Dec 17, 2018

New attempt of one of the popular cafes in Nijo

One of my favorite cafes"Cafe Phalam" has claimed they are opened as a bar every Saturday . For their 9th anniversary since they opened, they decide to do something new !

Their regular opening hours are from 9 am to 7pm and they do vegetarian menu and beautiful coffee and some sweets !
It is very cozy and people feel themselves at home.

 I love their sweets as they make at the site so the smell filters through the shop and it is fresh and tasty.

As for the bar , they are opened from 7 pm till late on  Saturdays.
They mainly serve alcohol, non-alcohol and small snacks.

I am looking forward to visiting them sometime !

Nov 8, 2018

Last month of L'Oeuf before closing for good

Recently I heard this news - "Omu-rice L'Oeuf is closing for good at the end of November" which made me very sad.

L'Oeuf is a hole-in-the-wall restaurant located in between busy Kiyamachi and Pontocho. Decor is very retro, and their Omu-rice (Omuraisu) gives you this nostalgic feeling.
What's Omu-rice? Omurice or omu-rice (Omu-raisu) is an example of yōshoku (a Western-influenced style of Japanese cuisine) consisting of an omelette made with fried rice and usually topped with ketchup.

from Tabelog
I've been there with my colleagues, my family or with my husband, nothing is very fancy but the price is not rip-off (surprising for the prime location), and it's simply so delicious. You might have seen some videos of Omurice restaurant with whole presentation of cutting open the fluffy egg, that's not their style, they don't sell their performance but this real flavor of "Japanese homemade".

L'Oeuf (Japanese pronunciation is like Lufu)
〒604-8013 Kyoto Prefecture, Kyoto, Nakagyo Ward, 先斗町 四条上ル 17番ロジ

Oct 25, 2018

Unique Japanese snacks to take back home

Some travelers ask me what the best omiyage is to bring back home and I would say,
KitKat chocolate with Matcha or Sake flavor , plum wine or If it's something from Kyoto, I would suggest SOU SOU textile shop.

However, I would recommend 「KAKI-NO-TANE」for a unique souvenir.
It is one of the popular Japanese snacks and it goes well with beer or some alcohol.
KAKI-NO-TANE is consisted of soy flavored rice crackers and it has several different types of flavors, such as wasabi, pepper, amongst others. The name comes from the fact that the pieces of crackers look like a seed ( tane) of the persimmon ( kaki)

Interestingly , they have different flavors according to the region.
For instance, they have cheese flavor in Hokkaido , Matcha flavor in Kyoto , Okonomiyaki flavor in Hiroshima.

It might be fun if you look for a regional KAKI-NO-TANE places to places a whole part of Japan !

Aug 29, 2018

My favorite "post last-train bar" in Kyoto

I don't consider Kyoto as a party city, although Kyoto is perfect place if you like to wander around at night and find hole-in-the-wall places.

Also fun part of going out in Kyoto is you can meet friendly locals as well as travelers from around the world!

Oops, you missed your last train? DON'T YOU WORRY. There are still many places where you can enjoy deep night drink/night cap in town until you catch the first train home! I will introduce you to my secret place to end the night.

Ishimaru Shoten
"What a tiny alleyway...!" I was so excited when my friend from home took me there for the first time which was almost 6 years ago. It's on a small alley in between busy Kiyamachi and quiet Pontocho, you will see cool stained glass lamps hanging from above, that's Ishimaru.
I love people there. They have two bartenders, first half until 0:30 is Ishi time. Ishi-san is super low-key and so funny, and he is very good at connecting people. And he told me that he's making new lamps himself (!) crafty person. And at Ishi time, I meet a lot of travelers! They surprisingly find the place by chance, and it's always nice to talk to them about their country, Japan and just anything and nothing in general.

After around 0:30, it would be Non time! Non-san is also very chill, seems quiet but I like to see his Kansai-person side being chatty and witty, and I think the best part of Non-san time is again people there - this place is open until early in the morning, so many people who work at other bars/restaurants come after they close their own. I really like to talk to working professionals who work for service industry, and love to make new connection!

Sometimes serious/silly conversations keep going until like 7:30 in the morning without even realizing it.

This photo is from Ishi's surprise birthday bash, giving him Nintendo switch from us Ishi regulars. Sometimes we "team Ishi people" hang out outside the bar too, like going to chill on the beach in Omi-maiko, or house party or just picnic.

Ishi-san and Non-san both speak good English, and as I mentioned, you always meet interesting people. Hope you find it fun! (And maybe you will find me there!)

Aug 24, 2018

Inspiring sweets in Kyoto

This is Saho from JKyoto.

I found an inspiring cafe the other day.
「Kamon piu」is located in north-west part in the city and is about 5 min walk from Enmachi station.

This is what it looks like from the outside.
As you see, the cute blue antique door is welcoming you.

The building itself is an apartment from 2nd floor and there is cafe 「kamon piu」on the first floor.

They are brought up on SNS these days because of their beautiful millefeuille.
Millefeuille is a french pastry that consists of layers of thin puff pasty and cream filling. Their strawberry millefeuille became very popular because of the impact of how it looks ! It might remind you of five storied pagoda !

But I tried Peach millefeuille that day.
(Maybe they provide their sweets with some fruits in season :)
They use one whole peach so it is filling and satisfying !

They also serve lunch  and you can find various types of pasta and pizza !
I tried lemon cream pasta with octopus and peppers :)
It was very new for me and refreshing :) !

More information about kamon piu is as follows:

Jun 23, 2018

Where to visit in Aichi (Nagoya) ?

Are you keen on traveling around the world but no time and no money for that ?
Here's the best place for you to explore the world in just one day !

Aiichi (Its capital is Nagoya) has fascinating theme park , what is called " Little World". It might reminds you of World Expo and you can walk through the park with the sight of houses of each countries and lean what their living like !
More interestingly, you can enjoy food each countries or dress in costumes and take pictures !  My friend and I tried Indian and Indonesian outfits !

Access from Kyoto : 35mins Shinkansen ride and get to Nagoya station
25mins train ride(Meitetsu Inuyama Line) and get to Inuyama station
20mins bus ride(Gifu Bus) and to get to Little World

The more people you have in your group, the more fun and enjoyable!!
Enjoy your time in Aichi Prefecture !!

Jun 22, 2018

New cultural center called "Neo Sujin"

I don't consider myself as "trend hunter" but my friends in Kyoto always bring me to all the new hot area!

My new favorite spot to hang out is called "Neo Sujin" (Sujin Shinmachi in Japanese) which is located pretty close to Kyoto station, 15 to 20 mins walk from J-Hoppers Kyoto.

I would say it's food stand complex or outdoor dining, which has large number of seats both inside and outside, including standing area in front, and fire place on the back, cool tipi tent as a smoking room!
And their food/drink selection is great - you can enjoy Kyoto burger to local delicacy called Choboyaki which looks similar to Takoyaki, to craft beer to organic wine!

It's not just a dining space, they sometimes have cultural event like Rakugo Japanese sit-down comedy, live-paint, coffee tasting and so on. They even have a Kimono rental shop!

Interesting (and sad) fact about this place is actually they are closing in 2 years when they relocate Kyoto university of art, so you better be hurry!

And surprising to see that they have been already listed on Google Maps saying "Neo sujin town open air beer garden" which is nice! I like it!