Kyoto - Hiiragiya
We spent an amazing 36 days in Japan! We did a lot of traveling, and we went back and forth between a lot of locations, cities, and districts. To make things easier to read and write, we have grouped everything in our travels into city locations and not exactly by time. The Japan list of contents so far can be found here!
Welcome to Kyoto! We were all over the place in Kyoto, visiting it twice, a week apart, during our time in Japan. The places we visited in Kyoto are:
-Hiiragiya Ryokan, Maruyama Park, and Nanzen-ji Temple
* Fushimi Inari-taisha
* Nishiki Market
- Nishiki Market and the Philosopher's Path
* Tsubara House
- Tsubara House, Exploring Kyoto, and Gion District
* Macaques and Temples
- Arashiyama, Ginkakuji, and Kiyomizudera Temple
* Odds and ends and final thoughts on Kyoto.
We spent an amazing 36 days in Japan! We did a lot of traveling, and we went back and forth between a lot of locations, cities, and districts. To make things easier to read and write, we have grouped everything in our travels into city locations and not exactly by time. Missed our first post on Japan? Read it here!
We just completed Tokyo and now it is on to Kyoto!
Kyoto was by far our favorite city to visit and we spent a large portion of the trip in Kyoto and not once felt bored or regret! This post is titled Hiiragiya as it was the Ryokan we stayed at while in Kyoto for 3 days. We were only supposed to stay at Hiiragiya for two days but we loved it so much we cancelled our trip to Nanten-En and stayed an extra night in Hiiragiya!
It's ancient traditional Japanese architecture stands out against the bustling city background. Despite being in the heart of Kyoto, a major metropolitan area, stepping into the ryokan is like stepping into another world far away from the fast pace modern age.
We stayed at this amazing ryokan in Kyoto. Hiiragiya is a traditional Ryokan, a Japanese inn, and has been in the same family for 6 generations. It was established in 1818, and serves fine dining Kyoto-Style Kaiseki cuisine.
We booked an upstairs room, one of the largest available in the main building preserved in traditional Japanese architecture from the late Edo to Showa period.
The bath and shower have the rich smell of wood and the water is kept nice and hot for a soak whenever you desire.
A quiet and secluded garden beneath us blocked all view of the outside city. It was private and quiet inside.
We were provided matcha green tea whenever we requested, and Japenese drinks were available in room.
If you do decide to stay at Hiiragiya you must have the in room meals. Everything is served by a Nakai, which is a woman who serves as a waitress at a ryokan, privately. Each meal not only a delectable delight but also carefully designed and crafted just as pleasing to the eye as to the stomach.
Simmered soft roe of sea bream and walleye pollack with bioled broad bean, kinome (young leaves of sansho)
Dressed mozuku edible seaweed in sweet vinegar with boiled crab, cucumber and snapdragons
Dressed firefly squid with vinegar miso, Japanese egg cockle, cibol, perilla sprout
Feature Dishes (Hassun)
Sushi of whitebait, dressed Japanese parsley with sesame sauce, grilled tiger prawn with paste of pea, jelly mixed with grilled sea bream, skewer of simmered octopus, Japanese style omelette and simmered fu (wheat gluten), grilled minnow with thick seasoning, yuba with thick starchy sauce made of kudzu with steamed sea urchin
Simmered Dishes (Nimono-Wan)
Clear dashi soup with fish paste mixed with scallop and mugwort, rape blossoms, bracken, white cloud year mushroom, carrot, yuzu
Sashimi Dishes (Mukouzuke)
Sea bream, kisslip cuttlefish, tuna, laver, spike of perilla, ostrich fern, primrose, wasabi
Grilled Dishes (Yakizakana)
Grilled Spanish mackerel covered with scrambled egg mixed with cut stem broccoli, deep-fried fu mixed with mugwort with sweet miso paste, cherry leaves, ginger
Deep-Fried Dishes (Age-Mono)
Deep-fried greenling, fatsia sprout, shiitake mushroom, onion, grated Japanese white radish, dashi soup, salt
Aka-miso soup with toasted whitebait, dried sea lettuce, rape blossoms leaf
Seasoned and cooked rice mixed with bamboo shoot and deep-fried tofu, kinome
Simmered Dishes (Takiawase)
Simmered bamboo shoot, red bream, royal fern and butterbur sprout, kinome
Pickled Japanese white radish with sesame, hinona (a variety of long-rooted pickling turnip), preserved butterbur in soy sauce
Peach jelly, mandarin orange, strawberry, ice cream mixed with cherry, mint
At your request the room is converted into a bedroom, and a Shikibuton - a traditional Japanese bed is set up by the staff.
Created in 1886 Maruyama Park is one of the oldest parks in Kyoto and hosts over 800 Sakura trees including the very famous weeping cherry tree (shidarezakura). It is also the grounds for Chion-in and the Sanmon.
The famous weeping cherry tree of Gion.
A smaller cherry tree using supports to help it grow.
Walk as much as possible in Japan, even when not in the parks the cities are fantastically decorated and Kyoto has many cherry trees along the way.
Don't be afraid to venture outside at night in Kyoto, as many of the highlights are spectacularly lit.
There's so much more to post about for Kyoto and hopefully I can get the next posts up soon!