Traditional Vegetables of Kyo (京の伝統野菜)

Traditional vegetables of Kyo (another name for Kyoto Prefecture) refers to the crops of vegetables that have been certified by the Kyoto Prefecture since the certification began in 1987, and 41 crops of vegetables have been certified so far, including those that are almost equivalent to traditional vegetables of Kyo, and those that are already extinct.

Definition

Crops of vegetables that have a history of having been produced even before the Meiji Restoration, when the government was located in Kyoto City.

Crops of vegetables that are produced not only in Kyoto City but also those produced throughout Kyoto Prefecture.

Includes bamboo shoots.

Excludes mushrooms and ferns (eg. royal ferns and brackens).

Crops of vegetables that are grown for the sole purpose of seed preservation. Or crops of vegetables that are no longer cultivated but whose seeds are preserved. And includes crops of vegetables that are extinct.

Karami daikon (strong daikon)

Karami daikon, which is originated in Takagamine, Kita Ward, Kyoto City, is said to have been cultivated since the Genroku era (1688). Although it resembles a small turnip, it is genuine daikon. The Karami daikon has a strong pungency in the root; and is used for soba (buckwheat noodle) seasoning, among other purposes. It has a diameter of approximately three to five centimeters, and has a round shape.

Aomi daikon (greenish daikon)

Aomi daikon is said to be a mutant product of 'Kori daikon' (daikon produced in Goku-Kori cho, a town in Kyoto City), which is already extinct, during the Bunka-Bunsei eras (1804 - 1829) of the Edo period. It has a diameter of one to one and a half centimeters, and has a thin shape that is twelve to fifteen centimeters long; and its root bends once or twice, resulting in a unique shape. It is called 'Aomi daikon' due to the green color of its neck, which sticks out above the ground.

For a long time, Aomi daikon has been an indispensable crop for ceremonial occasions; it has been used as an ingredient in clear soup, and the green portion as substitute for cucumbers or side green of sashimi, and has been a much-prized item of tsukemono (Japanese pickled vegetables).

Its seeds are sown during late August and early September, and harvested during November and the end of January. Three farmhouses in the city keep up the cultivation and in-house seed production as a commissioned business for preservation of specialty vegetables of Kyoto City.

Tokinashi daikon (daikon named after its nature of being produced irrespective of seasons (toki))

The story behind the origin of Tokinashi daikon is that in the first year of the Bunsei era (1810 - 1820), a man named Toshichi KOYAMA from Higashikujo village, Kii district (present-day Higashikujo, Minami Ward) obtained extremely late variety of daikon seed at the time, and sold them under the name 'Toshichi-daikon.'

The daikon of the time had no above-ground exposure, without any root showing above the ground, with significantly dark green leaves that have slits; and it is assumed that they were of an exceptionally late variety compared to the present-day Tokinashi daikon.

Tokinashi daikon's leaves are characterized by their turquoise color, the straightness with deep slits, and fine midribs; the root has a cusp cylinder shape with a diameter of six to eight centimeters, and is approximately forty-five centimeters long.

Momoyama (name of an area in Kyoto City) daikon

The origin is said to be Shiga Prefecture although this is not certain.

Momoyama daikon is said to have been cultivated by transferring Ibukiyama (a mountain lying between Shiga Prefecture and Gifu Prefecture as a boundary) daikon to Okamedani (name of an area in Kyoto City), and because of its dense flesh it was cultivated for pickle usage, but it is currently cultivated for the sole purpose of seed preservation due to a sharp decrease in demand.

Shogoin daikon

Shogoin daikon has a round shape like that of a turnip, and it is an essential crop in Kyoto during winter. It becomes very soft when boiled and easily absorbs the soup; thus it is a quality merchandise costing twice as much as ordinary daikon or even higher.

At first it was ordinary, long daikon, its place of birth being Shogoin, Sakyo Ward in eastern Kyoto City. During the Bunsei era in the latter part of the Edo period, this daikon was given to Konkaikomyo-ji Temple in Kurotani district in the east of Shogoin district, as an offering from Owari Province; when a farmer in Shogoin district was given the daikon and grew it for years, the shape somehow changed to a round shape. This is how Shogoin daikon came about.

Turnips

Shishigatani (name of an area in Kyoto City) pumpkin

Shishigatani pumpkin has long been called 'okabo' in Kyoto; during the Bunka era (1804 - 1818), a farmer in Higashiyama (in Kyoto Prefecture) made a trip to Tsugaru (name of a region in eastern Aomori Prefecture) and brought back pumpkins with him and gave them to other farmers in Shishigatani; the farmers planted the pumpkins in their fields right away and this is said to be the start of their cultivation.

Shishigata pumpkin is characterized by being more nutritious compared to ordinary pumpkins, and it looks like gourd.

Ebiimo (sweet potatoes in the form of a shrimp)

It is said that during the Kyoho era (1716 - 1736), the head monk of Shoren-in Temple at the base of Mt. Kacho, one of Higashiyama mountain range (in Kyoto Prefecture), brought back with him striped potatoes shaped like shrimp when he returned from his travel over Kyushu; the potatoes were given to Gondayu HIRANO who served the monk, and when the potatoes were cultivated in the land of Maruyama, which is a hillock on the western side of the Mt. Kacho, the potatoes harvested were of excellent quality and had warpage and stripe patterns like those of shrimp, and thus were given the name ebiimo.

As potatoes, they are of a variety which retain comparatively primitive characteristics, have flesh which is powdery and very sticky, and have a pronounced flavor. The leafstalks are eaten as aroid.

Due to its growing popularity as a traditional vegetable of Kyoto, ebiimo is grown in various regions other than Kyoto. Ebiimo is used in boiled food and other dishes.

Kuwai (arrowhead bulb)

Refer to Kuwai.

Kyo seri (Japanese parsley)

Kyo takenoko (although takenoko (bamboo shoots) are of a common variety, they are specially selected)

Junsai (nymphaeaceous greens)

Refer to Junsai

Kori daikon

Turnips

Manganji togarashi

Refer to Manganji togarashi.