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3 Kyoto Cafes Where You Can Get A Taste Of Nostalgia

3 Kyoto Cafes Where You Can Get A Taste Of Nostalgia

Kyoto 2019.09.09 Bookmark

Kyoto boasts many traditional Japanese homes that have been renovated into charming cafes. We introduce three unique cafes, known for their signature quiches, shaved ice, and souffle pancakes. Read to learn about which cafe to add to your trip for a taste of nostalgia in Kyoto!

Translated by Ken

Written by Rina N

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Visit a Traditional Japanese Cafe in Kyoto

While walking down a street in Japan, have you ever spotted a traditional-looking house that stands out from the surrounding buildings? That residence is likely a kominka: an old Japanese-style home.

Kominka were residential buildings 50 to 100 years ago. Those that belonged to merchants were called machiya, and nagaya were traditional apartments for commoners.

Although you may have seen one of these houses from the outside, have you ever stepped inside of one?

In Kyoto, many kominka have undergone renovation to become cafes. This article will introduce three kominka cafes with a nostalgic ambience and great selection of desserts and main dishes.

1. cafe marble Bukkoji - Lovingly Renovated 100-Year-Old Machiya

Kyoto - Get A Taste Of Nostalgia At 3 Traditional Japanese-Style Cafes

Picture courtesy of cafe marble Bukkoji

If you walk past the streets of Shijo Karasuma, an area lined with department and clothing stores in Kyoto's city center, you will find cafe marble on Bukkoji Street.

You'll also spot Bukkoji Temple right in front of you.

Kyoto - Get A Taste Of Nostalgia At 3 Traditional Japanese-Style Cafes

Picture courtesy of cafe marble Bukkoji

This cafe was created inside the office of Marble.co, when the company relocated to the old-style building.

While preserving the one-of-a-kind features of a machiya dating back 100 years ago, it adds new elements such as a courtyard garden on the premises.

Kyoto - Get A Taste Of Nostalgia At 3 Traditional Japanese-Style Cafes
Kyoto - Get A Taste Of Nostalgia At 3 Traditional Japanese-Style Cafes

Pictures courtesy of cafe marble Bukkoji

Since the cafe is run by a design company, it comes at no surprise that special attention is paid to the interior, menu, and stamp cards.

3 Traditional Cafes In Kyoto Where You Can Get A Taste Of Nostalgia
Kyoto - Get A Taste Of Nostalgia At 3 Traditional Japanese-Style Cafes

Pictures courtesy of cafe marble Bukkoji

The cafe serves drinks and food that are lovingly made in-house. The veggie quiche (520 yen with tax) is a simple dish that combines eggs with the natural sweetness of vegetables. It is both a hearty and heartwarming dish. (Pictured above is a quiche plate exclusively served at lunch, 900 yen with tax).

You'll feel the warmth emanating from the lovingly-preserved machiya and handmade food within the walls of this cozy cafe.

cafe marble Bukkoji

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2. omo cafe - Preserving an Exquisite Kyoto Town House with an Enclosed Garden

Kyoto - Get A Taste Of Nostalgia At 3 Traditional Japanese-Style Cafes

Picture courtesy of omo cafe

Located slightly north of Nishiki Market (also known as "Kyoto's Kitchen"), omo cafe is a two-story cafe housed inside a renovated kyo-machiya (a traditional wooden town house in Kyoto).

Kyoto - Get A Taste Of Nostalgia At 3 Traditional Japanese-Style Cafes
Kyoto - Get A Taste Of Nostalgia At 3 Traditional Japanese-Style Cafes

Pictures courtesy of omo cafe

The cafe has preserved many charming features of a traditional machiya, including a beautifully enclosed courtyard garden, an old safe, and a storage room (presently reused as a private room for customers).

From the wooden tables to chairs, the cafe's chic furniture creates a cozy atmosphere where visitors can relax.

Kyoto - Get A Taste Of Nostalgia At 3 Traditional Japanese-Style Cafes

Picture courtesy of omo cafe
The omo cafe meal plate (1,550 yen with tax) is a popular choice. The plate is composed of an array of appetizers ranging from vegetables, meat, fish, a bowl of rice, and miso soup.

Since the cooking staff have training in French cuisine, you can enjoy subtle flavors not commonly found in typical cafe dishes.

Kyoto - Get A Taste Of Nostalgia At 3 Traditional Japanese-Style Cafes

Picture courtesy of omo cafe
If you visit the cafe during the summer, we recommend trying the shave ice (880 yen with tax) (the price may increase due to the consumption tax rise in October 2019).

The in-house syrups are made from strawberries and mineral-rich beet sugar. The syrup's subtle sweetness is a gentle accompaniment to this refreshing treat.

Kyoto - Get A Taste Of Nostalgia At 3 Traditional Japanese-Style Cafes

Picture courtesy of omo cafe

While savoring the cafe's top-notch food and dessert, why not make yourself at home inside this cafe's comfy atmosphere?

omo cafe

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3. Yukinoshita Kyoto - Indulge in Decadent and Fluffy Pancakes

Kyoto - Get A Taste Of Nostalgia At 3 Traditional Japanese-Style Cafes

Picture courtesy of Yukinoshita Kyoto

Yukinoshita Kyoto is located slightly to the southeast of Nijo Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The cafe is located in a residential neighborhood. The entrance is on the second floor.

The cafe interior has a warm wood-grain design that exudes an elegant and friendly atmosphere. The window seats offer a great view of the outside and are ideal if you want to get lost in your thoughts.

Kyoto - Get A Taste Of Nostalgia At 3 Traditional Japanese-Style Cafes

Picture courtesy of Yukinoshita Kyoto

Yukinoshita is beloved for their signature thick and fluffy yet firm, pancakes with honey and butter (850 yen with tax).

The pancakes are made using eggs from Kokekokko Republic ("kokekokko" is a Japanese onomatopoeia for a rooster's crow). These eggs are known for their firm yolks, which can be picked up using chopsticks! The milk gives the batter a delicious richness and sweetness and is sourced from cows raised in the nature-abundant city of Kyotango.

Kyoto - Get A Taste Of Nostalgia At 3 Traditional Japanese-Style Cafes

Picture courtesy of Yukinoshita Kyoto

Made high-quality ingredients, it's no surprise that these pancakes are a delight to the palate. The sweetness leaves a subtle aftertaste that will make you crave another bite.

These flavors are very difficult to recreate at home, so we recommend a visit to experience these fluffy pancakes hot off the griddle.

Yukinoshita

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Enjoy a Quiet Moment at a Kominka Cafe in Kyoto

Kyoto is overflowing with things to see and places to go. But why not take a moment from your busy travel schedule and visit one of these charming cafes? We guarantee you'll love getting a dose of history inside these beautifully preserved buildings that offer flavorful food and drinks.

Main image courtesy of cafe marble

The information presented in this article is based on the time it was written. Note that there may be changes in the merchandise, services, and prices that have occurred after this article was published. Please contact the facility or facilities in this article directly before visiting.

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