It’s worth treating yourself to a meal in a traditional Kyo-ryōri (Kyoto cuisine) restaurant, such as kaiseki (a multi-course banquet of seasonal delicacies), shōjin-ryōri (Buddhist vegetarian cuisine) or yūdōfu (simmered tofu). Nishin soba, a big bowl of soba noodles with a part-dried piece of herring on top, and saba-zushi, made with mackerel, are two of the more everyday Kyoto dishes. Reservations are nearly always essential at top-end kaiseki restaurants in the evening; elsewhere it’s not a bad idea to book ahead at weekends and during peak holiday times.

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