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Five Select Tsukemono Shops in Kyoto

Tsukemono (pickled vegetables) are famous as a Kyoto specialty. Many tsukemono have long shelf lives, and have long been enjoyed as preserved food. There are many that are made using Kyoyasai, heirloom vegetables that originate in Kyoto, so be sure to try some out if you are in Kyoto. Here are five recommended tsukemono shops.

1. Murakamijyuhonten

Murakamijyuhonten in the Kawaramachi area of central Kyoto has a house specialty of senmaizuke pickles made through lactic fermentation of a traditional Kyoto turnip called "shogoinkabura" with kombu kelp seaweed and chili pepper. The balance between the sweetness of the turnip, the acidity of the lactic bacteria, and the umami of the kombu is sublime. It is a special item that can only be enjoyed during the winter (November to late February, depending on the year). Murakamijyuhonten also sells seasonal Kyoto-style tsukemono so that customers can enjoy seasonal vegetables. Please enjoy the flavors developed through more than 180 years of tsukemono-making.
Senmaizuke Number 3 (Senmaizuke 670g/Chopped Mibuna 140g): 5,400 JPY

*The image is for illustrative purposes only

1. Murakamijyuhonten

190 Nishikiyamachi Shijo-sagaru Sendo-cho, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

2. Kyoto Narita

Kyoto Narita is a long-established tsukemono shop in Kamigamo. It has been making a local specialty, sugukizuke, for more than 300 years. Sugukizuke is also a traditional Kyoto tsukemono. It is made by tightly packing the Kyoyasai, suguki turnip, into a barrel and pickling it with high quality salt and nothing else. It has the deep acidity characteristic of fermentation by natural lactic bacteria. The flavors are a result of the skills that the craftsmen have developed over the years. It is an outstanding item produced using orthodox, time honored methods. In addition to the main store in Kamigamo, it can be purchased at Kyoto Takashimaya in Shijo Kawaramachi and JR Kyoto Isetan in Kyoto Station.
Suguki 300g: 1,296 JPY (incl. tax)

*The image is for illustrative purposes only

2. Kyoto Narita

35 Kamigamo Yamamoto-cho, Kita-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

3. Akaoya

Akaoya, which is located on the east side of Sanjusangen-do in Higashiyama, is a long-established shop dedicated to making quality Kyoto-style tsukemono. Their skills shine in its specialty product, miyakozuke (red shibazuke). It uses red perilla leaves from Ohara and pickles them over a long period of time with the key ingredient of Japanese cucumbers, as well as myoga ginger, shishito peppers, and ginger. The natural colors and flavors of the red perilla and the subtle acidity are superb. Akaoya also offers seasonal tsukemono that build on the flavors of fresh seasonal ingredients. Akaoya tsukemono can be purchased at its main store and at the Oike branch, five minutes on foot from JR Nijo Station.
Maru-miyakozuke (red shibazuke): 432 JPY (incl. tax) and up

*The image is for illustrative purposes only

3. Akaoya

7-21 Honmachi, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

4. Masugo Main Branch

Masugo is located around the middle of Nishiki Market, known as "Kyoto's Kitchen." Colorful tsukemono made using a variety of ingredients including Kyoyasai such as mibuna mustard greens and suguki turnips are displayed in the storefront. Its house specialty is the Kyoto-style narazuke. Narazuke is a tsukemono made with sake kasu (sake lees) that is changed out numerous times. It has a long history and is confirmed to have existed in 700 AD. This store uses sake kasu from Fushimi, which is a famous sake-making district. A variety of vegetables, including the traditional Kyoto vegetable, Katsurauri pickling melon, as well as watermelon, cucumber, and Moriguchi daikon, are pickled with love and care.
Narazuke: 1,080 JPY (incl. tax)

*The image is for illustrative purposes only

4. Masugo Main Branch

178-2 Nishikikoji Tominokoji Nishi-iru Higashiuoyamachi, Nagayo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

5. Nishiki Takakuraya

The specialty at Nishiki Takakuraya, located at the eastern edge of Nishiki Market, is barrel-pickled nukazuke, vegetables pickled in rice bran. The wooden barrels in the storefront are filled with nukazuke so the smell of nuka rice bran permeates the area. The tsukemono made using the nuka starter nurtured by regularly adding nuka since the time the store was established is well regarded by Kyoto chefs. The recommended item is the Hanware Daikon Nukazuke, which is pickled twice in kombu seaweed dashi stock. It is a tsukemono that is light, but still has the clear flavors of nuka. Also, if you want to enjoy the vegetables' natural flavors, the asazuke, which are only pickled for a short period of time, are also recommended!
Hanware Daikon Nukazuke: 378 JPY (incl. tax)

5. Nishiki Takakuraya

289-2 Higashidaimonji-cho, Nagayo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

There is a large variety of tsukemono flavors depending on the vegetables and type. Please purchase ones that you like and enjoy the flavors of Japan back home.

*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.

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