From October 31 to November 4, 2019, Gyoza Fest KYOTO 2019 took place in Okazaki Park, just outside the famous tourist destination of the Heian Jingu Shrine.
The festival featured 12 stalls offering all kinds of gyoza, from local favorites to juicy meat-filled gyoza and regional gyoza from around the country. In addition to all the delicious dumplings, local beer, wine, and desserts were also available.
So if you love dumplings and love drinking, then boy do we have an event for you.
To get to the festival, we took the subway to “Higashiyama Station” before walking 10 minutes to Okazaki Park.
To the right of the entrance was a tent selling tickets that you exchanged at the stalls, so line up and get as many as you need (1 ticket is 600 yen). Also, note that these tickets can’t be refunded.
However, if you’re looking to beat the lines, then you can always just use electronic payment methods, such as Apple Pay, ICOCA and Suica, etc, at the stalls themselves.
Just for the meantime, we picked up six tickets. Although it was barely 11 o’clock, the festival was already packed. As this was our first gyoza festival, we weren’t sure when was the best time to come.
At this stall run by a Tokyo gyoza shop, there were already tons of people waiting in line.
But we were hungry and weren’t about to wait in line that long. So next stall it was.
In the end, we thought a local classic would be an excellent first choice, so grabbed some of these Kyoto pork, plum and shiso, and lemon gyoza.
We then stumbled across this uncommon duck meat gyoza, which, of course, we couldn’t pass up. In the end we went for the cheese dak-galbi gyoza, because, you know, we can’t resist things that look good on Instagram.
Next was an ice cold beer to go with the pipping hot gyoza.
We found a craft beer by the name of Fujizakura Heights Beer and went with the staff’s recommendation of the Dragon Mosaic beer.
Finally it was time to dig in! The lemon and shiso gyoza had a tad bit of a sour accent, which made them that much more irresistibly delicious. The stringy cheese and homemade gochujang of the dak-galbi gyoza had some pretty intense flavors, so went perfectly with our choice of spiced hoppy beer.
Everything was a little too good so before we knew it we were out of dumplings and standing back in line for round two.
A local Kyoto restaurant from the Fukakusa area of Fushimi, Fukuyoshi, was offering up simple pork and green onion dumplings packed with original spices. The addition of miso dipping sauce made these already delicious dumplings just that much better.
The next gyoza we tired were these popular pink shrimp gyoza. These dumplings were packed with big chunks of satisfyingly squishy shrimp and nothing if not the real deal.
The light flavors made you feel like you could go on eating these dumplings forever.
Trying all these different variations on gyoza, from beloved traditional ones to new and unique ones, such as the lemon or plum filled gyoza, really gave us a sense of just how deep the world of dumplings really is.
Being introduced to all these different flavors and variations really made us glad that we went.
|Vanessa[ Sharing Kyoto Staff ]|