Washoku (traditional Japanese food) has become increasingly popular throughout the culinary world, and UNESCO has put it on its Intangible Cultural Heritage list. You’ll taste the best of Kyoto’s washoku as you walk through the alleyways of the expansive Nishiki Market with your guide, and enjoy the flexibility to focus on the topics that interest you most during your private tour.
Make your own way to the meeting point near Nishiki Market to meet your expert guide — who may be a food critic, a chef, a culinary historian or anthropologist. Set out to explore the market, learning from your guide about two key concepts in Kyoto cuisine: ‘shun,’ meaning ingredients that have reached their seasonal peak, and ‘umami,’ meaning a delectable savory flavor.
Sample a range of foods throughout the tour, stopping to see a Shinto shrine that is known as the market's original starting point. Your guide leads you to various stalls to taste particular dishes that reveal the depths of Kyoto’s culinary world. You'll come to understand more about four types of Kyoto cuisine: obanzai (home cooking), vegetarian shojin-ryori (eaten at Zen temples), kaiseki (which developed out of the tea ceremony) and yusoku-ryori (cuisine of the imperial court).
The chefs of Kyoto specialize in specific foods such as tsukemono (pickled vegetables), traditional Kyoto vegetables and wagashi (Japanese tea sweets). Taste these signature foods and more before sitting down to a full lunch. Enjoy a new appreciation for the cuisine of Kyoto and Japan by the end of your 3-hour tour, and get insider tips on other food establishments to visit on your own.