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.
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
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.
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.