There are a lot of sweets and desserts that you have to try when you go sightseeing in Kyoto. If you just go around Kyoto Station, you will get to eat various kinds of sweets, from pastries that have a distinct Japanese taste up to desserts with a Western flair. Here are five carefully selected shops around Kyoto Station for your sweet tooth.
1. Nakamura Tokichi
Nakamura Tokichi has been pursuing the magic of flavorful green tea ever since it was founded in 1854. This well-established shop runs its own cafe inside the Kyoto Station Building, with a menu that is full of original desserts and drinks that use fragrant matcha and houjicha (roasted green tea), among a wide array of Japanese teas. The most popular item in its menu is the Namacha Jelly (Matcha) (841 JPY), a dish consisting of jelly made from powdered green tea together with red bean paste, green tea ice cream, and shiratama (rice flour dumplings).
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Housendo, whose main shop is located in Shimogamo, an area blessed with lush greenery and a rich underground stream of water, is a shop that makes sweets using Tanba-Dainagon azuki red beans, Tanba black soybeans and other Japanese ingredients. They run a cafe named Housen inside the ticket gate of the JR Shinkansen (bullet train) area of Kyoto Station. Here, the high-class Japanese confections that change every season are carefully made one by one at the main shop every morning. Try to eat them with green tea. (Sample menu: Kisetsu no Jounamagashi to O-matcha – 1,080 JPY (incl. tax))
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3. Saryo Tsujiri
Saryo Tsujiri is a cafe featuring Japanese-style sweets that are popular among adults in Kyoto. Aside from the main shop in Gion and a shop in Kodaiji, they also have a branch at the 6th floor of JR Kyoto Isetan where you can taste their hit desserts that use green tea such as the parfait (price starts at 1,026 JPY (incl. tax)) and warabimochi (doughy Japanese confection made from starch, water and sugar)(756 JPY (incl. tax)). During the winter season, they serve warm and soft zenzai (azuki beans boiled in sugar served with mochi rice cakes and shiratama dumplings) (1,102 JPY (incl. tax)) as a seasonal item.
4. Hiizuru Cafe
Hiizuru Cafe is a shop that serves delicious homebrewed coffee, located near Nishi Hongan-ji Temple about 10 minutes away from Kyoto Station by foot. Go inside this shop and feel the classy and subdued atmosphere that is created by the warmth of the wood used in the interior design. Here, the confections such as the baked cheesecake (400 JPY), chiffon cake (400 JPY) and Sakkuri Scone (200 JPY) are all homemade. Out of all the dishes served at this cafe, the pancake cooked on a copper plate (580 JPY) is the recommendation of the owner who makes the pancakes using a 6mm-thick copper plate. These thick-cut pancakes are very soft and fluffy.
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5. Malebranche Cafe
Malebranche, a famous Western-style confectionery shop in Kyoto, is a place where you can taste various sweets that are created using the shop’s own seasonal special ingredients, techniques, and warm hospitality. Even at the independently run cafe that is located near the shinkansen ticket gate of Kyoto Station, they serve their specialty desserts such as Malebranche’s main product, the Mont Blanc (518 JPY (incl. tax)). Another item that is highly recommended at this cafe is the O-Koicha Fondant Chocolat Namacha no Ka (980 JPY (incl. tax)), a set that comes with the dessert Namacha no Ka, a full-bodied green tea cake as smooth as fresh chocolate that is served with yuzu citrus sauce and fresh cream as well as a drink.
Did you find a shop on the list that you like? When you travel, there are many times when you find yourself exhausted from all the walking. In between trips to various destinations, how about refreshing your tired body by eating something sweet?
*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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