【Arashiyama】 Daizen【Kyo-sushi】

Hi! Welcome to Machi's Taxi Restaurant Guide.

Sushi has become world popular today, and I guess most people have had at least once.
In Kyoto, however, we have a different type of sushi. It is Kyo-zushi or Kyo-sushi, which means Kyoto-style sushi.

Because Kyoto is located inland, away from the sea, the people of Kyoto in olden days could not eat sashimi or raw fish.

So, instead of using raw fish, they developed a different kind of sushi, in which they use marinated or cooked fish.

At this restaurant, you can enjoy different kinds of Kyo-sushi in addition to regular-style sushi.

It's my experience that most foreign tourists like Inari-zushi and Sasamaki.
To order, simply say "Sasa to Inari" (Combination of Sasamaki and Inari-zushi).

Sasa to Inari (price-1200JPY)

In Sasamaki, the sushi is wrapped in a bamboo leaf.

Push in the stem, and you can untie the leaf.

From under the leaf, marinated sea bream and sushi rice appear.
Since rice is already flavored in Kyo-sushi, we don't usually use soy sauce when eating it.
I recommend you give it a try as it is at first.
Then, if you still feel like dipping the sushi into soy sauce, don't hesitate to ask the people there for some.

In Inari-zushi, sweetened sushi rice is wrapped in fried tofu.

The inside of Inari-zushi

You can buy Inari-zushi throughout Japan.
Inari-zushi at this restaurant tastes good with its relatively light flavor.

Sabazushi (marinated mackerel sushi) is one of the most famous kinds of Kyo-sushi.

In olden days, mackerel were caught near the northern coast of Honshu Island, located about 55km (34 miles) away from Kyoto, as the crow flies.

Immediately after catching a mackerel, fisherman removed the blood from the fish to avoid its flesh from becoming bad.
They then sprinkled salt on the fish to preserve it.
Afterwards, the fish was carried on the backs of people over a mountainous region all the way to Kyoto.
The movements and jostling of the fish while it was being transported, insured that by the time it reached Kyoto it was well marinated.  And that was how people in Kyoto started to use marinated mackerel.

Sabazushi is wrapped with seaweed. Please remove the seaweed before taking a bite.

Many Kyo-sushi restaurants provide Sabazushi thoroughout the year, but it is actually a seasonal food.
The best season for Sabazushi is December, and I can recommend it from October to March.

The owner chef and his lovely wife.
This chef has a direct route to the fishery harbour, so as to obtain the best fish for his sushi.

I hope you have the chance to enjoy Kyo-sushi while you're here, because it's only available in Japan.

If you show this picture to your taxi driver in Kyoto, he’ll have no trouble taking you to this restaurant.

Taxi fare will be:
640JPY from Tenryuji temple.
1600JPY from The Golden Pavilion temple.
3200JPY from Kyoto station.
The above prices are just my approximate guess.

Arashiyama Daizen

Tel: 075-882-0018
Open 11:00~15:00
The green arrow shows the right location.

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