Kyoto by the Sea: the Origins of Food –A Land full of Food Resources, Surrounded by the Sea, Mountains and Countryside–
Regional： Northern Kyoto
The “Kyoto by the Sea” area in northern Kyoto has been a gateway to the culture of the continent from time immemorial, and had provided a variety of foods and human resources to the capital Kyoto. Because this area is also the home of Toyouke no Okami, the God of Food, many myths and folklore about the origins of food, including the birthplace of rice cultivation, have been passed down. Even today, an abundant variety of foods from the surrounding natural environment and food culture are used and observed in the people’s daily lives.
Local food: Tango-style Barazushi
Tango-style barazushi with mackerel crumbles scattered over rice is served on ceremonial days such as festivals. Sushi rice is spread out in a shallow wooden box called a matsubuta, and is cut into pieces with a wooden spatula. This unique form of sushi is a local cuisine eaten with family members.
Local food: Heshiko
A local dish called heshiko is comprised of mackerel or horse mackerel pickled in rice bran, and has been eaten as a preserved food since long ago. This region is also the birthplace of yellowtail shabu-shabu hotpot, baked crab and nikujaga (meat and potato cooked in sweetened soy sauce broth). The “Kyoto by the Sea” area offers a variety of foods used in scrumptious seasonal cuisine.
In northern Kyoto, you can enjoy different scenery and landscapes where the resident’s lives are closely linked to the natural environment. Some examples include Amanohashidate, one of the three most scenic spots in Japan, Funaya Houses in Ine which has been designated as one of the most beautiful villages in Japan, historic red brick buildings in Maizuru, and Chirimen Kaido Street where Japanese and Western styles of streetscapes have been preserved.
Experience: Hand-rolled Sushi Making
Making Tango-style barazushi and hand-rolled sushi using fresh fish are one of many ways to experience the attractions of the regional food culture. If you prefer outdoor activities, fishing in little-known secret spots, sea kayaking or farming would be perfect for you. There are many more hands-on attractions to enjoy the charms of the ocean, mountains and countryside.
Sightseeing route: Sake Brewery Visit
How about visiting a sake brewery and taking a winery tour in the “Kyoto by the Sea” area? Twelve sake breweries and wineries engaged in traditional yet innovative sake and wine making are located in this area. Meeting and socializing with the brewers and wine makers over different local sakes and wines provides a genuine opportunity to enjoy the origins of food.
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