* 古書kosho = old, rare books; 茶房chabou = teahouse
The day that I decided to go to 古書と茶房 ことばのはおとKotoba no Haoto, a rainy day in late April of this year, was when I met Atsuyo, the daughter of a principal with whom I’ve worked closely in Kameoka, for the first time; we had written back and forth a bit and had even seen pictures of each other but I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to recognize her on the train where we decided to meet…we found each other around the same time and it was smooth sailing from there.
We turned on to 油小路通Aburakoji Street from 丸田町通Marutamachi Street…we walked about the distance that the map indicated but we still didn’t see it. A kind man standing around saw us looking at the map and offered help; when he realized where we were wanting to go, he told us that we were on the right track and would be there soon. We thanked him and soon found ourselves at the café.
the area where shoes are taken off before going inside
the waiting area
The owner wanted to keep the charm of a 150-year-old machiya, so he did very little in remodeling it. The aim of the café is to make the customers feel like they’re relaxing at Grandma’s or a relative’s house. Kotoba no Haoto (言葉の羽音) means words “the buzz of words”…the owner wants people who visit the café to use the many books there as topics of conversation or to find something in the book that speaks to them.
There are definitely some old and rare books to be found here.
The bookcase next to the table which we sat (the empty one in the picture) had books on art to literature to comics from which one should find a book of their liking.
the sliding doors out to the garden and the restroom
the way to the garden and the restroom outside☺
We both ordered ココナツカレーkokonatsu karee (coconut curry), ￥750, which came with salad.
It was delicious; if the café was closer, I would go often just to eat this. Atsuyo also gave her thumbs-up.
Since Atsuyo was full, she ordered an iced tea. Although the curry had been quite filling, I wanted to try a certain dessert that had caught my eye when looking through the menu: フレッシュいちごのにゃんこパフェfuresshu ichigo no nyanko pafe (fresh strawberries kitty sundae), ￥ 700, which I had with a ホットカフェラッテhotto kafe latte (hot caffè latte), ￥500…loved the cute little 福だるまfuku-daruma, or lucky daruma doll, cookie that came with it!
It tasted as good as most sundaes that I can get in Japan but I think that I enjoyed the cuteness of it more than anything.☺
Update: Less than three years later (oh, my gosh, has it been that long?!), I went back to Kotoba no Haoto according to Iori-san’s suggestion after we checked out OHAYO biscuit with Chieko-san on Aburakoji Street north of the café.
Chieko-san and Iori-san ordered coffee and a sundae respectively while I got チャイchai, ￥500…all our orders came with the cute fuku-daruma cookie pictured above with my caffè latte, all on one plate…that’s when I noticed each one had a different expression.
My chai was pretty good and of course a nice relaxer; I only added one cube of brown sugar which doesn’t make it very sweet…it was probably made all the better because of my amusing companions with whom I talked about all kinds of subjects while we were there.☺