Is Kyoto Just a Traditional Place?

Nov. 25, 2017

Kyoto is often said to be a wonderful place that represents Japanese culture, because it has its long history and traditional culture as well as many temples and shrines. Many people think that old things are loved and cherished in Kyoto, and this is true. However, it is also a truth that people in Kyoto tend to like something new, too. Kyoto is one of the prefectures that the local people consume bread and coffee the most in Japan, and you can see tons of bakeries and cafes there.
Maybe it surprises people from other countries because some tourists travel to Kyoto to eat washoku (traditional Japanese cuisine). Washoku is known as the cuisine of tasty food including rice, fish and vegetables, and it was inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2013. Of course, the local people eat washoku a lot, but sometimes they prefer bread to rice.

I guess there is another reason for that many bread lovers live in Kyoto, besides that they love new things―the city of Kyoto is a city for students. Kyoto has many universities including Kyoto University that is very famous in Japan, along with The University of Tokyo. Naturally, there are many students living in Kyoto, too. Students hang out at cafes, and they buy bread because it is reasonable and not old-fashioned. This could be one reason for that Kyoto has many cafes and bakeries.
Be that as it may, I can say people in Kyoto love something new. Kyoto has surprised people with new things in its history. For example, the first elementary school in Japan was opened in Kyoto in 1869. Moreover, the first train in Japan run in Kyoto in 1895. What I was surprised a few years ago was the fact that even some priests of temples have bread for breakfast every morning. I have been in Kyoto for more than 30 years and prefer bread, but }that was a big surprise for me.

By Meg Konishi (Find Your Japan)