Join Japan Centre as we celebrate some of the finest cuisine in Japan with our 2018 Kyoto Fair. Online and in-store from 6th – 26th October, this is your chance to experience exquisite sake, the finest matcha, and lots of other artisan products from the magical Kyoto Prefecture. We’ll also be hosting a variety of fun cookery workshops with expert Japanese chefs!
AUTUMN IN KYOTO
Autumn is a fantastic season to head to Japan’s former capital, as the rainy and humid weather makes way for clear skies and stunning autumn foliage starts to bloom. Similar to cherry blossom viewing season in spring, autumn is a popular time to explore the parks, gardens and temples of Kyoto to appreciate the colourful koyo (autumn leaves). Kiyomizu-dera temple is top of our list for a spot of leaf viewing, where the temples grounds are filled with foliage and ablaze with vibrant autumnal colours. But with over 1600 temples you’ll be sure to find plenty more to explore.
Onsen (hot springs) are another major Kyoto attractions, and autumn is a prime time for bathing outdoors. The city is also filled with traditional ryokan (traditional Japanese inn lodgings) where you can enjoy a seasonal kaiseki-ryori (multi-course) meal, before retiring to your comfortable room after a hard day’s sightseeing.
Cooler weather is also the perfect excuse to head to one of Kyoto’s many interesting and unique museums. Whether you’re interested in art, history, archaeology or pop culture, there’s something for everyone!
With so much to do in Kyoto (and beyond) purchasing a JR Rail Pass before you visit Japan is a cost effective way to explore, especially if you’re travelling to and from Tokyo. The pass will also save you bags of time – which you’ll definitely want to spend soaking up the autumnal atmosphere in Kyoto.
Some firm favourites return to the Kyoto fair for 2018 including regional specialities such as traditional Japanese wagashi (confectionery), delicious locally brewed sake, Kyoto-grown green tea and tasty artisan pickles and preserves.
Sweet Treats from Kyoto
Traditional Japanese sweets, or wagashi, are known for their uniqueness and their beautiful simplicity, with just a handful of top-quality ingredients and an expert wagashi maker needed to create a fantastic variety of sweet treats. Kyoto is something of a treasure-trove for traditional Japanese confectionery, and Japan Centre has imported a special selection of Kyoto’s finest wagashi offerings especially for the Kyoto Fair. A new addition to the confectionary offering for 2018 are beautiful sweets from Iwai Seika, which are hand-made at their factory based in Uji, Kyoto.
Delicious Local Brews
Japanese sake is a beverage that can vary massively in flavour, mouth-feel and quality depending on the brewing techniques used, the purity of the rice, and the location in which the ingredients have been sourced. Kyoto produces large amounts of high quality boutique sake, and Japan Centre has a fantastic variety of these sake available during the Kyoto Fair, including sweet nigori, or ‘cloudy’, brews; drier, sharper flavoured premium daiginjo brews; and sparkling sake with added fruit. This year Japan Centre also offers Tamba Wine in addition to sake.
Renowned Japanese Green Tea
Kyoto is home to Japan’s most specialised tea growing regions, the most famous of which being Uji; one of the first places in Japan to start cultivating Japanese green tea and home to arguably the finest green tea in the country today. In honour of the Kyoto Fair, Japan Centre has brought in a selection of sensational Kyoto-made green teas, including organic matcha green tea, green tea with yuzu citrus, chai matcha, and more.
Artisan Preserves and Spices
Pickling, although originally a way to prevent fresh produce from spoiling, has long been recognised as a way to lock in and emphasise the best flavours of the produce. The local cuisine of Kyoto is particularly well known for using simple cooking methods and minimal seasoning to bring out the natural flavour of the amazing local produce. New for 2018 are artisan pickles from Kyoto based company Kawaky and delicious spices from Shichimiya Honpo, one of the oldest shichimi spice makers founded in 1655, located near the famous Kiyomizu Temple in Kyoto.
Enjoy all this and more by shopping in-store at Japan Centre Panton Street, or at Ichiba Westfield London. Alternatively you can get fresh produce delivered straight to your door by shopping online.
KYOTO COOKERY WORKSHOPS
Whether you fancy making your own delicious, healthy vegan food or crafting some traditional Japanese confectionary, Japan Centre has 2 exciting workshops for you to attend this autumn. Places are limited to just 10 people per workshop to make sure you get the best experience possible, so be sure to book quickly to bag yourself a space!
Kyoto Shojin Ryori Vegan Cooking Workshop
Ichiba Westfield London
Wednesday 10th October 2018
6.30pm – 8.30pm
£20 per person
To book your tickets, click here – http://bit.ly/2O0VR0R
Join Food Creative, Kinu Yukawa, in this interactive workshop to learn the art of Kyoto Shojin Ryori Temple Cuisine.
Shojin Ryori was introduced from China to Japan in the sixth century along with Buddhism. The concept of Shojin Ryori, a vegan based diet, spread across Japan in the 13th century with the rise of Zen Buddhism.
This workshop will feature Kyoto’s artisan products, such as miso, soy sauce, vinegar, tofu and sesame oil with seasonal vegetables. The workshop and demonstration will be followed by a Shojin Ryori dinner with sake.
Kyoto Wagashi Japanese Confectionery Workshop
Ichiba Westfield London
Wednesday 17th October 2018
6.30pm – 8.30pm
£20 per person
To book your tickets, click here – http://bit.ly/2DMzAPB
Kyoto is famous for its delicate and beautiful wagashi – Japanese traditional artisan confectioneries. Join Wagashi Specialist, Chieko Smith, to learn hands-on techniques to prepare Japanese Nerikiri confectionery.
Enjoy a delightful evening where you will create your own colourful Nerikiri Wagashi and learn how to whisk premium Kyoto matcha the traditional way.
Kiyomizu photo credit: Minoir, Flickr Creative Commons
autumn leaves: Jennifer, Flickr Creative Commons
Wagashi by Yuichi Sakuraba, Flickr Creative Commons
Onsen by Raita Futo, Flickr Creative Commons