Mar. 14, 2023 UPDATE
Delve into the World of the Kitano Tenmangu Area - From Basic Info to Hole-in-the-wall Spots; this is the Kitano Tenmangu Area -
Part 4

Kitano Tenmangu Food

In this part, we’ll be looking at some of the amazing restaurants and sweets shops in the Kitano Tenmangu area!
In addition to ancient beloved local delicacies like “Chogoromochi” and “Awamochi,” the area’s also home to a swath of trendy new wave cafes, too.
Click the “More Information” button below each of the restaurants/cafes to find out more–as knowing their history and recommended dishes makes going just that much more enjoyable!
Chogoromochi is one of the Kitano Tenmangu area’s most famous delicacies (chogoromochi is the white sweet in the center of the picture).
The history of this local sweet stretches back over 400 years! It’s said that an old man named “Chogoro” used to sell these sweets at the Kitano Tenmangu Shrine’s Tenjin san market, and one day, the samurai Toyotomi Hideyoshi laid his sights on the stall where he instantly fell in love with what he was given.
Ever since then, chogoromochi has been served at the Kitano Tenmangu Shrine’s tea parties first hosted by Hideyoshi and have garnered a great deal of respect in the world of Japanese wagashi sweets.
Remaining popular even today, the sweets are made of a fine red bean paste inside soft, snow-white mochi and feature an elegant, refined sweetness.
At Chogoromochi’s main store just outside the Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, you can sit down on one of their traditional tea seats and catch your breath before heading back out to see more of the area.
Toyouke Chaya
Toyouke Chaya is a restaurant run by the 100-year-old long-standing Kyoto tofu shop, “Toyoukeya Yamamoto.”
While Toyoukeya Yamamoto was originally a store that exclusively sold tofu, they wanted to give people the opportunity to enjoy the flavors of freshly made tofu and yuba tofu skin, so in 1992, decided to open Toyouke Chaya.
Toyouke Chaya serves the kind of fresh tofu and yuba based dishes that only somewhere with such a deep knowledge of what makes tofu so great could.
Offering everything at a reasonable price despite the sheer quality of the tofu, including gorgeous traditional Japanese lunch sets and donburi rice bowls, Toyouke Chaya has consistently been vying for the spot of most popular restaurant in the food-obsessed Kitano Tenmangu area.
If you’re looking to try some of Kyoto’s famed tofu or yuba tofu skin while in the motherland of tofu, then Toyouke Chaya is the place to check out.
musubi Kyoto – Oden, Tempura and Sake
musubi Kyoto – Oden, Tempura and Sake is a recently opened (late 2019) restaurant sitting at the cutting edge of the Kyoto restaurant scene.
Stepping inside the small 16 m2 restaurant, you’ll find owner and long time Japanese chef Hiroshi Hasegawa painstakingly whipping up a range of dishes that let the incredible flavors of Japanese dashi soup stock shine.
Another unique aspect of musubi Kyoto is the fact that you can enjoy original Japanese-western fusion dishes, too.
Derived from the notion of “connecting people, food and time,” the name musubi comes from the Japanese word musubu, meaning to connect. The moment you step foot in the door, this sentiment is on full display as owner Hiroshi Hasegawa warmly welcomes every new customer and offers heartfelt hospitality.
For all these reasons and more, only a few months into business, musubi Kyoto was already the talk of the town and quickly garnered a sizeable following.
Latte Art Junkies
Latte Art Junkies Roasting Shop 2nd is a specialty coffee shop that obsesses over everything from beans to roasting to extraction–all for that one perfect cup of coffee.
The owner of Latte Art Junkies is a world-class barista who boasts awards from both domestic and international latte art championships.
Making sure to carry out thorough quality control, Latte Art Junkies always make sure that the coffee they’re serving up is both rich in flavor and aroma.
If you’re looking for a good coffee in the area, then visit Latte Art Junkies.
knot cafe
Sitting down an alleyway just off the main street in front of the Kitano Tenmangu Shrine is knot cafe.
Inside you’ll be greeted by a tidy, wide-open interior made cozy by the natural light welcomed in by the café’s large windows.
Pictured above is knot cafe’s signature omelet sandwich and red bean paste and butter sandwich. Sitting between two deliciously airy buns, the Japanese style omelet gives this slider-like bite-sized sandwich an addictive quality that’ll have you coming back for more.
Two other menu items are knot cafe’s take on a Japanese classic, the anbataa sando (red bean and butter sandwich) and chocolate daifuku–a collaborative creation with local Japanese sweets legend Chogoromochi.
Castella do Paulo
Since it first arrived to Japan from Portugal centuries ago, the sponge cake tentatively known in Japan as “castella” has spent the last couple of hundreds of years developing an entirely separate identity from its western counterparts.
Sitting next door to the Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, Castella do Paulo is western-style sweets shops that specialized in authentic “Japanese” castella sponge cakes.
While those in the west might not think a sponge cake is anything to wait in line for, the people of Kyoto don’t share the same sentiment, as Castella do Paulo has become a mega star of the area with constant lines out the door.
With its fine, bouncy sponge, it’s said to take great skill to master the making of castella cakes with Kyoto ingredients–this could possibly be the reason why these delectable cakes are such a hit.
Also, Castella do Paulo sits in the heart of the Kitano Tenmangu area–which is well known for its traditional Japanese sweets–its delicious western-style sweets stand out just that much more.
If you’ve got a sweet tooth, then check out Castella do Paulo.
If your budget allows for it, then one restaurant that cannot be missed off any list is the wholly hanamachi-esque traditional Kyoto restaurant Koshiji.
This long-standing Kyoto-style restaurant is frequented by the maiko and geiko of the nearby Kamishichiken district and is one of the area’s most well-known restaurants.
Enjoy a relaxing night of hospitality from the restaurant’s kind Okami proprietress and delicious traditional Kyoto cuisine made by the highly skilled hands of the chef.
While the menu doesn’t have any prices, it’s usually around ¥10,000 for four dishes and one bottle of sake.
Sushi Yoshizuki
Sushi Yoshizuki
Sushi Yoshizuki is a seafood restaurant where you can enjoy delicious sashimi and sushi made with fresh fish brought in that day. Not only that but its also reasonably well priced as well!
We also recommend the dessert made by Sushi Yoshizuki’s former French chef.

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