Japan 2016: Ryokan Heianbo and Traditional Japanese Breakfasts

Japan 2016: Ryokan Heianbo and Traditional Japanese Breakfasts

The first part of my Japan trip consisted of four nights in Kyoto’s Ryokan Heianbo.  I’ve had traditional Japanese breakfasts before but I wasn’t sure how my friends would like it which is why I really appreciated that Ryokan Heianbo made breakfast an option.  And for 1,080 yen it’s fantastic value.  Depending on how many breakfasts you end up staying for, the ryokan will change a number of the dishes so as to not bore you but there seems to be some staples: a bowl of white rice, miso-shiru (miso soup) and tamagoyaki (Japanese egg omelette).  To me, Japanese cuisine can get very complicated especially when having to make 10-11 small dishes for a single meal yet, that is how some meals are.  Two of my favourite highlights of the breakfasts we had at Ryokan Heianbo were the shirae dish and the kinpira gobo dish – both dishes of which I remember eating when growing up.  With tofu being a specialty of Kyoto, the shirae dish has a strong sesame flavour and is made by mashing tofu and adding ingredients like spinach and konyaku.  Kinpira is quite the opposite of shirae, crunchy in texture and a touch of sweet flavour but like shirae the presence of sesame is evident.  Just delicious 🙂

Ryokan Heianbo in Kyoto located only two blocks from Kyoto JR Station.

Ryokan Heianbo in Kyoto located only two blocks from Kyoto JR Station.

The main hall of the Ryokan Heianbo.

The main hall of the Ryokan Heianbo.

The cute kitchen in Heianbo.

The cute kitchen in Heianbo.

Our first traditional Japanese breakfast at the Ryokan.

Our first traditional Japanese breakfast at the Ryokan.

One of Kyoto's specialties is tofu, silken style with a dot of wasabi.

One of Kyoto’s specialties is tofu, silken style with a dot of wasabi.

A plate with some Japanese style potato salad, slices of ham, cucumber and shredded cabbage.

A plate with some Japanese style potato salad, slices of ham, cucumber and shredded cabbage.

A traditional Japanese breakfast includes a bowl of white rice. Here I eat it with tsukudani.

A traditional Japanese breakfast includes a bowl of white rice. Here I eat it with tsukudani.

Our 2nd breakfast at Heianbo. For some variety, this time we were served a variety of different side dishes.

Our 2nd breakfast at Heianbo. For some variety, this time we were served a variety of different side dishes.

Sides of kamoboko (fish cakes) and tamagoyaki (egg).

Sides of kamoboko (fish cakes) and tamagoyaki (egg).

Shira-ae salad - made out of mashed tofu, spinach, konyaku, sesame, etc.

Shira-ae salad – made out of mashed tofu, spinach, konyaku, sesame, etc.

Kinpira (top) is made with gobo and carrots with a touch of sweetness.

Kinpira (top) is made with gobo and carrots with a touch of sweetness.

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