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  • Ewingjr98's Profile Photo
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    Kyoto Machiya Heian Beer

    by Ewingjr98 Updated Oct 21, 2013

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: Kyoto Machiya Heian Beer is brewed by a sake company called Kinshi Masamune Sake. The company was founded in 1781, and the named was trademarked in 1896. The brewery began producing beer in 1997, under the name Machiya (or townhouse), with the first beer called Hanamachi or flower town, named after Kyoto's famous geisha districts. The company produces a number of beers including the Heian "schwartz-type" beer, a German-style kolsch, a German alt-bier, a wheat, and a brown ale.

    In October 2013, I found the Kyoto Machiya Heian Beer, a German-style schwarz (or black) beer. The beer pours a dark, coffee-like black, as advertised. The smell is surprisingly smoky, more like a porter or stout than a standard schwarz beer. Not a bad beer, but not what I expect from a schwarz.

    This beer is also sold in unique pyramid-shaped one-liter bottles; see image here: http://www2.kinshimasamune.com/cgi-bin/catalog/gallery.cgi?mode=image&upfile=31-1.jpg

    3.5 out of 5 stars.

    Website: http://www.kinshimasamune.com/
    E-mail: kinshi@kinshimasamune.com
    Telephone: (75) 611-5201
    Address: 11- 337-1 Shinmachi, Fushimi-ku, Kyoto, Japan 612-8081

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    Haneda Syuzan Kaido Kolsch Beer

    by Ewingjr98 Written Oct 15, 2013

    Favorite thing: I first stumbled onto Haneda Syuzan Kaido beer on tap at Tadg's Irish Pub (formerly known as McLoughlin's) in Kyoto's Pontocho District along the Kamogawa River. I later found this company's Amber beer in September 2013 at a small sake and beer shop across the river in Gion, but I didn't know it was the same, because the label was entirely in Japanese other than the words "Amber Ale." The unique pull-tab lid on the bottle does say "Haneda Brewery" and "Original Craft Beer." (Update: I found Haneda ;brewery beers at Takashimaya department store in October 2013, and the labels have been completely redone, and they now have loads of English, including the brewery name and beer style, They offer all three of the company's beers, weizen, amber, and schwartz, for 420 Yen each.)

    The kolsch beer pours a light brown color with a thick, light colored head. The smell is light and sweet, perhaps a bit fruity. The taste is smooth, mild, and simple, nothing complex about the beer, which makes it easy to sip and enjoy. A nice beer, but nothing overly special.

    The Haneda Brwery, like so many other beer makers in Japan, got its start brewing sake, but has expanded in recent years to make beer, with the relaxation of Japan's beer laws.

    4 out of 5 stars.

    Website: http://www.hanedashuzo.co.jp/bear.htm (yes, the web address says "bear" not "beer")
    Telephone: 075-852-0080

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    Haneda Syuzan Kaido Weizen Beer

    by Ewingjr98 Written Oct 14, 2013

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: I first stumbled onto Haneda Syuzan Kaido beer on tap at Tadg's Irish Pub (formerly known as McLoughlin's) in Kyoto's Pontocho District along the Kamogawa River. I later found this company's Amber beer in September 2013 at a small sake and beer shop across the river in Gion, but I didn't know it was the same, because the label was entirely in Japanese other than the words "Amber Ale." The unique pull-tab lid on the bottle does say "Haneda Brewery" and "Original Craft Beer." (Update: I found Haneda ;brewery beers at Takashimaya department store in October 2013, and the labels have been completely redone, and they now have loads of English, including the brewery name and beer style, They offer all three of the company's beers, weizen, amber, and schwartz, for 420 Yen each.)

    The weizen beer pours a light, golden color with a small head. The smell is very good, as is the taste, with a sweeter than usual hefeweizen flavor. Maybe not as traditional as some weizens, but the lightly sweet flavor is great for a warm summer evening.

    The Haneda Brwery, like so many other beer makers in Japan, got its start brewing sake, but has expanded in recent years to make beer, with the relaxation of Japan's beer laws.

    4.5 out of 5 stars.

    Website: http://www.hanedashuzo.co.jp/bear.htm (yes, the web address says "bear" not "beer")
    Telephone: 075-852-0080

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    Haneda Syuzan Kaido Amber Ale Beer

    by Ewingjr98 Updated Oct 14, 2013

    Favorite thing: I first stumbled onto Haneda Syuzan Kaido Amber Ale beer on tap at Tadg's Irish Pub (formerly known as McLoughlin's) in Kyoto's Pontocho District along the Kamogawa River. I later found this beer in September 2013 at a small sake and beer shop across the river in Gion, but I didn't know it was the same, because the label was entirely in Japanese other than the words "Amber Ale." The unique pull-tab lid on the bottle does say "Haneda Brewery" and "Original Craft Beer." (Update: I found Haneda ;brewery beers at Takashimaya department store in October 2013, and the labels have been completely redone, and they now have loads of English, including the brewery name and beer style, 420 Yen each.)

    The beer pours a nice, dark amber with a light head. The smell is very good, with hints of butterscotch. The taste is sweet, perhaps a bit too sweet for my taste, especially as it warms.

    The Haneda Brwery, like so many other beer makers in Japan, got its start brewing sake, but has expanded in recent years to make beer, with the relaxation of Japan's beer laws.

    4 out of 5 stars.

    Website: http://www.hanedashuzo.co.jp/bear.htm (yes, the web address says "bear" not "beer")
    Telephone: 075-852-0080

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    Kyounoyasaka Beer - Alt Beer

    by Ewingjr98 Written Sep 29, 2013

    Favorite thing: Kyounoyasaka Beer is a small Kyoto bewery that produces a small selection of beers, including the Alt Beer I found at a small sake shop in the Gion are of Kyoto. I took the beer home, chilled it and poured it in a pilsner glass to observe the wonderful dark color and the thin head. I used a small sample of the beer to make chipotle spiced beer-butt chicken, and the rest I consumed on my back porch in the cool autumn air. The beer has a mild, almost flowery scent and a slightly sweet, caramel flavor. Very good, probably the best of the five or six Nagoya and Kyoto ji-biru (craft beers) I found on this trip.

    4.5 out of 5 stars.

    I have been unable to find any information on Kyounoyasaka Beer on the internet.

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    Kizakura Brewery - Kyoto Kölsch beer

    by Ewingjr98 Written Sep 29, 2013

    Favorite thing: Kizakura makes a number of beers including a few Alt beers, some Kölsch beers, and a few others. The brewery is located in Kyoto and has been brewing sake for decades before adding beer to their lineup.

    I had the beer with the dark blue label and gold writing, called "Kyoto Kölsch." This is a German-style Kölsch that pours clear with a pale yellow color and a foamy head that laces the glass and lingers. The taste is a bit hoppy but without the bitterness of a typical lager. It does have a crisp, clean finish that makes it very drinkable.

    The beer label says, "An original beer from KIZAKURA," followed by "Originated in 1995, this is Kyoto's first local beer. Brewed with famous 'Fushimizu' water, it is enjoyed for its aroma and rich yet clear flavor."

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    Website: http://kizakura.co.jp/ja/products/beel.html (yes, that's "beel" not "beer")
    Address: 223 Shioya-machi, Fushimi-ku, Kyoto 612-8046 Japan
    Phone: 075-611-8115

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    Kizakura Brewery Bakushu Kura no Kaori Pale Lager

    by Ewingjr98 Updated Sep 28, 2013

    Favorite thing: Kizakura makes a number of beers including a few Alt beers, some Kolsch beers, and a few others. The brewery is located in Kyoto and has been brewing sake for decades before adding beer to their lineup.

    I had the beer with the green label, called "Bakushu Kura no Kaori." Kaori is a famous Japanese girl's name meaning "perfumed wave." This is a pale lager that pours a light color. The beer is very sweet, perhaps a bit too sweet, but it is smooth and full of flavor. The beer label says, "An original beer from KIZAKURA," followed by "Originated in 1995, this is Kyoto's first local beer. Brewed with famous 'Fushimizu' water, it is enjoyed for its aroma and rich yet clear flavor."

    3.5 out of 5 stars

    Website: http://kizakura.co.jp/ja/products/beel.html (yes, that's "beel" not "beer")
    Address: 223 Shioya-machi, Fushimi-ku, Kyoto 612-8046 Japan
    Phone: 075-611-8115

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  • arianne_1504's Profile Photo

    Food, food and more food

    by arianne_1504 Updated Feb 6, 2011

    Favorite thing: Are you hungry yet? No. How about now? No. And now? No. Are you peckish yet? No. What about some food? No.
    I had to laugh at the amount of food shops in Kyoto! Every second shop sold food! The above conversation was a running joke of ours in Kyoto. You will NEVER go hungry in Kyoto!

    Related to:
    • Food and Dining

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  • Rabbityama's Profile Photo
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    World Heritage Sites

    by Rabbityama Written Oct 29, 2010

    Favorite thing: In 1994, 17 sites were together designated UNESCO Heritage sites under the title "Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto". This includes two sites in Uji (Byodoin Temple and Ujigami Shrine) and one in Otsu (Enryakuji Temple on Mount Hiei).

    The 14 sites found in Kyoto are:
    -Kiyomizu Temple
    -Shimogamo Shrine
    -Kamigamo Shrine
    -Koke-dera
    -Nishi Honganji Temple
    -Toji Temple
    -Kinkakuji Temple
    -Ryoanji Temple
    -Ninnaji Temple
    -Kozanji Temple
    -Nijo Castle
    -Daigoji Temple
    -Ginkakuji Temple
    -Tenryuji Temple

    Anyone feeling overwhelmed by the number of sites may want to start by looking up these sites. Most of them are very popular, although some are actually less often visited by foreign tourists, such as Kozanji Temple, Kamigamo Shrine, and Daigoji Temple, but these are each great sites! I personally felt that Nishi Honganji Temple was the least impressive, but everyone has their own opinions!

    At the very least, you can be confident that the sites have historical significance and most date back hundreds of years.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Study Abroad

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    Kyoto for Free

    by Rabbityama Updated Oct 11, 2010

    Favorite thing: You can spend a lot of money in Kyoto visiting all of the various temples, but there are also many great places you can go for free! Here are some tips for touring Kyoto on a budget!

    Firstly, visit shrines! Temples usually charge money, while shrines are typically free. This is true throughout Japan, but Kyoto has many of the nation's most famous shrines! Fushimi Inari Shrine is always very popular. Kamigamo Shrine and Shimogamo Shrine both have a lot of history and are quite unique and beautiful. Kitano Tenmangu is beautiful when the plum blossoms are in bloom and Hirano Shrine is a great place to see the cherry blossoms. There are a lot of great shrines, but these are the most famous and popular.

    Another good option is to visit the Imperial Palaces and Villas. In order to do that, you need a reservation however, it is completely free! You can apply online or stop by the imperial office on the morning of the day you wish to tour to see if there are openings. There are four: Kyoto Imperial Palace, Sento Palace, Shugakuin Imperial Villa, and Katsura Imperial Villa.

    Some other places: In Higashiyama, Maruyama Park and many surrounding attractions are free! You can visit Yasaka Shrine, Gion, Pontocho, and Chion-in Temple (except the "seven wonders") for free! In Arashiyama, you can see the famous bamboo forest, Nonomiya Shrine, the Togetsukyo Bridge, and walk along the river for free, as well! Nishi Honganji and Higashi Honganji Temples are both free, and you can reach them on foot from Kyoto Station.

    Kyoto is actually a great place to visit for a budget traveler. Most people will still want to see some temples, museums, etc. that do cost money, but knowing that there are equally great free options is a great way to save money and still have an amazing time!

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Study Abroad
    • Budget Travel

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    Autumn Foliage

    by Rabbityama Written Oct 10, 2010

    Favorite thing: Although the spring cherry blossoms are given much more attention, Kyoto is an excellent place to visit in the autumn; the leaves are gorgeous! The leaves often last from October through early December.

    Generally speaking, any place that is good for cherry blossom viewing is also good for viewing the autumn leaves, because cherry trees are deciduous. But there are also other famous places in Kyoto for seeing the fall leaves.

    The outer parts of the city are all great places, such as the Takao area in Northwestern Kyoto, Ohara area in Northeastern Kyoto, Arashiyama in Western Kyoto, and the Oharano area in Southwestern Kyoto. Kurama is technically not in Kyoto, but it is very convenient from Kyoto and very famous for autumn leaves.

    Some other famous places are Tofukuji Temple, Kiyomizu Temple, Ryoanji Temple, Daigoji Temple, Daitokuji Temple, and the Philosopher's Path.

    There are autumn light-up events in Arashiyama and at various temples in Higashiyama, like Kodaiji and Kiyomizu Temples.

    Related to:
    • Photography
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Arts and Culture

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    Cherry Blossoms

    by Rabbityama Written Oct 8, 2010

    Favorite thing: Cherry blossom viewing has been an important part of Japanese culture for hundreds of years, so naturally, many visitors to Japan want to experience this part of Japan and Kyoto is arguably the most popular place for foreigners to go! When the blossoms bloom always depends on the weather, but generally they begin to bloom around late March/early April and last for two weeks. In Kyoto there are light-up events the first week of April for you to view blossoms at night in specific places (mainly Arashiyama and Higashiyama areas).

    Some of the best places to see the blossoms are:
    In Higashiyama (Eastern Kyoto): Kiyomizu Temple, Heian Shrine (one of my personal favorites), Philosopher's Path (historic pathway alligned with blossoms), Nanzenji Temple, Maruyama Park (famous single tree), Okazaki Canal area

    In Central Kyoto: Toji Temple (one of my favorites), Nijo Castle, Kyoto Imperial Park (northern part of the park)

    In Western Kyoto: Arashiyama (the hillside is covered with cherry trees)

    In Southern Kyoto: Daigoji Temple (this is one of the official "top 100" spots, although foreigners don't usually come here), Shojoji (nicknamed "cherry blossom temple), Kajuji Temple

    In Northern Kyoto: Ninnaji Temple, Ryoanji Temple, Hirano Shrine (one of the most famous places for locals but foreigners don't visit as much), Kyoto Botanical Garden

    For cherry blossom viewing, don't be afraid to go to a lesser known area with blossoms. It may be much better than an overcrowded site!

    Related to:
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Arts and Culture
    • Festivals

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    Old Kyoto disappearing

    by j-san Updated Aug 26, 2010

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: "There are approximately 48,000 Machiya within Kyoto, and most of them are more than 100 years old. However, much like many other traditional architecture throughout the world, Machiya are rapidly disappearing.

    Every year, around 1,000 Machiya are demolished and replaced by new buildings due to maintenance being difficult and expensive, and their style considered outdated and old-fashioned in the minds of many. Unfortunately, reconstruction of Machiya is extremely difficult under the current Japanese building regulations, and as a result the traditional townscape of Kyoto is currently left on an inevitable path to extinction."

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  • Gili_S's Profile Photo

    Kyoto

    by Gili_S Written Feb 9, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: Kyoto is probably the most wanted city in Japan for tourist especially compare to its size. It is fantastic city for the tourist as it is not too big or crowded and of course most important, it has lots of temples and sites for the tourist who want to experience and learn a bit about Japanese history, culture and tradition.

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    The River

    by Gili_S Written Feb 9, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: There is beautiful river across the city in Kyoto, depends of course on the time of the season how much water will be flooding there but it is was nice place to get a bit away from the city crowed and traffic and to stroll peacefully by the river bank.

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