Located pretty much in the hubbub of commercial Kyoto at the 三条河原町Sanjo Kawaramachi intersection, 六曜社Rokuyosha has been serving coffee from home-roasted beans since 1950; connoisseurs from all over the country are said to come to try it. Regulars often buy the home-roasted beans for use at home.
The name comes from the fact that before the war, six different owners took turns using the facility; although there is only one owner now, the name stuck. The current owner, 奥野修Osamu Okuno, who took over Rokuyosha after his father, Minoru, is a singer and songwriter as well.
I stopped by last month in mid-September before going to work…Rokuyosha consists of the first floor shop, called 六曜社Rokuyosha and the basement, called 六曜社 地下店Rokuyosha Basement; although the basement is usually recommended because it’s the original shop, I went into the first floor one which was added 16 years after being founded when the basement became a bar.
I could see into the kitchen from the seat that I chose in the back.
contrast between the quiet and dark environment inside and the bright and noisy one outside.
the back seating across from me…there was a green 清水焼Kiyomizu-yaki ashtray and the shop’s original matchbox at every table, a must for any old-fashioned coffee shop in Japan.
The other customers, all men and older, looked like regulars there to enjoy a cup of coffee and the newspaper.
With it still being hot, an アイスコーヒーiced coffee, ￥500, sounded good to me; when I ordered it, the waitress asked if I wanted syrup in it to which I said yes…they must have put it in for me because they brought nothing with the coffee. I also ordered the homemade (cake) donut (other than that, the only food that they serve is toast) which is reputed to be very good (a limit of 50/day, 100 on holidays, are sold); at ￥100 and being quite filling, it’s a good deal.
After lunch at Kawaramachi-Nijo Very Berry Cafe河原町二条店 a month later, I decided to finally have some coffee at Rokuyosha Basement.
The tiles throughout the coffee shop are Kiyomizu-yaki as well.
the view up to the ground floor from my seat
The basement shop is also a bar from 6:00 pm, run by the owner’s older brother.
the seating in the back…the interior is like that in the shop upstairs.
Although I would have preferred hot coffee, since I was full from lunch, a little hot and had only about 15 minutes to spare before going into work, I chose the アイスハウスブレンドコーヒーiced house blended coffee, ￥480. It was a beautiful color and very refreshing.
Lovely peaceful atmosphere…I really have to go when I have more time.
Update: In August 2013 Okuno-san’s son, Kunpei, took charge of Rokuyosha after closing his own café, 喫茶feカフェっさKissa-fe Café-ssa, while Okuno-san mans the basement shop. I’ll have to brave a smoky environment to go have some of his coffee again soon.
Update: It took me enough time😅 but over three years after Kunpei Okuno started working at Rokuyosha, I decided to visit while I was out visiting cafes in Kyoto with Melissa…it was a rainy day and when we arrived, the coffee shop was full of customers, but not too full that we couldn’t grab the only seat available in the middle of the shop. Kunpei-san, his wife (at least I think she was) and another female staff member who manned the hall were on staff.
The sweets menu appeared to have increased a little since the last time I came; when I looked around, there were a lot of people indulging in the famous donut. Melissa and I both ordered a ミルクコーヒーmilk coffee, ￥520, and I opted for the バタークリームのロールケーキbutter-cream Swiss roll, ￥260, while Melissa got the チョコバナナパウンドケーキchocolate-banana pound cake, ￥260.
The milk coffee was presented in the form of the café au lait at 月と六ペンスTsukitorokupensu except the holder was a cool tidal-wave-like design; Melissa took a liking to it, too. The milk coffee was just the thing to warm us up after our wet walk from 喫茶六花Kissa Rokka (oh, my gosh, I just realized the connection! I didn’t even mean to!). I’m not a fan of Swiss rolls but butter cream sounded good and I wasn’t disappointed…the texture of the cake was chewier than I’d expected and the granules of sugar in the cream made the overall texture even more interesting.
On my way out, I told Kunpei-san who rang us up that it was the first time that I visited since he closed Kissa-fe Café-ssa and that it was a pleasant visit…although he had looked serious the entire time that he was in the kitchen, he finally broke into a kind smile and I believe that his words of thanks included me going to his café then and for coming that day. I will be back for the coffee, sweets and that smile again.☺