Walden Woods Kyoto

March 23, 2020

 by Koki Suzuki, Hirofumi Kawashima, and Masaya Soju

 Currently there are various cafes in Kyoto such as fashionable cafes, old-fashioned cafes, and animal cafes. Among these various cafes, we would like to introduce a Kyoto cafe that is very popular on Instagram. Its name is Walden Woods Kyoto. In this article, we will write about the history of this cafe, why it became popular, and the impressions we got when we actually went there. Those interested in a cutting-edge cafe in Japan will enjoy reading this article.

History

coffee machine and 1st floor

 On December 14, 2017, “Walden Woods Kyoto” opened near Higashi Honganji Temple in Kyoto. “Walden Woods Kyoto” is a renovated Western-style house which was built in 1912 and made into a cafe. For example, there are four windows, which express the image of a Western-style building. The building facing the south is unique to Kyoto, which was built on a grid, and it has bright sunlight that illuminates the white outer walls of the café. This is the original Walden camouflage pattern making it feel like a forest. This café was made by Seiichiro Shimamura and Yuji Nishimura. They are professionals in the clothing and restaurant industry. The café also uses a vintage coffee roasting machine. This coffee machine was purchased in Europe from a restored 1966 coffee roasting machine. It was made by Probat. This company was in business 150 years ago, and this coffee roasting machine is a coffee roasting machine that can bake coffee beans with the best flavor. So, you can buy coffee that tastes like it’s from in 1870. Lamps, tableware, trays, etc., which are images of nature, and French vintage and old military items, are also used in the cafe.. This cafés images are of the Walden forest. You can feel freedom and fun when you visit the cafe. So, you can feel various emotions. If you are tired, this café can heal you. We want you to feel freedom yourself in this café.

Why Walden Woods in Kyoto Has Become Popular

2nd floor

 First, the inside view of the cafe is very simple. There are cash registers and coffee machines on the first floor. There are no chairs or desks on the eat-in floor (2F). There is only a lantern and a window lined up with white space and staircases. Sunlight comes in on a sunny day. The light of the lantern gives a stylish atmosphere at night, and the exterior walls, floors, walls, counters are all white. Because of this floor, the café’s popularity has spread to various people such as students and young people on Instagram. And with the aim of “insta bae” (= Instagrammable), more customers have come to Walden Woods Kyoto. This cafe also has a lot of original items and vintage miscellaneous goods. For example, T-shirts, postcards, candles, mugs, etc. Some customers are looking for these kinds of original items. It also sells coffee beans, so you can enjoy the taste of this cafe at home. Second, we went to this café, and the atmosphere in the cafe was very good. This cafe also sells seasonal drinks, and the menu changes every season. This is one of the reasons why customers can go there without feeling bored, and that is why this cafe has become popular. In addition, the owner is good at latte art. So, customers can also enjoy latte art. And coffee is also roasted in the cafe. Finally, it was very impressive when the staff members said, “Have a good day!” when we left the cafe. Therefore, you can leave this cafe comfortably and feeling satisfied. For these reasons, we realized that this cafe has become more popular, and we think that many customers will continue to come to this cafe, not only from Japan, but also from foreign countries. We want people to visit this cafe.

Impressions 

Appearance of the cafe

First, you can see that the exterior and interior is pure white and there is also a homemade brewing machine in the cafe, so you can enjoy wonderful coffee. When we ordered our drink on the first floor, we went up to the space on the second floor. All of the decorations reminded us of a grand mountain.In fact, it was a completely different space from general cafes. There is a tree in the middle, and there is a seat along the wall surrounding the tree. The customers are free to choose their seats and relax.

Second, we ordered a cafe latte, and we did some latte art, which makes the cafe feel even more stylish. In this way, you can enjoy reading while having tea or coffee in the afternoon, which is very nice. Furthermore, the second floor looks very wide, so if you come with your sons or daughters, your children are able to run around. Because we are acquainted with the owner of Walden Woods Kyoto, we were able to talk to him. Then we heard about the house, and he told us it was originally a Western-style house in the Taisho era (1912~1926). Specifically, it was mostly used in 1912. Because there are no pillars in Japanese houses, the Japanese in the Taisho era were able to build a house with wide space.

Third, the customer service, including the store manager, Umeda Kouya, was wonderful, and everyone had good smiles. That is one factor that makes the café attractive to its customers. There were many customers who took pictures. Also, the people who visit the cafe are fashionable, and the number of people visiting the cafe is increasing, so the café gathers fashionable people.

Next, as a famous coffee shop on Instagram, we also heard how to take good pictures. Our recommendation is on the side with the four windows. Customers will sit there first if this space is available. There are also three tiers and a relatively large number of people sit in the middle. You can take good pictures by sitting at the top. 

Finally, the Walden Woods Kyoto is a really wonderful coffee shop.

Now that you’ve read this article, please come to Kyoto, and please drop by Walden Woods Kyoto.

STARBUCKS in Kyoto

by Yuka Nakamura and Sakura Nakatani

 

History of STARBUCKS

Have you ever been to the STARBUCKS? You know, STARBUCKS is one of the most famous coffee shops all over the world. STARBUCKS was opened in Seattle, Washington, in 1971. It became famous and popular because of takeout style and having some coffee to go.

In 2017, there were 27,339 STARBUCKS shops in the world. Surprisingly, there are 1,328 shops in Japan. Of course, the USA has the biggest number of shops. However, Japan has the third most shops of STARBUCKS after the USA and Canada, which is second. In Japan, many people call STARBUCKS as short word, STABA and it is loved by all ages in Japan.

The first STARBUCKS was opened on August 2nd, in1996 at Ginza in Tokyo. As I said before, there are 1,328 shops in Japan. The number of STARBUCKS per 100,000 people is 1.04 shops. The prefecture that has most STARBUCKS shops is Tokyo. Second is Okinawa. There are 33 shops in Kyoto.

What is the Third Place?

According to the web site, it says, ‘The third place is the social surroundings separate from the two usual social environments of home (first place) and the work place (second place). Examples of third places world be environments such as churches, cafes, clubs, public libraries, or parks.’ STARBUCKS have been providing a relaxing place as third place. To make third place, STARBUCKJS listed 2 concepts.

Store/Layout

They are sticking to making a comfortable atmosphere. To do that, they have a few big sofas, using some dark indirect lighting and highly selected BGM (background music). BGM in STARBUCKS is changing by seasons or menu that is on sale. They select music from all genres. The popular cafe’s music is jazz, bossa nova and Latin. In addition, they use hip-hop, French pops, oldies and sometimes they use classic and contemporary music. When people listen the same music, they would feel sleepy or bored. To select music from all genres, it might be making good atmosphere.

Regional landmark store

STARBUCKS put an effort into their Regional landmark store. It is a store designed in the place that become a symbol of Japan and it is a general term of shops which is spreading a tradition of region for all over the world. There are 23 regional landmark stores in Japan. One of them is in Kyoto.

Let’s go the world’s first Starbucks Coffee

A fashionable Starbucks came into being in Kyoto. It is in a famous tourist spot in Japan. This particular Starbucks was opened in Kyoto in June 2017. The store’s name is Starbucks Kyoto Ninenzaka Yasaka Tyaya. You can taste coffee in the world’s first tatami Starbucks.

What is Ninenzaka?

Ninenzaka is the name of the slope that continues from Kiyomizu-Temple to Yasaka-Shrine. There is a scary legend saying “When you fall down this slope, you will die within two years”. The street is narrow and lined with many shops. It is one of the tourist attractions of Kyoto.

Recommended points Noren

Noren are curtains, featuring a shop’s name or emblem, which hang from the top of a shop’s doorway about halfway down the length of the doorway. Japan’s Starbucks shops feature noren which contain the original Starbucks logo. Noren were originally used by Japanese houses to provide shade or keep out dust. Having noren creates a very Japanese atmosphere because it has been used in traditional houses for 100s of years. It is just like Japan to go into Starbucks through the Noren. The Starbucks has a good reputation among foreigners. They offer unlimited hospitality. Would you like to go there?

Recommended points ”Tatami”

This is the world’s first Starbucks with tatami. On the second floor of the store are three tatami rooms. You can take off your shoes and relax on tatami. There are seat cushions made from crepe fabric. There are items that you can feel “Japanese”, such as a shoj (sliding paper covered doors) tokonoma (an alcove used to display art), and soft lighting. The Starbucks provides a space for relaxation. You feel comfortable with the combination of tatami and coffee.

Recommended points “Exterior”

The beauty of the exterior is attractive. There is something elegant about the old town layout.

Starbucks is considerate about not damaging the scenery. It is a strange space where Starbuck’s logo looks like a Japanese style. That’s the important thing about the landscape.

Recommended points “garden”

There are three gardens, front garden, courtyard, and backyard. A washbasin called Tsukibai is placed. It allows visitors to wash their hands before entering the tea room. There are rocks and moss. It is a space where you can watch the Japanese garden.

Recommended points “Photogenic”

Both the appearance and the interior, the space of Japanese is spreading. It is a great spot for enjoying coffee and taking pictures. Large Starbucks logo on the wall, ikebana, indirect lighting, natural light are create a good atmosphere. Why do not shoot a nice picture? You cannot experience it at other stores.

Tumbler of Kyoto Starbucks limited

Starbucks in Japan, just like abroad, has a limited edition tumbler for each region. Tumbler of Kyoto Starbucks limited is black and based on a Japanese design.

Selling price: 335ml /2000 yen

Information

Store name: Starbucks Coffee Kyoto Ninenzaka Yasaka Tyaya

Business hours: 08:00~20:00

Regular holiday: Irregular holiday

Access: 18 minutes on foot from Gion Shijo Station

10 mintutes Higashiyamayasui Kyoto city bus

Address: 349 Masuya-machi, Higashiyama-ku Kyotoshi Minami-dori Shimogawara

Higashiuhin

Phone number: 075-532-0601

Green tea and coffee in Kyoto

Huaman Hideki,Koki Nakano

 

Maccha

 

If I ask you what a famous drink in Japan is, what would you think of? I think there are many options. However, the most the famous drink in Japan would be green tea, definitely. I think it is part of our culture and it is part of our tradition. The green tea is famous in Japan mostly in Kyoto prefecture. Everyone in my country loves it, even foreign people love to drink and eat foods flavored with it. It is also good for our health. Many foreigners come to Japan, to have green tea. There are some reasons for it.

 

We asked some international students in our school about green tea. Most of them said they like it because it has a similar taste to green tea which they can drink in another country. Also, they like it because they can focus to study when they drink it and what is more, it helps their memory work. Furthermore, green tea contains caffeine, like coffee, so they can keep awake when they want. Also, some exchange students said that the rule of making green tea is very interesting for them because the rule is kind of compact and nobody can learn about it in another country. Therefore, observing green tea being made is popular for foreigners.

There are many tea restaurant. Skin Kyoto called “Maccha house”. There are thousands of maccha houses in Japan and the most popular is the maccha house in Kawaramachi which is in Kyoto prefecture. There is such a long line at the place every day, even when it is raining. Many people wait for two or three hours to enjoy to. The reason why is because of SNS. Many people, mostly students, like to post food on SNS, like Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. In maccha house they provide not also green tea drink but also sweets. Especially the most famous sweets they serve is called “uji maccha tiramisu”. Almost every customer, Japanese or non-Japanese, orders it because they serve it Japanese traditional container which is called “uji maccha” square wooden cup. It is said that it is a great idea using square wooden cup because they feel Japanese culture more deeply.

The last reason is that it is good for our health and it can provide benefits to us. For example, green tea increases or improves metabolism, burns calories, calms the mind and relaxes the body and so on. What is more, it helps us to prevent disease such as high blood pressure, aging, and diabetes, stroke.

Green tea is an important thing. It is a representative drink or food in my country. I am glad that green tea is known by many people from all over the world because it means that they’re able to touch upon Japanese culture. I can proudly say that it’s tasty besides they are many ways to have it. Moreover, green tea can help us to focus on studying and can protect us from disease.

 

Coffee.

 

 

Recently, a news story said that Kyoto was the top consumer of coffee in Japan. People in Kyoto drink more coffee than people from other prefectures. Do you know why? Perhaps, because there are a lot of students in Kyoto. We took a survey of customers in coffee shops in Kyoto city and asked “What do you drink coffee ? And why did you choose to come to this shop?” The consumers answered, “We are students. We saw some pictures of this shop and we thought it is quite nice so we wanted have a chat in a nice and fashionable place.” The students went there to talk or study because they wanted to do it in nice and quite shop. So,it is not only because the students like coffee, it is because they like the space and atmosphere there.

The number of coffee shops in Kyoto have been increasing. They serve coffee like Blue bottle coffee and Arabica coffee. Those shops are not only popular with Japanese people but also they are popular with foreigners, such as Koreans and Chinese, we observed. People paid money to buy coffees. They sat down but they didn’t drink it first. They took many pictures from different angles. They posted on SNS, mostly on Instagram. They finally drank their coffees when coffees were getting cold but they seemed happy. People in Kyoto drink coffee a lot and they also eat a lot of bread, so a culture of western food spreads in Kyoto. Many people ordered coffee with some sweets. Perhaps how much coffee people drink and how much bread and sweets people eat are commensurable. In Kyoto, there are a lot of coffee shops and also there a lot of universities. There are many students and, of course, there are many professors too. People in Kyoto tend to like something new so they want to share information. Coffee shops are used as a place where people can share their information. I learned a lot through this research. In Kyoto, there are a lot of students and also foreign visitors of residents. They communicate and share information with each other while they drink coffee.

The Inoda Coffee Shops

THE INODA COFFEE SHOPS

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Inoda Coffee Shop

 

What is an Inoda Coffee Shop?

Inoda coffee is a famous coffee shop chain which has its base in Kyoto, and has been familiar to the people of Kyoto for a very long time. The first shop opened in 1947, and now in 2014, it has eleven branch shops in Japan.  Inoda coffee shops serve original blend coffee made by using a cotton filter.

▼Attractive points of Inoda Coffee Shops

  • Inoda style coffee

In Inoda coffee shops, they supply coffee that already has sugar and milk mixed in. The reason for this is that at the time the first shop was established, coffee was very rare, so people took a long time over drinking it. It is difficult to mix sugar and milk into cold coffee. That is why they supply coffee in this Inoda style.

  •  Original roast

From 2002, Inoda has had its own bean roasting factory. Almost all the coffee beans sold in the shops are processed there. Customers can also buy these coffee beans and other goods in the shop.

  •  Interior of shops

Why do local people prefer Inoda coffee shops? One of the main reasons is the luxurious interiors. The shops look like the old style coffee shops that used to be common throughout Japan.

  •  Morning set

This is a popular breakfast time set only available from opening time to 11.00 am.

  •  Staff service

Recently, many coffee chain shops offer a service, whereby the customer purchases in a ‘take out’ style. In contrast to this, Inoda coffee shops offer a service with staff wearing suits and bow ties.

  •  Original cake factory

Ketel is the original cake and dessert brand of Inoda coffee, and follows a German style pastry tradition. However, it does not only follow the German style but also adopts Japanese seasonal cakes. In September 2014, Ketel will open their first cake shop.

 

▼MENU

Special Coffees

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Special coffees

  • Pearl of Arabia (Hot coffee) ¥515

This is based on Mocha coffee, a European type blend with a deep roast flavor. Inoda coffee has used this blend since their foundation.

  • Emerald of Colombia

This Colombian style coffee is a blend of American types with a shallow roast and refreshing flavor

  • Extras ¥575

This special offering combines beans from Jamaica and other beans from around the world

  •  Premium ¥575

Based on Guatemalan coffee style from Latin America, this is a full and strong European type with a deep roast flavor.

  •  German ¥575

European type blend based on Brazilian beans. The deepest roasted blend available at Inoda coffee

  •  African blend ¥575

The full roasted flavor of African beans.

Others

Cafe latte¥575

Wiener Coffee¥665

Coffee with ice cream¥665

Tea with lemon (milk or straight) ¥545

Juices ¥ 545~665

Beer ¥545

Food

Sandwich ¥ 600~¥ 1,820

Toast \340~\660

Spaghetti ¥820

Salad ¥540 ~¥1,230

Soup ¥490

Set menu ¥800~¥1,230

Kyoto breakfast set ¥1,230

Inoda Coffee shops use boneless ham made in Japan, using a traditional German method of curing.

 Desserts and Others

cake

yummy desserts and cakes!

Cake ¥ 450

Ice cream¥490

Parfait ¥800 ~¥860

Mitsumame ¥595 ~¥800

(boiled beans, agar cubes, fruit and syrup)

 

▼Shop List

  • Honten (Original shop)

This is the flagship store and the location of the head office. It is housed in a traditional Kyoto style building and has two floors. On the first floor, there are five meter high windows.

Address: Douyuuchou Sanjoukudaru, Sakaimachi-dori, Chuukyo-ku Kyoto

  • Sanjo Branch

Opened in 1970, there is circular counter here and you can enjoy watching staff make the coffee.

Address: Masuya-machi 69, Sakaimachi Higasi-hairuSanjo douri, Chukyo-ku Kyoto

 

  • Shijo Branch

Opened in 1965,this is the largest branch, and has many items on its food menu. Smoking is allowed in the basement area here.

Address: Tachiurinishi chou 66, Shijo-touri Higashidoukouin Higashihairu, Aimokyo-ku, Kyoto

 

  • Coffee Salon Branch

This branch is located in Daimarui department store, downtown on Shijo street.

Address: Tachiuri cho 79, Takakura Nishihairu, Shijo-touri Shimokyo-ku, Kyoto

 

  • Polta branch

This branch is situated in an underground shopping street near Kyoto station.

Address: Higashi shioshoji-chou 858-1, Shjimokyouku,Kyoto

 

  • Kiyomizu branch

This elegant shop is located conveniently near the famous Kiyomizu temple. It is built in the style of a machiya (traditional style Kyoto house with Japanese tiles). Here you can sit in the garden and enjoy the house specialty of Kiyomizu sandwiches.

Address: Kiyomizu 3-34, Higashiku, Kyoto

 

Inoda coffee shops have been loved by the local people of Kyoto for a long time.  While talking a break during sightseeing, why not pop in for an Inoda coffee experience, just like the people of Kyoto!