Along the Kamo-gawa in Kyoto, you can see a row of old-fashoined Japanese buildings, their wooden decks jutting out over the adjacent canal. What a wonderful sight it is.
And around the other side, you’ll find a narrow alley lined with equally traditional looking entrances, each hung with a lantern. Welcome to Pontocho-dori, Kyoto’s old red-light district and current home of delicious obanzai restaurants.
In the early evening chefs in their white coats walk up and down the street, or inspect a delivery.
Many restaurants entice customers with displays of their fresh kyo-yasai, Kyoto’s uique vegetables…
…and beckon you with their traditional architectural touches.
We chose a spot that advertised charcoal grilled foods and had hamo on the menu, which I really wanted to try. Sorry, but I can’t remember the name.
They ask customers to choose the set menu in order to dine outside, but that’s ok, because the set menu looked pretty good. We actually started the meal inside due to the rain, but soon the rain let up and we moved out to the balcony overlooking the river.
Octopus, long green onion, and abura-age (fried tofu) with su-miso sauce
Deep-fried fu (wheat gluten) and eggplant
Salad with fried yuba (thin sheets of soy)
Smoked duck with boiled vegetables
Hamo (conger eel) and vegetable tempura
Pickled Japanese vegetables
Warabi mochi with kinako
After dinner, take a stroll back down the alley and enjoy the sights. Goodnight owls.