Kyoto has such a wide selection of appealing souvenirs that you could actually run out of time and end up buying something random to take home! Here are 10 souvenir recommendations to help you avoid this situation.
- 1. Chiisana Daiyasu by Daiyasu
- 2. SIZUYAPAN's Anpan
- 3. CHA no KA by MALEBRANCHE
- 4. Tsuruya Yoshinobu IRODORI's Kohakuto and Aruheito
- 5. Nakamura Tokichi's Koime no Chocolate
- 6. Furosen by Nijo Wakasaya
- 7. Gateau BuBu Financier by Gion Tsujiri
- 8. Shinshindo's Rusk With Gion Hararyokaku's Kuro-shichimi
- 9. Taketori-monogatari by Jouvencelle
- 10. Kyo Baum by Otabe
1. Chiisana Daiyasu by Daiyasu
This is a series of bite-sized pickles by a famous pickle maker that was established in 1902. They come in bite-sized packs, so they stay fresh and are perfect for people who want to try a variety of flavors. There is a wide selection available, and among them, the three photographed are recommended. The Aji-Suguki Y (24g, 157 JPY (incl. tax)) on the left is pickled suguki (a traditional Kyoto vegetable), which is slightly tangy. The Hoso-Gobo Y (18g, 157 JPY (incl. tax)) in the middle is crunchy burdock root pickled in soy sauce. The Aji-Shibazuke Y (24g, 157 JPY (incl. tax)) on the right is cucumber added to perilla leaves and eggplant marinated in salt, which are all further flavored with soy sauce.
2. SIZUYAPAN's Anpan
This is an anpan specialty shop by a famous Kyoto bakery, Shizuya. Anpan are traditional sweet breads filled with azuki (bean paste). The anpan at SIZUYAPAN are a new stylish take that incorporate the seasonality of Kyoto ingredients and wagashi (Japanese sweets). They come in a variety of bread types and fillings. Some recommendations are the WAGURI (230 JPY (incl. tax)), which consists of bread with brown sugar from Okinawa filled with chestnut and azuki bean paste, and the MATCHA (230 JPY (incl. tax)) – bread with matcha (powdered green tea) blended in that’s filled with azuki slathered in honey and matcha paste.
3. CHA no KA by MALEBRANCHE
MALEBRANCHE is a famous Kyoto dessert shop that’s popular for both the great flavors and the stylishness of its products. The CHA no KA (680 JPY (incl. tax)/pack of 5) is its signature product. They are delicate langue de chat made with green tea from Uji – selected for their color, flavor, and aroma – with a rich original white milk chocolate sandwiched inside. The deep flavor of green tea is enhanced in these delightful sweets.
4. Tsuruya Yoshinobu IRODORI's Kohakuto and Aruheito
This is a shop that Tsuruya Yoshinobu, a famous wagashi shop founded in 1803, opened in 2015 with the desire to spread the joy of Japanese sweets to a wider audience. It sells creative products that are a new take on traditional wagashi.
Recommended are two types of colorful sweets: Kohakuto (1,080 JPY (incl. tax)/box of 10), which are stick-shaped sugar sweets in pastel colors. They have a unique texture that’s crunchy yet smooth and come in several flavors, such as jasmine and chamomile. Aruheito (540 JPY (incl. tax)/box of 5) are stick-shaped candies. The colors of both sweets represent various famous Kyoto locations, such as Kamogawa and Gion.
5. Nakamura Tokichi's Koime no Chocolate
Founded in 1854, this tea merchant is famous not just for its flavorful teas, but also for its desserts that incorporate the rich umami and aroma of tea. It is recommended to try the hard chocolates with concentrated tea flavors. Enjoy the rich flavor of tea in the Koime no Matcha Chocolate (648 JPY (incl. tax)/pack of 6), which has the deep aroma of matcha, and the Koime no Hojicha Chocolate (648 JPY (incl. tax)/pack of 6), which has the nutty aroma of hojicha (roasted green tea).
6. Furosen by Nijo Wakasaya
Nijo Wakasaya is a wagashi maker with a history of about 100 years. It has a wide range of traditional products, but the Furosen (starts from 216 JPY (incl. tax) for 1 box) in cute packaging is recommended as a souvenir. The box contains packages of sugar and kudzu powder (created from a plant known as “kudzu”) to create the incredibly sweet drink, Kudzu-yu, by adding hot water. The patterns on the boxes represent different box contents, with a rabbit for matcha and flowers for azuki. The little bird and round balls that float to the top are sweets that can be eaten.
7. Gateau BuBu Financier by Gion Tsujiri
Gion Tsujiri is a tea merchant that began by producing and selling high-quality Uji tea in 1860. Today, it is also known as a producer of desserts that incorporate the wonderful flavors of tea. The Gateau BuBu Financier (starts from 216 JPY (incl. tax)) series is recommended as gifts to take home. They are sweets that combine either the shop's specialty Uji matcha or hojicha with rice flour. They are known for their chewy texture, elegant sweetness, and robust flavors.
8. Shinshindo's Rusk With Gion Hararyokaku's Kuro-shichimi
This popular product is a collaboration between Shinshindo, a famous bakery that was established in 1913, and Gion Hararyokaku, a spice shop founded in 1703. It is a rusk (399 JPY (incl. tax)/1 bag, etc.) made by sprinkling Gion Hararyokaku's signature kuro-shichimi (a mixed spice made from ingredients like dry roasted sesame, chili peppers, and sansho peppers) on a crunchy baguette and baking it. The spiciness is almost addictive and goes perfectly with drinks like wine.
8. Shinshindo's Rusk With Gion Hararyokaku's Kuro-shichimi
Inside the JR Bus Ticket Center in front of Kyoto Station, 902 Higashi Shiokoji-cho, Karasuma-dori Shiokoji-sagaru, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
9. Taketori-monogatari by Jouvencelle
Jouvencelle is a confectionery that’s popular for its products that incorporate a variety of Kyoto motifs, such as the four seasons. Among its wide range of products, Taketori-monogatari (2,700 JPY (incl. tax)) is considered to be its signature sweet. It is a sophisticated pound cake that’s made by mixing large chunks of elegantly flavored Japanese chestnut and black beans into a moist cake wrapped in bamboo leaves and baking it. It is a satisfying item that is also topped with large pieces of Japanese chestnut and black beans.
10. Kyo Baum by Otabe
A standard souvenir in Kyoto, this is a moist and fluffy Baumkuchen. The sponge is made with mild-tasting soy milk from Kyoto and 100% domestic four that has a blend of aromatic Uji matcha and sencha (non-powdered green tea) mixed in. It is baked in layers and covered with shiny matcha fondant.
All of these are sold in locations directly connected to Kyoto Station or around the area, so they are easy to purchase in-between sightseeing or traveling. Try them yourself to see how delicious they really are!
*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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