With Kyoto having been the seat of imperial power for more than a thousand years, its cooks were traditionally catering to the most discerning tastes of the capital’s nobility and numerous connoisseurs. This has developed into a unique style of cuisine called Kyō-ryōri, which makes use of the rich flavors, shapes, and colors of the local seasonal foods. For those who want to learn more about this fascinating cooking style, Miyako Messe, a convention center near Heian Jingū Shrine, houses an annual Kyō-ryōri exhibition on December 13th and 14th, showcasing sumptuous and elaborate dishes by city’s most acclaimed restaurants.
The exhibition layout begins with the small Yamakage Shrine dedicated to a deity of food and cooking. Past the shrine, the hall opens up to a veritable feast for the eyes: artful New Year offerings, extravagant sushi sets, and other mouthwatering exhibits are all beautifully garnished and exquisitely served on high-end ceramics and lacquerware for the best possible impression. Seasonality and festive spirit are very clearly present in all of the creations, allowing for better appreciation of the essence of Kyō-ryōri cuisine.
In addition to the actual exhibition, there are many other attractions on the schedule. Kyoto’s leading chefs share their Kyō-ryōri skills in cooking classes, and representatives from the prestigious Ikama school give amazing demonstrations of knife-handling proficiency in an ancient fish filleting ceremony. Maiko (apprentice geisha) perform elegant traditional dances, and masters from Urasenke school hold a tea ceremony for those wishing to partake. There is even a fascinating tuna cutting display in a specialized area of the hall. The program may change depending on the year, but it is bound to be entertaining! Last but not least, those interested can purchase some Kyoto specialties, local vegetables, green tea, or sake, and indulge their love for good food at home.
Things to See/Do
December 13th–14th, 10:00 – 16:00
Notice: In 2020, the event is held online.
- Advance Tickets: 600 yen
- General Admission: 800 yen
- Students: 500 yen
- 10:00 – 16:00