Kyoto Landmark: Heian-Jingu Shrine

Famous for its colossal orange torii gate, Heian-jingu Shrine is one of the most popular shrines and historical sights in central Kyoto. The temple was built in 1895, which is relatively new compared to the rest of the ancient temples scattered throughout the city. The shrine itself is actually a replica of the former Heian Palace and looks just as grand. The shrine grounds are quite spacious so be sure to rest at a nearby cafe or restaurant after parading around like a former empress. 

Cool down with kakigori in a cozy cafe

Restaurant Cheka

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Cheka is a cozy sweets shop located in a small home. The two-story home is actually a cafe known for its creative twists on both Japanese and western desserts. The rustic style cafe is perfect for relaxing after a hot and humid day of exploring around the Heian-jingu Shrine grounds. In the summer, Cheka only serves kakigori, Japanese-style shaved ice. Kakigori is a traditional Japanese shaved ice made with thinly sliced ice that melts in the mouth. Unlike a hard snow cone, kakigori has a snowy texture and a multitude of flavors. Cheka is best known for their pudding kakigori (1000 JPY). The pudding kakigori is regular shaved ice topped with a creamy pudding. The two dessert hybrid is a creamy concoction that is not too heavy on the stomach and perfect for Kyoto’s hot summer days. Not too into creamy goodness? There are other flavors available, such as pineapple or matcha. 

Cheka is open from 10am to 7pm and closed on Monday and Tuesday. The shop may close early, if they sell out of ingredients. 

Eat a healthy and organic home-style meal 

Restaurant Mement Mori

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Kyoto is not only known for its thousands of temples and shrines, it’s also known for its vast quantity of cafes. Each cafe is unique in their own way and Cafe Mement Mori is no exception. This light filled, wooden cafe only serves 20 organic and healthy lunches everyday so be sure to get there early! The lunches change every so often, depending on the season and what is available. No matter what, the lunches are always a well-rounded meal featuring lots of vegetables and lean meats. Can’t make it in time for lunch? Don’t worry, Mement Mori also serves freshly made desserts and drinks from 3pm. Each meal and dessert is served in a beautifully made pottery dish which creates a comfortable, home-style ambiance in the cafe. 

The daily lunch plate costs 1,100 JPY, and desserts start from 450 JPY. Mement Mori is open from 11:30am to 7:00pm and closed on Tuesday. 

Finish the day with a classy dinner 

Restaurant Kyoto Modern Terrace

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Experience Kyoto’s four distinct seasons at Kyoto Modern Terrace. This contemporary restaurant serves a mix of western and Japanese style food with a revolving menu for each season. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are all offered both a la carte and in set options. There are plenty of options to choose from the creative washoku fusion menu. Firewood grilled cuisine is Kyoto Modern Terrace’s specialty. Meat and fish entrees round out the main course options while grilled salads and cheese with an umami twist are on the appetizer menu. The Three Types of Firewood Grilled Namafu is a great way to experience Kyoto street food on a more elegant level. Namafu is a type of wheat gluten mochi served on a stick. Normally it’s a popular street food found outside shrines and shopping streets around town but Kyoto Modern Terrace gives it a sophisticated spin.

Breakfast is available from 8am to 11am (from 800 JPY), lunch from 11am to 3pm (from 2,800 JPY), and dinner is available after lunch hours (from 3,800 JPY) 
You can view the complete menu on the official website

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