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Kyoto Hidden Gems Tour: Must-Try Local Delicacies Around Miyama Kayabuki-no-Sato

Kyoto Hidden Gems Tour: Must-Try Local Delicacies Around Miyama Kayabuki-no-Sato

Date published: 16 January 2024

Miyama, Kyoto, is known for its traditional Japanese landscapes and lifestyle, much like Shirakawa-go in Gifu Prefecture. Among its many charms lies the abundance of locally sourced foods. From vegetables and fruits to meat and fish, the region offers a variety of produce from the fields, mountains, and rivers. Depending on when you visit, you can indulge in anything from full-course meals to a variety of takeaway sweets.

Join Miyu Shimada, an experienced tour guide known for her constant pursuit of delicious cuisine, as she ventures to Miyama to savor the local delicacies in and around Miyama Kayabuki-no-Sato. From the famous jidori chicken oyakodon to the delectable soft-serve ice cream crafted with Miyama’s own prized milk, these are just a taste of the culinary treasures she has discovered!

(*Information and prices are current as of November 2023. Current prices may vary.)

Miyama Area Information

Restaurant Kajikaso: Indulge in Local Miyama Delicacies Like Venison, Wild Boar, Kyo-jidori Chicken, and More!

Restaurant Kajikaso: Indulge in Local Miyama Delicacies Like Venison, Wild Boar, Kyo-jidori Chicken, and More!

One of Miyama’s finest gourmet offerings is gibier (wild game). Surrounded by mountains, Miyama is especially famous for wild game, offering locally-sourced fresh meats expertly prepared by hunters from the region. Restaurant Kajikaso, located within Miyama’s Shizen Bunkamura (Natural Cultural Village), a complex that includes lodging and camping facilities.

The Kaede Gozen set (1,890 yen, tax included) features a delightful meal of venison. This set meal includes deer kuwayaki (grilled deer), deer roast, a selection of side dishes, rice, miso soup, and dessert.

This deer roast is a thick, tender serving of meat, with less fat than beef or pork. For a more Japanese-infused flavor and an extra touch of freshness, try wrapping it with grated daikon and green onions!

The deer kuwayaki features a robust meaty flavor, complemented by a delicious sauce that strikes a sweet and spicy balance, accented with a hint of sansho (Japanese pepper). Its delectable taste brings out that of the accompanying rice. Even the sauce alone is addictive!

Kuwayaki is a dish of grilled meat and vegetables in sauce. Its name is said to have originated from its grilling method, cooked using a “kuwa” (a garden hoe-like tool), used for fieldwork back in the old days.

Kyo-jidori Oyakodon is another Miyama specialty (1,210 yen/tax included).

Jidori chicken boasts a heartier flavor than typical chicken, and combined with the rich Miyama eggs and rice, creates the perfect oyakodon. The high-quality ingredients result in a dish so delicious, it goes beyond what you’d usually expect from famous restaurants in Tokyo!

This restaurant is the largest in the area, with seating for 120 and suitable for large groups. I must confess that gibier isn't usually amongst my preferred meals, however the gibier meals served here were not only free of odor, but also deliciously seasoned, leading me to relish every bite!

Other distinctive dishes include venison curry, botan nabe with wild boar meat, sukiyaki with Kyo-jidori chicken, and more. I also recommend the tochimochi zenzai (rice cake sweet made from Miyama horse chestnut).

Some dishes require advance reservations, so it’s best to inquire in advance. The menu is also available in English for your convenience, so feel free to pay a visit, and delight in these original dishes, only found here!

  • Restaurant KAJIKASO (At Miyama Nature & Culture Village)
    レストラン河鹿荘 (美山町自然文化村内)
    • Address Simomukai56, Miyamacho Naka, Nantan Shi, Kyoto, 601-0713
    • Phone Number 0771-77-0014
    • ・ Hours: 11:30 AM - 3 PM (Last order: 2 PM) / 5 PM - 8 PM (Last order: 7:30 PM)
      ・ Closed: Irregular holidays, Year-end / New Year holidays (*See website for details)

Oshokuji-dokoro Kitamura: Freshly- Made Homemade Soba!

Oshokuji-dokoro Kitamura: Freshly- Made Homemade Soba!

If you're considering dining in Miyama Kayabuki-no-Sato, we highly recommend the restaurant Kitamura, famous for its homemade, handcrafted soba noodles. Soba is a specialty in areas of Japan that are known for having excellent air and water quality.

The soba is made from buckwheat cultivated in the fields right in front of the Miyama Kayabuki-no-Sato restaurant! Those who visit around mid-November have the opportunity to savor the seasonal specialty "new buckwheat," freshly made from the harvest from that year.

Locally-grown buckwheat seeds are carefully ground on a millstone, used to prepare fresh soba every day. If your timing is right, you can witness the soba-making process in action, which usually happens from the time of the restaurant’s opening until 11:30 AM (in the glass-walled area seen in the back right corner of the photo).

Tenmori Soba (1,560 yen, tax included) is accompanied by kakiage (deep-fried vegetables) and chicken tempura. The soba’s distinct aroma enhances the taste, delivering a smooth and pleasant dining experience. It was so delicious that I devoured it before I knew it. The tempura was also amazing! I also enjoyed the touch of red ginger in the kakiage.

You can pair the soba noodles with a set of Tamagokake Gohan (rice topped with egg and chicken) or Oyakodon for an additional 380 yen, both made with local Miyama eggs! Miyama’s heritage eggs, from chickens raised freely in the rich natural environment, are another one of the region’s specialties.

The Tamagokake Gohan dish is one of the best ways to savor the flavor of these delicious eggs! Simply pour the golden egg over the white rice and add a drizzle of soy sauce. Sprinkle it with the accompanying nori and green onion for a finishing touch, resulting in a delicious Japanese home-style dish. Personally, tamagokake gohan is one of my favorite Japanese dishes, and is often amongst the first meals I enjoy upon returning home from overseas.

The front entrance overlooking the soba field and the Yura River flowing in the background make for an idyllic setting. If weather allows, you can even dine on the terrace for a truly luxurious experience.

  • Restaurant Kitamura
    • Address Youisi19-1, Miyamacho Kita, Nantan Shi, Kyoto, 601-0712
    • Phone Number 0771-77-0146
    • ・ Hours: 10 AM - 3 PM
      ・ Regular Holidays: Wednesdays, Year-end / New Year holidays

Cafe&Gallery Saika: Enjoy Locally-Made Sweets in an Old Kayabuki House

Cafe&Gallery Saika: Enjoy Locally-Made Sweets in an Old Kayabuki House

One of the highlights of a leisurely stroll in Miyama Kayabuki-no-Sato is Cafe & Gallery Saika, an old private home-style cafe adorned with a thatched roof.

The dumplings, made in the company's own Kibi Kobo (millet factory), are a highly recommended specialty. I opted for the Kibi Kobo Dumpling Set (700 yen, tax included), featuring three-color dumplings made of millet, uruchi rice, and yomogi (Japanese mugwort), together with coffee jelly, Miyama milk soft cream, and black soybean tea.

The dumplings were surprisingly chewy and fresh! While you have the option to add sweet red bean paste to them, their inherent flavor is so delicious that you can enjoy them just as much on their own!

After settling down with a cup of savory black bean tea, I indulged in another delightful treat: soft-serve ice cream made with Miyama milk, and coffee jelly. The pure sweetness of the rich milk complements the jelly perfectly.

The Kayabuki Soft Cream (500 yen, tax included), served with monaka & red bean paste or jam, features an adorable Kayabuki-shaped monaka! Soft cream flavors include milk, chocolate, and mixed. I went with their brand-new milk and chocolate mix, a sweet treat that is not only delectable but visually appealing, just like Kayabuki no Sato itself.

In addition to the sweets and tea, the kayabuki’s interior as well as the view from inside are also incredible! The seating features retro chabudai (short, four-legged dining tables commonly found in traditional Japanese homes) and zabuton cushions. The vintage chest of drawers and shoji paper screens further add to the ambiance of the interior space.

If you're lucky enough to snag a seat on the porch, you can enjoy your cup of tea amidst the breathtaking scenery. At the time of this visit, there were several groups of ladies taking photos and having a delightful time themselves.

Outside tables and benches are reserved solely for take-out orders (not available for in-store orders). While the options are more limited than the in-store menu, it's a great spot to take a break on the terrace when the weather is nice.

  • Cafe Gallery Saika
    カフェ・ギャラリー 彩花
    • Address Sitamaki6, Miyamacho Kita, Nantan Shi, Kyoto, 601-0712
    • Phone Number 0771-77-9038
    • ・ Hours: 10 AM - 5 PM (Last order: 4:30 PM)
      ・ Closed: Tuesdays *Closed days may vary by month. Please contact the store for details.
      ・ Parking: No parking on-site. Please use the large lot.

Cafe Milan: Pudding Exclusive to Miyama Kayabuki-no-Sato!

Cafe Milan: Pudding Exclusive to Miyama Kayabuki-no-Sato!

You can't leave without trying Cafe Milan's exclusive menu item: their pudding!

Cafe Milan, a cafe and direct egg market run by a poultry farm in Miyama, offers an exclusive treat amongst their drinks, gelatos, and other items: a fresh and delightful egg pudding! Sold exclusively in-store, this pudding comes in limited quantities, and isn't available online or for take-out, ensuring a sweet delight you can only enjoy at Cafe Milan.

The sheer simplicity of this treat allows you to savor the delightful ingredients firsthand. Featuring a rich, delicately sweet egg with a soft texture, it is perfectly balanced by bittersweet caramel, making it an indulgence you will relish, even if you're already full.

In-store, you can buy their prized, freshly-laid heirloom eggs. In Miyama, heirloom eggs are available everywhere, which is heaven for an egg-lover like myself. The eggs are directly sourced from the poultry farm. If it weren’t for my prior commitments and luggage, I would have definitely bought some to take home!

The gelato crafted from Miyama milk has a distinct black soybean flavor, with a slightly savory note that brings a hint of Japanese essence to this dessert. Its smooth, velvety texture makes it an irresistible treat not only in the summer, but even during the chill of winter.

Cafe Milan offers an array of original items apart from eggs, including magnets, postcards, single-flower vases, and various small sundries, which also make great souvenirs from Kayabuki-no-Sato.

In addition to their standard pudding, they also have black bean soy milk pudding (available only on weekends and holidays). Additionally, they also offer delicious juices made with seasonal ingredients like plum and ginger, varying according to the time of the year.

  • Cafe Milan
    • Address Kanmaki42, Miyamacho Kita, Nantan Shi, Kyoto, 601-0712
    • Phone Number 0771-77-0569
    • ・ Hours: 10 AM - 4:30 PM (Last order)
      ・ Closed: Mondays & Wednesdays, irregular holidays (*May vary by month; check store or on Facebook for details.)

Indulge in Diverse Dishes and Desserts Made With Miyama Delicacies!

The area of Miyama Kayabuki-no-Sato boasts an extensive range of delicious delicacies derived from locally-sourced ingredients. It's quite rare to find such a rich collection of ingredients suitable for an assortment of dishes, from meats and soba noodles to eggs. Miyama's allure isn't solely attributed to its beautiful landscapes, but also to its culinary delights! So take a trip to Miyama, and try them all for yourself!

*All prices and information as of November 2023.

English translation by: Krys Suzuki

Written by:

Miyu Shimada

Miyu Shimada

Miyu is a travel writer and tour conductor with over a decade of experience in developing educational content for working individuals. She has a passion for exploring new cultures and has visited more than 150 cities in around 50 countries. Her goal is to sample great food, experience nature, enjoy historical sites, and bathe in hot springs around the world. Miyu left her corporate job to pursue her passion for travel and now spends over 100 days a year abroad while working as a writer. She promotes the joy of travel, the beauty of Japan, and the diverse cultures of the world by traveling to different parts of Japan and collaborating with inbound tour operators and fellow travel writers. On X/Twitter: @myuu_works.

*This information is from the time of this article's publication.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.

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