Sharing Kyoto’s feature articles

In our feature articles we dig deep into the Japanese psyche,
from seasonal topics like cherry blossoms to staples like soba noodles.

Seasonal Kyoto

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Drinking and Walking through Kyoto Summer Nights
The best way to enjoy hot summer nights in Kyoto has to be Nomi-aruki, or bar-hopping. After a long day of trecking around smoldering hot sightseeing, nothing beats grabbing some friends and hitting the breezy streets of night time Kyoto for a good, cold drink. Kyoto is home to a slew of Nomi-aruki spots, making bar-hopping a great way to enjoy nights in Japan’s ancient capital. The walks in between the bars can't be understated either, as those late-night strolls through the ancient streets are one of the biggest highlights of bar hopping in this city. The nearly deserted streets lit by the dim light of traditional paper lanterns give off a dramatically different atmosphere from the day, making these walks as interesting and fun as any of the bars you'll visit. In this Nomi-aruki Feature, the writers of Sharing Kyoto introduce you to their favorite ways to enjoy summer nights in Kyoto. So, grab some friends, and with these articles in hand, hit the streets of Kyoto for some summertime bar hopping!
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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.
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Kawadoko in Kyoto: an outstanding summer dining experience
Summer in Kyoto means kawayuka – riverside dining. Kawayuka is also called “nature’s air conditioner.” In summer Kyoto gets humid and very hot; so many people escape this weather to the kawayuka dining platforms. When you talk of kawayuka in Kyoto, the one by the Kamo River, often shortened yuka, is probably the most famous. There are different styles of kawayuka in Kyoto, and they’re enjoyed in different ways. One of the most exciting things about the kawayuka by the Kamo River is the way you can enjoy different types of food, from Japanese washoku to such international cuisines as French and Italian. In Kibune you get to enjoy your food on top of a river, and in Takao, you get to enjoy the cool air and be surrounded by nature. So, this time we are going to introduce to you three different areas and three different types of kawayuka, by the Kamo River, in Kibune, and in Takao.

Popular spots

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Cleanse your mind and body at the Japanese gardens of Kyoto!
Kyoto’s temples are always a popular sightseeing destination for tourists. Getting to admire beautiful gardens at these temples is an experience that is bound to leave a lasting memory! But how are these gardens categorized? What are the differences between garden types? I think that this is a question most people can’t answer without looking at Wikipedia! In this feature article, we will take a look at the defining characters of different types of Japanese gardens, and also take the Randen tram to see some gardens. And lastly, we will go find some great restaurants with nice gardens! I hope you will enjoy the profound world of Japanese gardens!
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Renovated machiya-style townhouse fun in Kyoto! Eat, drink, and have fun in machiya!
When you walk on the historic streets of Kyoto, you will undoubtedly notice all the old houses lining the streets. These houses are actually called “Kyoto machiya townhouses.” Do you know what this word means? It’s the townhouses that the people of Kyoto used to live in, but, sadly, with the advent of modernity, the number of houses like this has gone down dramatically. Luckily, there is now a movement to restore these Kyoto machiya townhouses to their former glory. So now you can find all kinds of restaurants and shops located in machiya, so keep reading if you want to know what kinds of machiya townhouse restaurants, shops, and experiences you can find in Kyoto!
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The shrines and temples of Kyoto and their traditional Japanese sweets!
There are many shrines and temples in Kyoto, many of them World Heritage Sites, so a huge number of tourists visit them every year. But did you know that some of these places of worship have their own Japanese sweet they’re famous for? In Japanese, these treats are called “Sweets sold in front of the temple gates,” which as you can probably guess, is where most of the places selling these sweets are located. These sweets are great to have when at the temple, or you can eat them later at your hotel. In this article, we take a look at what kinds of shrine-sweets you can have in Kyoto, and what they have to do with the shrine! So come with Vanessa and find out which are the best shrine-sweets in Kyoto!

Culture of Kyoto

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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!
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The tea culture of Kyoto
The tea culture of Kyoto is very old, and you can even find the oldest tea field in Kyoto in the area of Takao, at the World Heritage Site of Kosan-ji Temple. Tea ceremony and matcha are maybe the most important part of tea in Kyoto, but there are also many other types of delicious teas in Koyto, some with a lot of umami, some with a more grassy taste, and some that have a nice smokiness to them. Read below if you want to know more about the types of teas you can find in Kyoto, like gyokuro, kabusecha, sencha, hojicha, and many more.
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Traditional handicrafts from Kyoto
Kimono, Kyo-yaki, Kyo-zogan, and many other words for different types of handicrafts are something you quite often hear in Kyoto, a place famed for its temples, which in turn then became patrons of art, which then lead to the birth of the “dento koge,” traditional handicrafts of Kyoto.

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