An incredibly well-preserved historic district, Higashiyama is the place to experience the yesteryear of Kyoto. Starting at Yasaka Shrine and ending at Kiyomizu-dera (Kiyomizu Temple), we take our time to stroll the narrow lanes and historic wooden buildings. The 2km walk leads through traditional shops and restaurants, the Ninenzaka Stairs and Sannenzaka Stairs. We frequently stop to savor the traditional Kyoto snacks sold at the shops where we taste the airiest cream puff, warm mochi grilled on the stick and coated with sweet soy sauce, piping hot steamed buns, and fish cakes. We discover our ever favorite Kyoto snack, yatsubashi, at the Otabe store, a very respected maker of this Kyoto sweet snack for the past 200 years. Made from glutinous rice flour, sugar, and cinnamon, the thin and delicate skin is folded into a triangle with a paste filling inside. At Otabe, various flavors include matcha (green tea) and cherry blossom.  At times we veer off the main walking route and go onto a street less traveled by people only to discover more of Kyoto life.



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