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10 Kyoto Street Foods You Must Try

You know what they say, if you are up for trying the most bizarre foods on earth, Japan is the

place to start. You will get to experience a variety of exotic and unique dishes, from green tea

flavored ice cream to fried octopus on a stick. Visit the old capital of the country, Kyoto, which

is listed as a ‘World Heritage Site’ by UNESCO. It is a popular tourist destination, being home to

several imperial palaces, Buddhist temples, and Shinto shrines.

Photo by Michael Lee on Unsplash

Kyoto is the safest city in Japan, and the crime rate of the country is impressively low. The

reason is their strict law and severe punishment against criminal offenses. The Nishiki market of

Kyoto is famous for its divine street food. Here are my top ten among the vast variety:

1. Tamagoyaki

Tamagoyaki translates to ‘grilled egg’ and is basically an egg roll. It is a kind of Japanese omelet,

mainly made from egg and soya sauce. Vendors add different additional ingredients, such as

seaweed, vegetables, and sometimes meat/fish. It is prepared in a rectangular pan where the

beaten omelet mixture is repeatedly rolled over. Layers are added by pouring raw egg to the

emptied space in the pan. Although it sounds like a simple dish, it requires an acquired skill to

prepare. It is ideal to eat for breakfast, and the fluffiness of eggs is spectacular.

2. Takoyaki

If you’ve never tried octopus before, then Kyoto’s Takoyaki can definitely convince that you

have missed out. It looks somewhat like a meatball platter, and it tastes strangely delicious. The

fried snack has an outer wheat flour layer, and inside is a filling of diced octopus, green onion,

pickled ginger, and tempura scarps. It is topped with Takoyaki sauce, which is a close relative of

Worcestershire sauce. It is faintly similar to the Chinese dumpling, if that was fried rather than


3. Dango

Dango is the most widely devoured snack all over Japan, and you will find numerous variations

of the recipe, even within Kyoto. It is a sweet dumpling made from rice flour and sugar; the dish

is available all year round and is normally served with green tea. The rice balls are infused with

different colors and served on a stick. Some sellers add toppings like nuts, soyabean powder,

sesame seeds, or red bean paste.

4. Okonomiyaki

The Okonomiyaki is a savory pancake, and is also known as the Japanese version of pizza. Just

like classic pancakes, it requires a flour based batter. The recipe is flexible, but the Kyoto

version typically contains shredded cabbage, green onion, tofu, soya sauce, egg, and shrimp. It

is a grilled dish, and looks incredibly appetizing.

5. Taiyaki

This is Japan’s celebrated fish shaped pastry, traditionally made with a special fine grained flour

named ‘Kuruso’. The pastry usually contains a red paste for filling, which is made from

sweetened ‘azuki’ beans (red beans). Nonetheless, you shall find a range of fillings available,

including sweet potato, chocolate, cheese, and custard. The presentation of Taiyaki is adorable,

and that makes it irresistible.

6. Tako Tamago

Tako Tamago is one of Japan’s utterly bizarre street foods. You might think twice before trying

it, but you won’t stop at one after you do. It is a glazed mini octopus stuffed with a quail egg

and then impaled on a skewer. This peculiar looking snack has a lot going on with a chewy

exterior, soft center, giving sweet and savory hints at the same time.

7. Tomorokoshi

We’ve all had and loved a good corn on the cob, and Tomorokoshi is the Japanese version. It

may not be classified as a strange food, but it is still worth mentioning. The grilled corn is

typically seasoned with butter and soy sauce, which gives it a distinctive flavor. It is a simple street food that is popular all over the country during summers. You will like it better than any

other corn on the cob you’ve had your entire life.

8. Yakisoba

Yakisoba is a dish of fried noodles that is similar to the Chinese chowmein. It is traditionally

made with soba noodles that are prepared from buckwheat, but many street vendors use

ramen noodles that are made of wheat flour. The dish includes a variety of stir fried

vegetables and shredded meat (usually pork). It is topped with a special Yakisoba sauce that

is a close relative of Worcestershire sauce.

9. Kakigori

Kakigori is a summer classic all over Japan, and you will find several variations of it all over

Kyoto. It is made of ice shavings flavored with sweet syrups, and may look a lot like a snow

cone. However, the texture of ice is much fluffier and the dessert is always consumed with a

spoon. You can find Kakiglri with numerous kinds of toppings, and condensed milk is

frequently added to the mix.

10. Amazake

Enough of eatables, so let us end this list with something to drink. Amazake is a specialty drink

of Kyoto and perfect for the chilly winters; it is a sweet sake drink that is served hot. It is made

from fermented rice, so it is either low alcohol or alcohol free. It has a thick consistency, which

resembles a lot to rice pudding.

Author Bio

John Adams loves to travel and experience the different cultures of the world. He regularly

blogs about his personal experiences and encourages readers to go on adventures. He has

contributed on various online platforms focusing on tourism and lifestyle. When he is not

travelling, his writing is focused on physiological traumas and personal healing. He encourages

readers to fight their fears and overcome the obstacles holding them back. He believes that any

person can improve the quality of his or her life by incorporating positivity in every thought and


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