What to Eat and Drink in Arashiyama
Arashiyama is usually packed with sightseers who are out exploring the city all day and night. Naturally, restaurants can get quite busy, so it’s good to know where you want to go in advance to beat the crowds.
Green tea and Classic Japanese desserts
If you’re a green tea lover in Kyoto, you have to try out some traditional Japanese sweets. The eX Cafe is the perfect place to try decadent green tea concoctions and classic Japanese desserts with a modern twist. Their forte is green tea, and many of their desserts prominently feature the ingredient. For instance, their charcoal sponge cake with creamy green tea filling is one of their most popular dessert sets. They also offer an option that lets you grill your own sticky rice balls over a charcoal grill and coat them with sweetened soy sauce and red bean paste. Of course, they have things besides green tea, but why would you order anything else?
This unique coffee shop (pronounced “Percent Arabica Coffee”) features a uniquely modern design that combines the classic architecture of the area with hyper minimalist tendencies. Located right next to the Togetsukyo Bridge and Ooi River, you’re bound to come across this cafe during your travels throughout Arashiyama. This spot is one of the cafe’s original locations, but it’s expanded throughout Asia and is close to penetrating the European market as well. The lines for Arabica are notorious, but so are their lattes.
Chazuke is a Japanese specialty that involves pouring broth, green tea, or hot water over rice to create a sort of instant porridge, and it’s what keeps people coming to Taisho Hanana.
The restaurant offers set menus that highlight the flavors of sea bream, both raw and cooked over fire.
At the end of the meal, you pour green tea over your rice for a fresh and satisfying finish.
It’s a little on the pricey side, but the flavors are nothing less than you’d expect for the price.
Due to its popularity and location, it fills up fairly early for meal services, so be sure to get there earlier than you think you should.
Coffee Shop Yamamoto
Wagyu beef katsu sandwich
Beef is thick and cooked medium-rare
Just a five-minute walk from Arashiyama Station sits a tranquil coffee shop that was founded nearly fifty years ago.
As well as coffee, the shop is known for its amazing wagyu beef katsu sandwich, which contains A5 grade wagyu beef.
The slices of beef are thick, and cooked medium-rare, so the quality of the beef is immediately apparent.
The wagyu beef katsu sandwich is also available to take out, so you can enjoy the sandwich while sitting in a park when the weather is good.
Coffee Shop Yamamoto
Matcha Tea at Okochi Sanso
Though Okochi Sanso isn’t technically a restaurant or a cafe, it’s one of the most highly recommended stops for guests in the area. Many visitors walking through Arashiyama’s bamboo forest or Tenryuji Temple stumble upon this carefully tended estate. Originally, this was the personal estate of a Japanese actor who spent his later years trying to design the perfect Zen garden. For 1,000 yen, you can explore the area and enjoy a matcha tea in the estate’s tea house.
Cafe Hassui 八翠
For a relaxing drink alongside the beautiful Hozugawa River, visit Cafe Hassui during the afternoon. This house was once enjoyed by Japanese poets in the 19th century, and it’s easy to see why. The tea set menu takes guests on a culinary journey with a fusion of Japanese and Western flavors. Their menu rotates every couple of months to make sure guests can try a variety of dishes, such as red wine marinated quail eggs and bamboo and blue cheese quiche. The cafe also has an extensive tea and dessert menu for guests preferring a la carte options.