Kyoto and Tokyo: What & Where to Eat
Updated: Oct 6, 2020
What's there not to love about Japan? The food, especially the food. I'll go back any time just for the food and Don Quijote to stock up on food stuff.
2018; visited Japan in winter and summer.
2019; visited Japan in summer and climbed Mt Fuji by myself!
2020; trying my best to resist going back to Japan even though there is nothing stopping me...
I revisited a few places in Kyoto and Tokyo during my solo trip but I also checked out some new ones which were absolutely delicious.
Address: 7-4 Saiinoiwake-cho, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto
Opening hours: 11:00am - 2:00pm, 6:00pm - 9:00pm (closed on Monday)
If you are going to try chicken tsukemen for the very first time, let it be from Menya Sanda. This was so so delicious! Just thinking about this right now is making me drool. The chicken simmered soup was super thick and quite heavy but it was not oily, surprisingly easy to eat. The noodles are homemade with 100% locally produced wheat (the machine to make the noodles is just behind the seats).
Address: Kyoto-shi Higashiyama-ku, Yasakatoriimae Minami-iru, Kiyoi-cho 482 Kyoban Bldg 2F
Opening hours: 10:00am - 6:00pm
When something is too pretty to eat, this would be one of those things. Everything was placed so nicely and presented so well.
There are a variety of food items including mochi, cake and fresh fruit for you to dip into the matcha chocolate, just like you would with a chocolate or cheese fondue. After you have finish with everything, the wait staff will bring over some hot milk to pour into your matcha dipping cup which turns it into a matcha hot chocolate!
Tea and Sake Room (Tasuki) by Pass the Baton
Address: 77-6 Sueyoshicho, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto
Opening hours: 11:00am - 8:00pm (on Sunday, they close at 7:00pm)
This kakigori is perfection standing tall in a bowl. The last time I was here, I came an hour before opening hours and was second in line. This time around, it was an impromptu decision to come back here for kakigori and I had to wait nearly 4 hours (they sent me an email when it was nearly my turn). It was a really really hot day and I was in the area so I thought, "why not"?
Was it worth the 4-hour wait? Of course! If there is a bowl of kakigori worth the long wait, it has to be from Tea and Sake Room (Tasuki) by Pass the Baton. It's not just a bowl of shaved ice with toppings, it's a bowl of kakigori that is done with love and precision.
Address: 2F, 55 Tokiwagicho, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto
Opening hours: 11:00am - 6:30pm (closed on Tuesday and Thursday)
This tamago sando is everything one can wish for in an egg sandwich. The eggs were cooked perfectly, bread was fluffy and I savoured every bite. This place is managed solely by the owner, a lovely lady who makes all the food and drinks herself.
Address: 557 Nakanocho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto
Opening hours: 8:00am - 8:00pm
If you know me well, you know how much I love eating donuts and these donuts are exceptional, friggin' delicious 😍 At Koe Donuts, they emphasise on organic, natural and local products - milk and eggs are sourced locally, and the flour is made in-house every morning in their powder factory. It's a fancy open space, you can see everything that goes on in the background to make these donuts. Not surprisingly, the greedy me decided to smash three donuts and an iced matcha. It was worth every bite and I would do it all again the next time I'm in Kyoto.
Address: 3-7 Sarugakucho, Shibuya City, Tokyo
Opening hours: 9:00am - 9:00pm (Mon-Fri), 9:00am - 7:30pm (Sat-Sun)
Do you usually seek out breakfast when you are in Japan? I don't but sometimes, it's the simple things that helps start the day on the right track.
This little spot in Shibuya ticks all the right boxes. The okami's breakfast was healthy, delicious and you have the option of changing the white rice to brown rice.
Takeno to Ohagi
Address: 1-21-11 Sakurashinmachi, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
Opening hours: 12:00pm - 6:00pm (closed on Monday and Tuesday)
Kantaro: The Sweet Tooth Salaryman brought me here. If it wasn't for him, I would not have known that this place existed. Attempted to visit this place in 2018 but didn't quite make it there as I decided to extend my trip in Kyoto to eat kakigori but finally made it a year later.
At Takeno to Ohagi, they have seven rotating flavours of ohagi and that's it, you either get in early or make do with whatever flavours they have left. I rocked up 10mins before opening hours and I was third in line, super happy I got to try one of each flavour! They were bite-size and all were delicious, each and every one of them had the perfect amount of sweetness.
This was my last proper meal/snack before I hiked up Mt Fuji, I definitely burnt off all those calories.
Address: 4-4-1 Ginza, Chuo City, Tokyo
Opening hours: 11:30am - 2:30pm, 5:00pm - 8:30pm (closed on Wednesday)
Breaking that raw egg yolk into the fluffy eggs with the chicken over the rice, OMG so good. I have been wanting to come here for a long time and I finally made it, worth every mouthful. This place is located in the back alley of Ginza, do look carefully because it's a bit discreet, I got lost even with the help of google maps. It's a small restaurant with only ten counter seats. The guy that runs the place is super friendly and does everything so efficiently with a flick of his wrist. He makes each bowl to order, your patience will be rewarded with deliciousness.
There are always plenty of reasons to go back to Japan but I think for a change, I need to explore new countries. Next stop, maybe Korea?