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Posts Tagged ‘京都’

Part Three: Yuba and Tofu in Kyoto

Japan takes its local specialties, particularly food, very seriously. Whenever I go on a trip, I get asked if I tried whatever that region’s famous cuisine is. Osaka is famous for okonomiyaki お好み焼き and takoyaki たこ焼き (not really high cuisine, but food that reminds me of my time there); Fukui is famous for crab; northern Ishikawa, oysters, 鰤 buri (yellowtail), and isaza; Kumamoto, horse-meat-sashimi; and Hakata and Sapporo, local-style ramen, just to name a few. Kyoto’s specialty is tofu.

After visiting the 北野天満宮 Kitano Tenmanguu (Shrine) for the monthly flea market on the 25th, we stopped in a Toyouke Chaya to try yuba 湯葉. Yuba is thin strips formed from the product that is skimmed off the top of the liquid during the production of tofu 豆腐. And while that sounds gross to the uninitiated American, trust me, it’s delicious.

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Kyoto is one of the most interesting cities in the world, even if my new residence out in the middle of nowhere has made me unused to it. Like most historical big cities, Kyoto is a mixture of varying degrees of old and new, but in the most peaceful way possible. My time here seemed to capture the essence of a beautiful lifestyle: burning high-quality incense, trying on lovely kimono, taking in ancient temples, reading literature in the bath, with all the conveniences and technology of a proper city. After weeks of fighting a war against spiders, trucking around in The Tank, wrasslin’ chestnuts, and blogging about every twist and turn in my country lifestyle, a trip to Kyoto made me feel downright civilized.

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