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Kyoto: one of the ultimate destinations for seasonal and local food

Kyoto celebrates unique local produce.  It is a no secret that one of the attractions of visiting a place is to taste the local food. However, for those delegates and tourists visiting Kyoto there is twice the opportunity for their taste buds to experience the unusual.  The city not only has the second highest number of Michelin starred restaurants of any city in the world; it also boast 41 unique varieties of locally grown vegetable and fruits, used throughout its recipes and delegate menus.

Kyoto Convention Bureau, international marketing manager, James Kent comments: “There are officially 41 varieties of vegetables traditionally grown within the city limits of Kyoto. They are all vegetables that anyone can recognise like turnips and radishes but have features distinct enough to merit a specific variety and are a pride of the city. By sourcing the vegetables locally we not only serve healthy and fresh food to our delegates but also considerably reduce the food miles.”

James continues: “Japanese cooking still retains its pride in having local flavours and twists and specialities. Many Japanese people travel to Kyoto specifically to take delight in the local food. They not only come here for sightseeing but also to experience the way Kyoto chefs use the local ingredients. What is more interesting about the vegetables is that they are grown only during their respective seasons and not in green houses, so anyone who really wants to delve deeper in to the delights of Japan need to experience it in different seasons. Every season in Kyoto has something unique to offer in terms of food.”

In Kyoto, hotels and conference venues place a huge emphasis on serving menus that are prepared with some of the 41 locally produced vegetables.  Some luxury hotels even maintain their own fields within Kyoto and grow their own produce.  The result not only adds freshness to the menus served to the clients but the hotel staff are also allowed to work in the fields – adding to individual’s knowledge of  the experience they are serving to visitors.

The concept of food miles, which is a part of the broader issue of sustainability and deals with a large range of environmental issues, including local food has been gaining a lot currency in recent years. Locally produced foods are not only healthy but also contribute considerably in reducing carbon emissions.


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