Boiled White Radish at Ryotokuji Temple
One of the popular winter events in Kyoto is Daikon-daki (大根焚き, events at temples that offer boiled Japanese radish to visitors), and above all, the one at Ryotokuji (了徳寺) temple at the Narutaki (鳴滝) district is very famous for its history and the popularity.
The event originates from the old story when Shinran (親鸞, the founder of the Jodoshinsyu sect of Buddhism) visited this land and received votive offerings of salted boiled radish from the villagers.
In the premises, mountains of cut radish are boiled in huge pots. It is so nice to have delicious boiled radish in this cold winter weather. Besides, it is said to have benefits of prevention against paralysis.
This may sound funny, but in Japan, bad actors/actresses are often referred to as Daikon-yakusha (大根役者, radish actor). It comes from the fact that boiled radish never cause you Shoku-atari (食あたり, food poisoning). Since Atari also means a HIT in Japanese, those actors are called so because they cannot make any hit.
Anyways, for sure it's good for health. If you missed it this year, please try next year.
5 mins. by taxi from JR Hanazono station
5 mins. frin Narutaki Honmachi, Kyoto city bus
Kyoto Expert Certification 1st Grade