Japan’s beach season officially begins with umibiraki (海開き) which literally means the opening of the sea. The dates for this will differ according to region with the southernmost beaches in Okinawa often opening as early as March or April while on the four main islands of Japan it is normally in early July.
Ryokan (旅館) are traditional Japanese inns which are often located in rural resort areas and set amidst beautiful natural scenery. Usually they feature such elements as tatami flooring and futon bedding in the guest rooms, and communal bathing areas.
This is the second part of our introduction to the main elements of Kyō-ryōri; the traditional cuisine of Kyoto, and the best Kyō-ryōri restaurants. In Part 1, we looked at some key ingredients such as tofu, fu, and fish. In Part 2 we will look briefly at matcha sweets, before examining some of the main styles of Kyoto cuisine from homely obanzai side dishes to high-grade kaiseki multi-course meals.