japanese pickles, at the famous Kyo-Tsukemono Daiyasu. They are made using only natural ingredients, and there is nothing artificial about them. You can taste this in the natural salty sweetness of them. 



Once you step in, you are greeted by a plethora of choices; all kinds of colors, all kinds of different vegetables. These pickles also go well with sake. 


Kyo-Tsukemono Daiyasu

Okazaki & Heian Shrine / Central Kyoto Area
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After spending a day in Okazaki, it has time to say goodbye, but I hope I will get to see you all in Kyoto someday. Kyoto is a city of culture which is nowhere as evident as it’s in Okazaki; all the museums and galleries, and even the restaurants are fancier here. Till next time!

Vanessa[ Sharing Kyoto Staff ] STAFF DETAIL
Okazaki in Kyoto is full of culture, and I especially like to spend time inside the bookstore Tsutaya. Also noteworthy is the popular udon noodle restaurant Yamamoto Menzou, and no matter if you have to line up for quite a long while, it’s still worth it! If you want to see a fancier side of Kyoto, come to Okazaki!
Related keywords
All Things To Do Temples & Shrines Cultural Experience Museums & Galleries Soba & Udon Noodles Cafes Zakka (miscellaneous goods) Okazaki & Heian Shrine
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