[Japan] What we ate on​ the street in front of the temples and the shrines

So we all know that Japan has a lot of temples and shrines, It would get a bit boring after too many temple visit, but we always able to find some fun at those streets outside major temples and shrines. Here are some of our fun bites along the way:

Fushimi Inari (伏見稲荷) Kyoto

We all know this Kyoto place that with hundreds of Torii. The only problem is it has way too many people inside that we just gave up the climbing…


It was a cold and rainy day when Dr R and I arrived this place, it was entirely packed. People even need to queue up to get into the row of torii. So we decided to feed our belly instead.

Fushimi Inari is the head shrine of the god of Inari, which is the god of rice (and sake). Therefore the mochi and the grilled sticky rice ball is highly recommended:


The mochi here is huge and fluffy. I rarely see this size of mochi before. this one is 500 y (6 aud)


Yakidango – which is the grilled sticky rice ball, apparently is the famous local snacks. Many people were waiting for those rice ball to be grilled. We tried the green one and was surprisingly yummy! This one also cost around 500y (6 Aud)

We also tried other things like the wyagu beef stick, but it wasn’t to my taste.

Kiyomizu dera (清水寺)Kyoto

The temple that famous for its wooden structure and the giant wooden platform.


Even in winter, this place is so pretty. So I need ice cream to celebrate the visit to this area (???).

Outside the Kiyomizu dera, there are so many little stores to visit. This area is famous for its kiyomizu yaki pottery, which was used by a lot of up class Japanese restaurant and family.  We didn’t have enough time to walk around, so we decided to just focus on food.

Kyoto has its very famous little snacks: Yatsuhashi, which is a little cookie made from rice flour, sugar and cinnamon. People call this the taste of Kyoto.

You can find their flag store just on those small streets outside the Kiyomizu Dera, and the best thing is, they sell it with ice cream:


400y (5 aud)

yayyyyy! This is the seasonal limited edition, chestnut and matcha. That cookie on the ice cream is the Yatsuhashi. So happy

Meiji Shrine

We tried to visit the shrine on the third day of the new year, and obviously, we made a huge mistake. 3rd of January still counted as a new year period for Japanese. The consequence is, 200 meters of road took us 1 hour to get in…

Most parts of the shrine were blocked by police so I could not show the lovely backyard of the Meiji Shrine to Dr R. Lucky us, a huge food market was operating during that period.


We got to try some pretty amazing stuff:

Woah the whole charcoal fish! It’s actually very delicious! Just a bit hard to eat them though. Require some skills here.  400y???


The whole squad! They call it ika. Big and yum.


Apparently the very famous fried chicken, garlic soy sauce flavour. Dr R said those tasted better than KFC. Hmmmm

The market has extensive selections of the food there to feed large crowds. I saw Japanese grill soba pancake, dumplings and big buns.

Senso-ji (浅草寺)


Ok, we have to admit that this is not a good timing to go sightseeing because everywhere just fully packed! We came to sensoji on the last day of the year. It’s just very hard to move around the market.

The famous snack here is the small animal or human-shaped red bean filling cookies, call ningyoyaki (人形焼き). 

You will not miss this because the whole street is selling this and this is the most famous snacks in this area.

However, one thing caught my eyes: Sweet potatoes.

There is a small old store called Oimoyasan Koshin. This store was on Japan food show and was selling all the sweet potato stuff. They made sugar coated deep fried sweet potato, which called “daigaku imo” (university sweet potato). It has the golden colour, and I can image it was delicious.

I was so tempted to get some, but Dr R said he can’t eat anymore, so I ended up getting this small sweet potato cake:


It was cheesy, soft, warm and delicious.


(aaaa I wanted it again and drolling when I am typing this blog)

There are so many exciting food and little stores outside each major temples and shrines, to make our visit not that boring. It’s hard to say that whether those shops or the sightseeing spots are more attractive to ordinary visitors. But I definitely know one thing right now, I missed that street food already…

Advice: eat anything you wanted to try in those markets. Otherwise, you will be me thinking about my sweet potatoes right now…



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