There are few things more magical than exploring a new place and having your mind blown at every turn. That’s exactly what happened during my trip to Japan in January of 2019. I spent 12 amazing days traveling around the island nation and during that time, Japan became one of my all-time favorite destinations. Find out why I love this country so much by following my Japanese travel and food vlog series!
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On my second and final day in Kyoto, I wanted to explore more of this ancient, historical city and, of course, try more amazing Japanese cuisine! Come along with me as I take you on a fascinating tour of Kiyomizu Dera Temple and then join me for a delicious tofu hotpot lunch!
I started at a very touristy street that was lined with restaurants and souvenir shops, that sold everything from hats to decorative fans to elegant chopsticks! On my way to find some ice cream, I tried some delicious mochis as I made my way through the crowd. I tried a black sesame with honey ice cream cone (300 Yen/$2.69 U.S.). It was nutty and sweet, with a crispy cone and a crunchy cracker on top. It was so good and exactly what I needed!
My next stop was Kiyomizu-dera Temple, a huge Buddhist temple in eastern Kyoto that was founded by Sakanoue no Tamuramaro in the year 778 A.D. during the early Heian period, though the buildings that currently stand on the site were built in 1633 by Tokugawa Iemitsu. In addition to being a gorgeous Buddhist temple, Kiyomizu-dera Temple is one of the 17 Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto UNESCO World Heritage sites in and around Kyoto.
No nails were used in the construction of the temple complex, which includes a stunning main hall that contains a large veranda and some of the most amazing woodwork I’ve ever seen in my life, a pagoda, the Otowa-no-taki waterfall, a matchmaking shrine and Torii gate, and more! The temple overlooks Kyoto, so you also get some spectacular views of the city. It costs 400 Yen/$3.59 U.S. to enter the temple, which is such a bargain because there are so many things to see and do there.
Just note that you should probably be in good shape before visiting this temple; getting around it and climbing the stairs is a lot of exercise. I got winded climbing the stairs and I’m in good shape. It was worth it, though. Exploring historical sites is my favorite thing to do when I travel. I can’t get enough of it!
After debating what I wanted to have for lunch, I decided to go for some traditional tofu hotpot at Shimizu-Zyuntadashi-Okabeya. There, I tried their Yudofu tofu hot pot (2,160 Yen/$19.39 U.S.) and cold sake (670 Yen/$6.01 U.S.).
The Yudofu comes with tofu with wasabi, cubed tofu, tea, rice, pickles, ginger, vegetable tempura, fried tofu on a stick, and more. The sake was nice and cold and came in a small container.
The tofu with soy sauce and herbs was light, soft, and spongy, and so delicious! The pickles were great as well, including one that was like a pickled kelp. The vegetable tempura (which included eggplant, shishito peppers, and sweet potato) was very nice and lightly deep-fried with a light batter.
Next, I went with the fried tofu, which had a cheesy marmalade on top. The tofu wasn’t too soft and was pretty thick and extremely tasty, while the wasabi tofu was sweeter with a bit of spice. I also tried another, brownish tofu that was also kind of sweet, with a bit of garlic flavor as well as a really succulent shrimp.
That tofu meal wasn’t very big, but it was extremely filling! The entire meal came to 2,830 Yen/$25.40 U.S.
Then I went in search of some Kyoto coffee while walking along a pedestrian street of souvenir shops and old, traditional homes. I stopped at a cozy coffee shop called Garakuta, where I got a strong and delicious straight black, no-drip coffee, which was exactly what I needed to wake up after an eventful morning and afternoon!
I hope you loved this video of my mind-blowing tofu hotpot feast and visit to Kiyomizu Dera Temple. If you did, please give it a thumbs up and leave me a comment below. Also please subscribe to my channel so you don’t miss out on any of my upcoming travel and food videos!
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JAPANESE Tofu Hotpot FEAST + Kiyomizu-Dera Temple Tour | Kyoto, Japan