Tsubuno, a Kyoto's female character who calls herself a lifetime resident of a geisha district, will tweet local news, which might be only known to local people, from a different point of view.
It has been a comfortable climate this year summer so far. Sorry, it's already mid-July. Hi, I'm Tsubuno. I extended my journey to a bamboo forest this time. It's been a while since I traveled to the outskirts of Kyoto last time. My destination was Otokuni. Haven't you ever heard of the place? The area including Muko, Nagaokakyo, and Oyamazaki is called Otokuni. Kyoto is not just central Kyoto. So, let's explore more!
Worth seeing: Bamboo passage offers excellent healing effect.
Don't you know that there is the most famous bamboo forest in central Kyoto? When you see photos of the bamboo forest though social networking sites, you will think "I want to go there!" without doubt. However, I feel uncomfortable in crowds. If you prefer to visit a calm and quiet spot instead of the most popular spot like me, you should visit the bamboo passage in Otokuni.
To be honest, it is difficult to explain how to get there. So, please find the best route online if you want to visit here. That is not because I can't be bothered, but because the route varies depending on your starting point! Anyway, this is such a soothing place that I even hesitated taking time and effort to explaining the route.
Bamboo leaves are fluttering in the breeze, various birds are chirping, and bamboo fragrance makes me feel fresh. I can feel refreshing even in summer. The maintenance of the bamboo passage started in 2000. The passage is about 1,800m long. This length is perfect for taking a walk. There are eight kinds of bamboo hedge, including "Takehogaki", "Kofungaki" and "Kaguyagaki" along the passage. You can enjoy subtle different atmosphere of each hedge.
However, I'm afraid that this bamboo passage becomes so famous that its present atmosphere will be lost. Please don't tell many people about it. Having say that, I've posted it on my blog.
Here is the entrance of the bamboo passage. You can find the map and guide of these eight bamboo hedges here. You will forget which hedge you have passed by when you take a walk along the passage, please take photos and check each hedge while walking.
"Takehogaki" hedge will start right after the entrance of the passage. Entering the bamboo hedge is prohibited. Look, I'm standing on the passage too.
Visit Nagaokakyo@navi. if you want to buy bamboo souvenirs!
Do you want to buy bamboo souvenirs after you stroll around the bamboo passage? I really wanted to buy one. Although there are many souvenirs you can find at various places, if you want to look at all kinds of souvenirs at once, Nagaokakyo@navi. right next to Hankyu Nishiyama-tennozan Station is the best place to visit.
You can find cute bamboo accessories that can pull at fashionable young girls' heat like me and handmade bamboo toys here.
Next to them, you can find confectionary, breads, and Tskudani (food simmered in soy sauce) associated with bamboo. There may be a better way of saying this but Nagaokakyo@navi. is not just a tourist information center but a bamboo wonderland. While I forgot to get tourist information here, I spent a lot of money and gained weight.
I can put on the bamboo accessories made by local artists when I am invited to a banquet in a traditional Japanese-style room. Although, I won't be invited to any banquet.
Don't you think "Bamboo Anpan (sweet red bean bun with sweet-simmered bamboo shoot in it)" and "Bamboo Monaka (wafers filled with red bean paste and sweet-simmered bamboo shoot)" are too unique? Of course, they contain bamboo shoots.
4-22 Tomooka, Nagaokakyo-shi, Kyoto
A short walk from the east exit of Hankyu Nishiyama-tennozan Station
Opening hours: 9:00-17:00
Closed on Wednesdays and Dec. 28 to Jan. 4 (Open daily in Apr, May, Jun, and Nov)
*The items that I mentioned here may not available depending on the season.
*The prices are subject to change due to change in tax rates, etc.
Worth eating No.1: Bamboo Sugata Sushi at Uosu
Bamboo Sugata Sushi, a large bamboo shoot staffed with gentle-flavored, vinegar-marinated rice, is a specialty of Uoso. Actually, this is a local specialty of not only Nagaokakyo-shi but also Otokuni. Broth will ooze out of the bamboo shoot once you bite it. I even feel that I want to eat it right now if I think of the sushi. This traditional sushi was as a result of the effort of the predecessor owner. As a large amount of bamboo shoots is preserved every year, the sushi is available all year round. But, I wonder how much does Otokuni try to get me fat.
This Nagaokakyo's specialty Bamboo Sugata Sushi was awarded the chairman prize at Muraokoshi Tokusan Contest (a contest for local products that can promote local development) hosted by Central Federation of Societies of Commerce and Industry.You can order it for delivery too. *Bamboo Sugata Sushi 1,350 yen for one serving (tax-exclusive)
There is a very large fish tank like this at the restaurant. You cannot usually see such a large tank in restaurants. As it has been operating more than 70 years since its opening, Uoso offers various dishes other than the bamboo sushi, such as regular sushi and kaiseki course meals.
2-17-9 Imazato, Nagaokakyo-shi, Kyoto
10 minutes by car from JR Nagaokakyo Station and 5 minutes by car from Hankyu Nagaoka-Tenjin Station
Opening hours: 11:00-20:30(L.O.20:00)
Closed on Mondays
※*The prices are subject to change due to change in tax rates, etc.
Worth eating No.2: Bamboo Macaron at Pièce montée Hiro
Pièce montée Hiro is one of western confectionary shops that sells bamboo macarons, a local sweets specialty of Nagaokakyo. Sweet-simmered bamboo shoots are stuffed in a macaron. That's amazing! Although I first thought that bamboo shoots didn't match with macaron, their crispy texture goes perfectly well with sticky texture of macaron. In addition, although bamboo macaron is larger than usual macaron, its price is very reasonable. As I'm a customer, I'm thankful to this reasonable price. On the other hand, I'm worried if the shop can make a profit.
These cute-designed macarons are 180 yen each (tax-exclusive). The four characters standing beside me are named "Bamboo Sentai Macaronsers", power rangers created by the owner.
A wide range of cakes are available other than macarons at the shop. Pièce montée Hiro is very popular among locals. Some families are a regular customer through three generations, from grandparents to grandchildren.
■Pièce montée Hiro
1-6-14 Takinocho, Nagaokakyo-shi, Kyoto
A 10-minute walk from Hankyu Nishi-Muko Station
Opening hours: 9:00-21:00
Closed on Tuesdays
*The prices are subject to change due to change in tax rates, etc.
Things that only Kyoto people know No.4
If you want to enjoy bamboos, extend your journey from central Kyoto to Otokuni.