Back in December 2008, Yukiko came to Kyoto for a day to shop and do some sightseeing and I decided to join her for all that. However, I overslept and ended up missing the shopping part which took place at 木と根kitone, a cute little shop with anything from ceramics to clothes; by the time that I got there (it’s kind of hard to find if one doesn’t know the area, sort of in a cul-de-sac near 平等寺Byoudou-ji’s 因幡薬師堂Inaba Yakushi-dou, a little north of 松原通Matsubara Street and little west of 東洞院通Higashinotoin Street), she had made her purchase, so I had no time to check it out (plus the little shop was bustling full of customers). I didn’t realize that “木と根” in KYOTO CAFE BOOK 2012 was “kitone” (I have the shop card with the shop name in Roman letters at home from last time) until I went searching for it last week; however, it was closed by the time that I got there after 6:00 pm. I decided to try going the next day before work for a light lunch; there was no customers when I arrived.
The café is further back.
the café area: I chose a seat at the counter with the window.
my view of the shop from my seat
the counter seating where I sat
Customers are free to use the stationery provided by the café.
reading material and puzzles…very child-friendly
the rest of the café space
Although I would have preferred a hot coffee, being a bit hot from my walk, I ended up getting an アイスコーヒーaisu koohii (iced coffee), ￥550, instead. The café serves 自家製マフィンjikasei mafin, homemade (English) muffins, which look delicious…I decided to get a muffin sandwich AND dessert (バターとはちみつbataa to hachimitsu (butter & honey), pictured further on in the post).
スモークサーモンとクリームチーズsumooku saamon to kuriimu chiizu (smoked salmon & cream cheese), ￥550, which comes with a bit of olive oil on the side
The muffins were toasted perfectly and soft and chewy, just the way that I like them…even though I was full, I still wanted more! The coffee was delicious and I drank slowly to make it last (good thing that it came in a big cup). I could tell that it had been carefully made. The cup was beautiful and added to the pleasure of drinking it. The items used in the café can be purchased in the shop. There were two other customers, one of whom appeared to be an acquaintance of the owner, besides me the time that I was there. It was so peaceful (probably apparent through the pictures) that I wanted to stay all day. I’m looking forward to going back again (good thing that I work close by).
Update: I went back to kitone over nine months after my last visit…I had some organizing to do and a craving for their muffin. I procured a seat at the counter looking out over the shop but before my order came, a party of three (women) came and I had to give it up to go to the very seat that I had the last time that I came..no big deal but I was only a little peeved that they didn’t bother to apologize or thank me for changing seats for them after I had gotten comfortable with my belongings out. And on top of that, they were so loud; their accent proved them to be from out of Kyoto, even the Kansai region (sorry but I can be a bit of a Kyoto snob at times☺). I know kitone isn’t 月と六ペンス but I think that when everyone around you is being quiet, it’s probably polite to lower your voice, especially when you don’t want eveyrone to know your business. Soon my バターとはちみつマフィンbataa to hachimitsu mafin (butter & honey muffin), ￥400, and ホットコーヒーhotto koohii (hot coffee), ￥500, came and made everything better.
The muffin and coffee didn’t disappoint and when “the noise” left after they had their orders, I settled down to yet another lovely kitone experience.
Update: Almost 10 months later, I went to kitone after lunch at イノダコーヒー三条店Sanjo Inoda Coffee to relax before going into work. There was a pair at the counter with the window, so I chose the seat closest to the entrance at the other counter, the one I had to give up last time to some less-than-pleasant customers…the two-seater area behind me looked like this now:
It was awfully hot outside, so the shaved ice looked like the perfect order.
ふわふわしゃりしゃりかき氷fuwa-fuwa shari-shari kakigohri (“soft-crunchy” shaved ice), ￥1000
The toppings for the day were苺とグレープフルーツのシロップ・マンゴー生シロップ・キウイの生スクイーズ・アプリコットジャム・白いんげん豆・クコの実ichigo to gurehpufuruutsu no shiroppu, mangoh nama-shiroppu, kiui no nama-sukuiizu, apurikotto jamu, shiro ingen-mame, kuko no mi (strawberry & grapefruit syrup, fresh mango syrup, fresh squeezed kiwi, apricot jam, white kidney beans and Chinese wolfberry fruit).
It came with 温かい朝宮ほうじ茶atatakai Asamiya houji-cha (hot Asamiya roasted green tea).
Not only is this shaved ice beautiful to the eye, it was flavorful throughout despite its light appearance; the kidney beans and wolfberry fruit added some interesting texture to the ice. I drank the tea after finishing my ice which warmed me up and blended well with the fruity flavors still in my mouth.
A group of three girls came in and ordered the ice, too; they were more verbal about their appreciation but took just about as many pictures as I did.☺