Shopping and Eating in Kurokawa #10: Kisho Tofu restaurant

Conveniently located just across the road from the Visitor Center,Kisho Tofu Restaurant    (とうふ吉祥) is open most days from 10:00 to 17:00 and a great choice for lunch if you like tofu,tofu and even more tofu! Even the desserts are made from tofu or soya milk.

 

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Is it a restaurant? Is it open?

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Hooray…it`s open today!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I`m glad to see these new ,clear signs around Kurokawa at all the shops,restaurants and cafés. Even though I can read some Japanese,I must admit that it`s not always clear to me whether a certain shop is open for business on  that day or not,so it must be very difficult sometimes for the overseas visitor who can`t read any Japanese. Kisho Tofu restaurant is subtly lit and set back a little from the road,and  years ago when I walked around Kurokawa with a friend from the UK, we mistook it for a private old style Japanese  house! (Which it was originally until it was remodelled inside as a restaurant ).

 

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Large tatami room,Japanese style seating.

 

Popular items served here are the Tofu `sets` starting from ¥1600,perhaps a little over your usual lunchtime budget, but made with fresh, high-quality tofu and soya beans. An easy-to-read English menu with photos and prices is provided,which along with the multilingual  `point and ask`  laminated vocabulary card makes dining here quite straightforward even though the staff didn`t seem to speak any English. Credit cards are accepted.

 

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Helpful menu with photos

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A game of Noughts and Crosses anyone?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SUMMARY

Open 10:00 to 17:00 (but closed Tuesdays and Fridays)

English menu

Credit cards accepted

 

 

 

Shopping and Eating in Kurokawa # 9: Shimokawabatadori Stroll

Along Shimokawabatadori Street there is a small gallery/shop that can be rented short term and attracts a variety of artists throughout the year from both near and far. Until May 16th the gallery houses a display by a potter,Kazuyo Taguchi, whose studio is near Mount Kinpo in Kumamoto City.

 

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Kazu Pottery (until May 16th 2017)

 

Apart from the usual dishes,cups and vases , unique pottery clocks caught my eye along with colourful chopstick rests,necklaces and earrings,which could easily be wrapped up and transported home safely in your luggage.

 

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Pottery clocks

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Can you spot the two-faced vase!?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All in all it was a perfect afternoon for a stroll around Kurokawa ,lots of fresh green leaves and a slight breeze along by the river…

 

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Kurokawa stroll,in Yukata of course!

 

Why not rest a moment and try the refreshing footbath (ashiyu) located by the river? Just pop across the street to Yamanoyu Ryokan first to pay the ¥100 entry fee at reception (an extra ¥100 if you need a towel). Operating hours are 8:30am to 8:30pm.

 

 

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Footbath (足湯)

 

…..and  then ice creams from nearby Sugiyohoen (the Honey Shop) round off  the afternoon  perfectly!

 

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Sugiyohoen ice cream contains honey,yum!

 

 

Shopping and Eating in Kurokawa # 8: Fudo Cafe

Fudo (風°C) is a fairly new café that popped up on Sakuradori Street (gekkojyu) and has a covered deck area where you can sit and look out onto the street. Open from 11:00 to 17:00 every day the café offers a variety of drinks and snacks for eating in or taking out.

 

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Covered deck at Fudo Cafe

We chose to eat in ,as it was a cool and wet afternoon,but several customers were wrapped up in their yukata robes and tanzen  (short jackets) and enjoying drinks out on the deck. The large,juicy meatburger sold here (¥600) was a hit with my son,while my daughter and I sipped herb tea in real china tea cups. The hibiscus tea (¥200) was refreshing,but we were a little disappointed that other yummy-sounding teas (caramel and strawberry) advertised on the chalkboard menu were not available.

 

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A really meaty burger !

 

Pictures of items on the menu are clearly displayed on the wall and counter,so its easy to point to what you`d like to order. Prices seemed reasonable for the quality and amount of food,although a plate of sirloin steak would set you back ¥2500. Seasonal specialities are also available.

 

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Inside Fudo cafe

 

SUMMARY

Open daily 11:00 to 17:00

English menu/signs

 

Shopping and Eating in Kurokawa #7: Terakoya Senbei (Rice cracker) Shop

Wasabi (horseradish),red pepper,sweet plum….these are just a few of the unusual,mouthwatering flavours of rice cracker on sale at Terakoya Rice Cracker Shop  (寺子屋煎餅店)on Sakuradori Street. We couldn`t resist the wonderful aroma of freshly-baked crackers,and ended up buying a few to take out and eat while we wandered around town.

 

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Terakoya Rice Crackers

 

The selection of flavours made it hard to choose…..I tried a sugar plum crispy cracker,which was huge,and my son tried Wasabi. One of the specialities at this store are the `semi-soft’ (mochi-yaki) crackers,which are smaller and served on a skewer like a kebab,but I was worried about maybe losing a filling and opted for the full crunch variety of cracker.

 

Selection of semi-soft and crunchy crackers

Selection of semi-soft and crunchy crackers

 

Inside the shop are further varieties of crackers packaged ready for edible `0miyage` (souvenir) shopping ,with detailed descriptions in English and starting at around ¥130 per cracker. There`s also a small area where you can sit and rest while you eat your take out cracker.

 

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Red pepper? You must be crackers!

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Detailed descriptions of the various flavours

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SUMMARY

Open daily 9:30 to 17:30

Credit cards not accepted (even though this store is one of a chain,also located in Yufuin and other tourist spots 😕 )

Detailed signs in English

 

 

 

Shopping and Eating in Kurokawa # 6: Yumekurodo Gift Shop

Exploring a section of Sakuradori Street this rainy afternoon…and it was difficult to keep my purse closed at the first stop, Yumekurodo (夢蔵人).

 

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Entrance to Yumekurodo

 

Such a colorful array of small,light and easily transportable presents such as socks,handkerchiefs,wall hangings and jewellery in traditional Japanese designs,with many of the smaller items selling at 2 (or 3) for ¥1080 (that pesky 8% tax!) . I was almost tempted to start my Christmas shopping!

 

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Socks (tabi) and hankies going for 1080yen for three. Must go back for those sushi socks!

 

Popular items here are the original Kurokawa T-shirts and tote bags. T-shirts and clothing are hard to find in Kurokawa,these T-shirts are perfect for the warmer months if you find you need to add to your wardrobe on your travels,children`s sizes and adults up to XL available.

 

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Cool T shirts

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Tote-ally cool totes!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SUMMARYimage

Open Daily: 9:30 to 17:00

Credit cards accepted

Some signs in English and Korean,a little English spoken.