There’s a place that people usually go to recharge their energy or to find a moment to relax: a coffee shop. As coffee becomes more popular nowadays, it is not rare to find someone craving for a cup of coffee in the morning before they start the day–even while they are traveling. Luckily, Kyoto has several coffee shops that offer tourists a wide range of choice–from the local one to the multinational one. Here are five coffee shops in Kyoto you may want to consider to visit before you start your day exploring Arashiyama or Kiyomizu-dera.
1. % Arabica
Starting on the small road leading to Hokanji pagoda of Kyoto’s Higashiyama Ward, %Arabica is probably the most crowded coffee shop in Kyoto. The fact that they already opened branches in other countries doesn’t change the number of people coming from all over the world that line up in front of their compact shop. There are two types of coffee: single origin or mixed blend, and customers may also choose beans on the spot and ask the barista to roast them. %Arabica has three stores in Kyoto: one near to Hokanji Temple, one in Arashiyama, and another one hidden inside Fujii Daimaru of Kawaramachi Street. Go order a cup of mix blend latte while you are on your way to Ninenzaka or after you had a stroll through the Bamboo Path of Arashiyama.
Higashiyama: Everyday, 8:00 – 18:00
Arashiyama: Everyday, 8:00 – 18:00
Fujii Daimaru: Everyday, 10:30 – 20:00
When you are walking around Fushimi Inari, most likely you will notice a small coffee bar near to JR Inari station. Vermillion, whose name is inspired by the Torii gates of Fushimi Inari, serves a great coffee in two of their shops – one near to JR Inari station named Vermillion espresso bar & info, and the other near to the inner part of Fushimi Inari, named Vermillion café. The coffee beans in Vermillion are roasted by the Weekenders coffee, another famous coffee shop in the heart of Kyoto. Do try their ice café latte which tastes rich in coffee or their matcha latte that uses green tea from Uji, a green tea producer in Japan.
Bar & info: Everyday, 9:30 – 17:00
Café: Everyday, 9:30 – 17:00
Kurasu started from a website selling curated goods including coffee equipment, then it developed into a coffee shop. Their shop is located near Kyoto Station, a perfect place for tourists to grab a coffee before exploring the city. As their barista is trained abroad, she speaks English. Other than the great coffee they serve, Kurasu feels warm and foreigner-friendly. Stop by the café and enjoy your late afternoon with a varied choice of drip coffee: Single O, Taoca, Nagasawa, and many more.
Everyday: 8:00 – 18:00
4. Wife & Husband
Pretty far from the bustle of tourist attraction spots, Wife & Husband is a coffee shop runs by a couple who love to roast their own coffee beans. Their first blend is called (yes) “Daughter”, a must try when you visit the shop. Located near to Kitaoji bus terminal and less than 5 minutes walk to Kamogawa River, Wife & Husband café is small yet lovely. In a warm day, they offer you a chance to do a coffee picnic: take your coffee in a thermos, along with a picnic basket they serve and enjoy your day along the beautiful Kamogawa riverbank.
Everyday, 10:00 – 17:00
5. Starbucks Coffee Kyoto Ninenzaka
In June 2017, Starbucks opened their first tatami-style café in Kyoto. Despite their coffee sold all over the world, having a cup of coffee in a tatami room (Japanese-style room) can only be experienced when you visit their shop in Ninenzaka, Kyoto. Come and enjoy your coffee while blending in with the Japanese ambiance in Starbucks Coffee Kyoto Ninenzaka.
Everyday, 8:00 – 20:00