Sugared & Spiced

pâtissière in paris, now shanghai

[Kyoto] Arashiyama 嵐山

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After visiting Kinkakuji and Ryoanji, we boarded the Keifuku trains for Arashiyama, a touristy but still very pleasant district in the Western outskirts of Kyoto. The area has numerous temples, shops, cafes, and restaurants, all centering around the Togetsukyo Bridge and Keifuku Arashiyama Station. Come here for a relaxing afternoon away from the city.

Right outside the Keifuku train station is a roll cake (i.e. Swiss roll) specialty shop called Arinco. We tried a thick slice of their delicious matcha roll cake, which can also be purchased by the roll (¥950/roll) or as a “roll sand”, which is a roll cake sandwich. See their website here.

After the sweet fix, we headed for Tenryu-ji, which is ranked number one among the “Top Five Zen Temples in Kyoto”. For more pictures of the majestically beautiful Tenryu-ji, see this post.

As we wandered along the streets of Arashiyama, we came by this little store that sells traditional Japanese snacks and joined the queue.

I don’t exactly know how to translate 古都芋, but it’s something like roasted yam wrapped inside a thin and crispy coating. Let’s just call them yam cakes. We also tried a roll of みたらし団子, basically glutinous rice balls drizzled with a sweet and salty sauce. Both were delicious and something very fitting to eat when in a historical city like Kyoto.

Totsukikyo 渡月橋, literally “Cross Moon Bridge”.

To end the day, we had dinner at Hirokawa 廣川, a famed unagi-don (grilled eel over rice) specialty restaurant that has been around since 1967. Being too full from all the snacking, we ordered nothing but their main dish – grilled eel with a special sauce on top of rice, with a side order of kimoyaki (grilled eel liver). If you have room, order their full sets to try other ways of cooking the eel. For details, visit their website here.

Kimoyaki (grilled eel liver) ¥600.

Unaju (grilled eel over rice, medium size) ¥2,400.

To get there: If you plan to go to Arashiyama straight from Kinkakuji/Ryoanji area like we did, board the Keifuku trains from Kitanohakubaicho Station. One transfer of trains is required along the way and the total ride takes around 20~30 minutes. If you are coming from central Tokyo, board at Omiya Station of the Keifuku Arashiyama Line and get off at Arashiyama station.

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Written by sugarednspiced

November 28th, 2010 at 3:11 pm