12 Typical Vegetables of Kyoto – Kyo yasai(京野菜)

Kyoto vegetables are the pride of Japan. The Kyoto is the ancient Japanese capital before Tokyo over 300 years ago. This city still retains its appearance at more than 2000 years!

Therefore, this city has many original foods and drinks.

“Kyo-Yasai” refers to 31 traditional vegetables of Kyoto. Some of those seeds are only available to a limited number of farmers.


Today, I introduce The Kyoto traditional  vegetables, Kyo-Yasai.

Table of Contents


“Kabocha” means pumpkin. This strange shape pumpkin cultivates at Shishigatani village(鹿ケ谷村) in Kyoto for 200 years. At Anraku-ji Temple(安楽寺) in Kyoto holds a burning ceremony for pumpkins on July 25th every year.
Taste is the pumpkin of pumpkins…Sweet and rich flavor!

I guess you can not use this one in Halloween, though.

Shishigatani kabocha recipe

Use a knife that cuts well because the skin is hard😣

FYI: Cookpad

Shogoin Kabu (聖護院かぶ)


“Shogoin (聖護院)”means one of the temple name in Kyoto. The cultivation is began 400 years ago. “kabu” means turnip. This is often used for pickles or cooking as “Kaburamushi”, which is one of the Kyoto recipe also.

Softly texture and sweeter than other turnips. 

Shogoin kabu recipe


This dish is steamed eel or fish with a mixed grated this and whipped egg white topped over with a starchy sauce.

FYI: delish kitchen

Shogoin kabu recipe



“Senmai” means 1000 pieces. This pickles are sliced so thinly like cutting 1000 pieces!

FYI: Nadia

Shogoin Daikon (聖護院だいこん)

This looks like a turnip, but it’s a radish. The taste is not as sweet as turnip and is light.

Shogoin Daikon recipe

Hannnari zuke

There is a word in the Kyoto dialect, “Hannari”.This word means elegant. When used with food, it means light taste. These pickles are fragrant with the aroma of yuzu.

FYI: Cookpad

Nabana (菜花)


“Nabana(菜花)” means rape blossoms. 
This spinach has a unique bitterness. It is eaten with seasoned Japanese mustard, a side dish of boiled with soy sauce, or pickles.

This is the one of typical spring vegetables in Kyoto.

Nabana recipe

This recipe is seasoned with wasabi and soy sauce.

FYI: Kikkoman

Manganji Togarashi (万願寺とうがらし)


“Managanji” means Mangan temple in Kyoto.(NOT Manganese Dioxide!) And, “Togarashi(とうがらし)” means green pepper. These are cultivated around Mangan-ji temple.

This is a little bigger than other green peppers. But the spiciness is not too strong. So, we often eat seared them as snacks with Sake in soy sauce.

Manganji togarashi recipe

This is a type of stew called “Nibitashi (煮びたし)”. All you have to do is simmer aburaage and this in kombu dashi and soy sauce until tender. This recipe is often used, but it is not written how long to simmer it for, because it depends on the ingredients.

FYI: Coop-cooking

Kujo Negi (九条ねぎ)


“Kujo (九条)” is a district in a one of Kyoto city. “Negi (ねぎ)” means leek.

Originally, it has been cultivated in Kyoto for over 1200 years around there. It has a unique sweetness.
If this leek is used for Ramen or other foods in restaurant, the price will increase + a few USD more.

This leek is one of the premium  ingredients.

Kujo negi recipe

This is a stir-fry of chicken and kujo leek.

FYI: Healthy recipe

Kyo takenoko (京たけのこ)


It is also called milt-bamboo, has white in color, soft enough to be sashimi, and has a unique flavor.

Bamboo shoots usually become more bitter as time goes by,  but if they are harvested in the morning, they can be eaten as sashimi.
This recipe is rarely seen in Japanese cuisine, even in high-end one.

Kyo takenoko recipe

Easy recipe! Just grilled it with Sansho (Japanese pepper) soy sauce for 20min.

FYI: Bob & Angie recipe

Kuwai (慈姑 / くわい)


The one from Japan is called “Ao kuwai” and is distinguished from the one from China. It is boiled to remove scum, and they are simmered with soy sauce and mirin. The Chinese one is crispy, but the Japanese texture is similar to a yam.

Kuwai recipe

We often eat this in our Osechi ryori (This is special dishe eaten on New Year’s Day). We often eat this with them in simmered.

FYI: Cookpad

Mibuna (壬生菜)


“Mibuna (壬生菜)” is a kind of spinach is cultivated at Mibu city in Kyoto. this is the very Kyoto vegetable!
I don’t see it anywhere except for Kyoto.
It has a little spicy and is eaten with pickles or a side dish with soy sauce after boiled.

“Mibuna” and “Mizuna” are similar in name, but completely different in shape.

Mibubna recipe

5min recipe! This is a tofu recipe known as “Shiroae (白和え)”. Just drain cotton tofu in the microwave and cook it with mibuna in soy sauce and dashi.

FYI: Cookpad

Mizuna (水菜 / 京菜)


“Mizuna (水菜)” is called “Kyona (京菜)” also. It has been cultivated near Kujo in Kyoto for over 300 years. We often eat it in Nabe ryori (hot pot) or in salads instead of lettuce. 

It contains 10 times more vitamin C and 3 times more dietary fiber than lettuce! So it is good for beauty and health more than anything else.

Mizuna recipe

5min recipe! A simple recipe of canned tuna and sesame oil.

FYI: Cookpad

Kamo Nasu (加茂なす)


“Nasu (なす)” means eggplant. “Kamo (加茂)” means town name.

 This is elastic and stiffer than other eggplants. Therefore, it is often used for simmered dishes. It has been cultivated since 1600 year.
It is one of the rare vegetables that is cultivated based on the traditional secret method.

The best time to eat is from mid-May to late September.

Kamonasu recipe


This recipe is called Dengaku, is grilled and eaten with sweet miso paste on top.

FYI: Cookpad

Ebi imo (海老芋)


“Ebi (海老)” means shrimp. “Imo (芋)” means potato. The name is derived from the surface and shape like a shrimp. This potato is a kind of yam. But, this is stickier, harder and sweeter than general yam.

It is treated as a high-class food in japan because it does not hard to collapse and not change color to brown with soy sauce. It has been cultivated since the 1700s.

Ebiimo recipe

There are many similar recipes, but this one is the most authentic.

FYI: Toiro

Horikawa Gobou (堀川ごぼう)


“Horikawa (堀川)” means is one of the district name in Kyoto. “Gobo (ごぼう)” means burdock. This burdock has a hole and thicker than others.

In Kyoto, stuff minced meat or shrimp in this hole and simmered in broth.
The feature of texture is softer than others.
This is also one of the very Kyoto vegetable. Actually, I have never seen this one except for Kyoto.

Horikawa gobo recipe

This is a recipe for Horikawa burdock Osechi ryori. It is a very rare Kyoto dish.

FYI: Youtube

Tsukune imo (つくね芋)


This potato is also a kind of yam.

The feature is very tenacious. This is often used the best ingredient for not only cooking but also Japanese sweets.


The meaning of “Tsukune” is meatball. The name comes from looking like this dish.

Good digestion, high nutritional, and useful for tonic,too!

Tsukune imo recipe

Tempura of tsukune potato. Fluffy😲

FYI: Cookpad

Kyoimo (京芋 / たけのこ芋)


“Kyoimo(京芋)” is not a Kyoto vegetable, although it has “Kyo” in its name. It is also called Takenokoimo (たけのこ芋). It was originally made in Taiwan, and most of them are produced in Miyazaki Prefecture.


When you go to Kyoto, Try to eat Kyoto vegetables. You must be a fan of this unique local taste!


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