Eating Cheap : Bento in Kyoto

Isetan - 遊心亭

29th May – 2nd June 2011. Written by Xin Li.
Kyoto, Japan.
Packed meals is a colourful affair. They can be easily found in specialty stores and restaurants or in departmental stores like Takashimaya, Daimaru and Isetan.


Isetan - 遊心亭

These meals cost anything from 300+ yen to 4000+ yen. Prices are slashed in the evening to facilitate more sales and cut wastage.


Daimaru

One of the benefits of having a packed meal is the freedom to choose where to eat and what to eat as these stores offer anything from kaiseki style bento to western options. You can have your own inexpensive riverside dining or a pleasant meal at park or the comfort of your own hotel or hostel. My pick is the public plaza at the upper levels of Kyoto Station.


Takashimaya - 豆藤


豆藤
Takashimaya
525 Yen


Takashimaya - 豆藤


豆藤
Takashimaya
483 Yen


Takashimaya - 豆藤


This store can be found in both JR Isetan and Takashimaya at Shijo- Kawaramachi. Their meals are inexpensive, filling and tasty.


Takashimaya - 豆藤

遊心亭
500 Yen
JR Kyoto Isetan


Isetan - 遊心亭


Isetan - 遊心亭

This store seemed to specialize in Kyoto pickled vegetables. However, it also offers packed lunches containing meat. You can get a filling meal below 1000 yen here as well and the taste was okay.


RF1 - Uji Cha-Soba


RF1
Isetan
399 Yen


RF1 - Uji Cha-Soba

RF1 offers Western-oriented food or gourmet food. Their attempt at making cha-soba is a total failure though. It was a mix of bland, tasteless noodles and gooey shaved radish.


Daimaru

Daimaru
498 Yen
Daimaru proved to be weakest of the lot when it comes to food options. The basement food market only has one or two shops selling bento, the rest is dominated by a supermarket. While the meal was filling, colourful and the saleslady would warm it up for you, the taste leaves much to be desired, it was bland and rather raw.

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