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Eating in Kansai


Mr Vigs
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I lived in Kyoto for two years about 10 years ago. I can't remember names of places off-hand, only locations. One place I do remember, for reasonably priced lunch kaiseki, is Mukade. It's off Shijo-dori, just west (or is that east?) of Karasuma-dori. There's also a fabulous unadon place on Sanjo-dori, and a tempura place off Shijo, near Daimaru. Of course, this isn't really helping you much. I'll try to e-mail my friends and see if they can give me specific names and locations. In the meantime, I found the Kyoto Restaurant Association website which has information in English.

I'll be in Kobe by the end of March (April 1st at the latest, I think) so I can always help you find some of the cool places! Great stationery shops, Japanese tea shops, traditional handicraft shops, etc. Osaka, Nara, and Kobe are just short train rides away for additional fun.

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I don't know too much about Kyoto, Iw as there 14 years ago and wasn't too interested in the food at the time. You are coming at a great time though, you should be here for all of the cherry blossom viewing!

One restaurant I would love to go to in Kyoto is Tousuiro, a very famous tofu restaurant. Here is their English homepage :

http://www.tousuiro.com/en/index.html

and a review from the Tokyo Food Page:

http://www.bento.com/kyototofu.html

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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And also, it's fun to walk Nishiki-koji-Dori in the central Kyoto. Nishiki-Koji is known for Kyoto's kitchen, therefore, there are many shops selling vegetables, seaweed, tsukemono, fish, etc. :rolleyes:

I was once nominated to be the tour guide for some friends who had never been to Kyoto. One insisted that she needed to walk through Nishiki-koji since she had read about it. Without telling her where we were, I lead her down the street. She began wretching because of the smell of fish (she was "allergic") and she yelled, "Why the hell are you making us go through here?" I replied, "Because you wanted to go through Nishiki, and this is it!" I was annoyed, yet strangely pleased :raz: .

I always wanted to buy a knife from the knife shop on that street, but I could never afford to. I couldn't even afford to buy one of their onigiri molds!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hello,

Is there anyone who is knowledgeable about shoujin ryouri (vegetarian temple cuisine)? I have even asked Japanese friends if they know of any good places in Kyoto that serve this cuisine, but no one has any recommendations.

Although I live in the Kansai area, I don't get to Kyoto very often.

Any recommendations?

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  • 2 weeks later...

I will most likely be tended to during the week by my business counterpart, but don't want to waste a moment of my free time eating marginal food.

I found the following webpage outlining Nagoya Specialties, but where to dine?

I prefer restaurants that offer uniquely Japanese atmosphere (not necessarily foreigner-friendly) and the very best examples of the cuisine.

I will likely take the train to Kyoto and/or Osaka--any must eats there?

One little thing...I don't like sushi.

TIA :biggrin:

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When will you be there? I don't know much about Nagoya but I might be able to find some information for you. I'll be landing in Kobe March 26th if you want some company in Kyoto or Osaka. I used to live in Kyoto and visited Osaka once a month or so, so I know some places in those areas.

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Not a high end food recommendation, but if yakitori is what you like...

The Nagoya chicken specialty is deep fried chicken wings (tebasaki). There is a great chain of tebasaki places in the Nagoya region called

Sekai no Yamachan

http://www.yamachan.co.jp/index.html (website is Japanese only)

Wings are deep fried, lots of pepper involved it seems, my visit also involved copious amounts of beer.

I remember being taught the Nagoya way of eating wings, which is to stick a whole wing in your mouth and suck the meat off of the bones...

I see that they've just opened a branch in Shin Okubo (Tokyo)

------------------------

to taberu is to ikiru

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  • 2 months later...

We are leaving Japan in July. I set a goal of eating Kobe beef before leaving, but it's so expensive that we haven't got around to it.

Does anyone have a recommendation for a Kobe beef restaurant in Kobe that costs around 5000 to 10,000 yen per person?

Thanks.

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I'll ask around at work (I'm in Nishinomiya) at see what I can find. Many of my co-workers live in Kobe and grew up there so they know a lot of really great restaurants.

If you're in Kobe, do you know of any place that serves Croque Monsieur? Real Croque Monsieur--not that crap Donq or other similar bakeries make. I had the Mariage Freres version but it was not up to par.

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I asked one of my co-workers about restaurants. Were you looking specifically for the Sannomiya area? She said she hasn't gone for Kobe beef in a few years, but there used to be a restaurant called "Rokudan" that was quite good and reasonably priced. If you're willing to go to Okamoto, there's another place called Lupin that does Teppanyaki. She said there's a wide range of courses to choose from--the cheapest being about Y3000 or Y4000. She said the Y7000 course is a good value. It's in the same building as a handicraft shop called "Hand in Hand" (or something similar) but on the second floor. It's closer to Hankyu Okamoto Station, not JR (though it's still relatively close to JR Okamoto Station, too).

I just did a search on Rokudan and I believe they have moved to Harbourland. They're in Mosaic and you need reservations. Hours are 11-3, 5-10 and there was no phone number listed.

I'll try to find more information from others. My informant, however, loves food so I would generally trust her suggestions. But it's always good to have more choices!

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prasantrin, as long as the restaurant is within reasonable (no more than 20 minutes) walking distance from any train station, that's fine. We don't have a car, so we'll need to go by train. I appreciate your info so far. If you can squeeze more info from your source, that'd be great!

torakris, I'll check out your list as well.

thanks everyone!

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I am heading to Japan as part of a group of 10 for 10 days in late June. While I have found a lot of information on Tokyo restaurants, I haven't been able to find much information on Kyoto or Osaka. I therefore submit humbly to your guidance.

Can anyone help? :smile:

Thanks in advance.

Cognito ergo consume - Satchel Pooch, Get Fuzzy

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Here's some information I sent to someone else:

Unagi-restaurant name is Kaneyo.

It's  not on Sanjo-street, but It's on small street next to Sanjo-street.

and I suggest Japanese food restaurant Fumibunn It's on small street next to

Sanjo street between Ponto-chou and Kiyamachi.

I used to live in Kyoto and unfortunately, I never learned the names of restaurants. I just knew them by location. Having said that, there's a good katsu restaurant just around the corner from Daimaru department store. You grind your own sesame for the dipping sauce, and you get as much rice as you want. While I was in Kyoto a couple of weeks ago, I noticed that they had another branch on Sanjo Street (the west side, IIRC).

There's also a reasonably priced Japanese restaurant called "Mukade" just off Shijo Street. I recall getting a little kaiseki-style lunch for maybe Y5000? They have a nice gift shop, as well.

Along Shijo Street, between Shijo and Sanjo is an izakaya called Tengu. It's a chain, but the food is not bad. That was where I first had kabocha kurokke and fell in love :wub: .

In Gion I recently went to a restaurant that offered a fusion-style meal along with a chat with a geisha (a real one). I really enjoyed it, and it was interesting being able to talk with geisha and maiko. It wasn't expensive--I think about Y7000 for dinner. I know I have their brochure around somewhere, so I'll take a look for it and post again. If you'd like to see pictures of our dinner there, I have some up at my my webshots album.

I really wish I could give you better directions or be more specific with names but I just never paid much attention. I don't know as much about Osaka, as whenever I go there I tend to search out non-Japanese places. However, I do currently live in Nishinomiya (half-way between Kobe and Osaka) so if you're interested in meeting up just PM me. I usually have weekends free.

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I don't know if you can make it to Hokkaido, but Michel Bras has a restaurant in the Windsor Hotel TOYA, in Toya which would DEFINITELY be worth the trip.

I just checked out the website fort his place:

http://www.windsor-hotels.co.jp/0601/english/main.html

gorgeous, absolutely gorgeous!

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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I am heading to Japan as part of a group of 10 for 10 days in late June. While I have found a lot of information on Tokyo restaurants, I haven't been able to find much information on Kyoto or Osaka. I therefore submit humbly to your guidance.

Can anyone help? :smile:

Thanks in advance.

I love the food of Osaka and consider the city to be a food lover's paradise. You'll eat very well there!

Osakans love food and love to indulge in "kuidaore" (pron. 'ku-ee-dah-oh-ray'). 'Kui' means eat, 'daore' means fall down, so the word literally means "eat 'till you drop"! 'Daore' also means to fall into debt, and there is a saying in Japan- "Kyoto kidaore, Osaka kuidaore". Which means that Kyotoites put themselves into debt by spending lavishly on clothes, whiles Osakans fall into debt by spending on food.

Basicly, to do kuidaore means to spend an evening (or entire night) with friends going from restaurant to street stall to restaurant- kind of like bar-hopping with but with food. This lets you try many different things, and is sure to leave you very full and very broke. The best place for kuidaore is the Minami area of Osaka, especially Dotonbori (you may have seen pictures of the area, with its neon and giant tacky attractions like a 6-metre long mechanical crab stuck on the side of a building).

Anyway, I know you asked for food info and not for a language lesson, but if you remember- and use- the word kuidaore you'll definitely increase your chances of finding good food.

So rather than recommend specific restaurants (Osakans are very picky about restaurants so places open and close really fast), I'll just advise you to tell your hotel staff or anyone else you mean that you want to do kuidaore and let them recommend you their favourite places.

Some foods to try in Osaka:

-Tako-yaki, little balls of octopus, cabbage and other stuff in batter, topped with bonito flakes and a special sauce. This is usually a street food.

-Okonomiyaki, sometimes compared to pancakes, sometimes to pizza, but unlike either. Batter with cabbage and other stuff is cooked on a griddle with pork and, like takoyaki, topped with bonito flakes and a sauce. Okonomiyaki shops usually feature tables with built-in griddles, and you cook it yourself- very fun!

-Ikayaki. Anywhere esle in Japan ikayaki is a grilled squid on a stick, here it's a thin okonomiyaki-like crepe with small chunks of squid, folded over a fried egg (I hope I'm describing this right, it's been ages since I've had it). A typical street food.

-Kushikatsu, which are small pork cutlets, skewered, breaded and deep-fried. Besides pork cutlests, kushikatsu places have a huge variety of things on sticks, like cheese, mochi, bacon-wrapped asparagus, shiitake, and dozens more. Most shops are tiny and all diners sit at the counter and watch the action. Diners share a dipping sauce, which is in a tup on the counter- there are usually signs all over the shop reminding you NOT to double-dip. Yow will also be served crispy pieces of raw cabbage to munch on between orders, which really are really refreshing amidst all the grease.

The drink of choice is draft beer, naturally.

-Yakiniku. Osaka is certainly not the only place in Japan with yakiniku (Korean BBQ), but there is a huge concentration of yakiniku shops in Osaka.

-Techiri, a nabe (hot-pot) with fugu (blowfish, pufferfish, globefish).

-Oshi-zushi, a kind of pressed sushi. Sushi rice is spread into a sheet, topped with shime-saba (marinated mackerel) or other fish, pressed together and cut into squares. 'Aburi-saba', lightly seared shime-sabe, seems to popular now- try it if you get the chance, it's my favourite!

I've likely forgotten lots so hopefully someone will jump in with more recommendations (or correct my explanations

My eGullet foodblog: Spring in Tokyo

My regular blog: Blue Lotus

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