Arashiyama, Food & Drink, Japan

The Delights of “Tofu” (唐腐) in Arashiyama, Kyoto

“Tofu” or bean curd is food made of soy milk, pressed into solid white blocks. Originated in China and was introduced to Japan in the late 8th century, during the Nara period (710-794) by Zen Buddhist monks. It was the luxury food of the Shoguns in the early Edo period (1603-1868), and farmers were only allowed to eat on special days. Today, you can enjoy an exquisite meal of tofu, from starter to main course and dessert in a traditional Japanese setting at Yodofu Sagano.

Yodofu Sagano is tucked away in a quiet part of Arashiyama, within a breath-taking traditional Japanese style garden. The dining experience is one of its kind because you get treated to flute music, tatami mats and cooking at the table. It is a unique, relaxing dining experience, where food is leisurely served by servers in Kimonos.

The tofu “paradise” comes as a set meal, where the main course is “Yodofu” which is tofu simmered in a light dashi broth, in a clay-pot right in front of you! There are several other small dishes, about nine of them in small bowls including deep fried tempura vegetables, rice and tsukemono pickles. Dessert and unlimited tea are also included.

A set meal is around 4000 Yen which may seem pricey for a tofu-based vegetarian meal. You can get absolutely stuffed with dish after dish of tofu prepared in various ways! Moreover, it is the dining experience of having a good, clean meal in a tranquil, un-rushed setting which makes it a worthwhile experience.

Yodofu Sagano is not an easy place to find because it is tucked away in a quaint part of Arashiyama and it looks like a private estate. It is on the grounds of Tenryu-ji Temple. You need to go around the corner, past the Shinto statues and you will find the gate to the main entrance. If you take address down and have it on google maps, you will find it. Choose the traditional setting over the western one, and an indoor experience will give you an authentic feel. The inner garden is absolutely beautiful, with moss covered grounds, bamboos and trees that provide ample shade. So make time to stroll and enjoy the tranquillity of the garden.

Useful information:

Yudofu Sagano

45 Sagatenryuji

Susukinobabacho, Ukyo-ku,

Kyoto 616-8385,

Kyoto Prefecture.

Tel: +81 758716946

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