Opened in June 2010, 樹々丸Jujumaru is a quaint little café on a small street a little east of 小川通Ogawa Street off of 今出川通Imadegawa Street. I first discovered it in my café books and since then, I had hoped to go because it appeared to offer a quiet and natural atmosphere ideal for having good food and drinks while relaxing; later, Katalin recommended it to me as well.
The first time that I went in search of Jujumaru was in mid-October last year with Mason when I thought it would be a good place to have lunch (they serve a healthy homemade meal available through business hours until sold out according to my café books) and have coffee and dessert while Mason studied for the JLPT; however, instead of being open from 11:30 am as usual, they weren’t going to be open for another hour or so from when we arrived, so we decided to go back another time.
I went back in early December after I had attended Rika’s calligraphy class’ exhibit in a gallery nearby to get organized…it was open.☺
The first floor is the café; the owners, a couple, probably live on the second floor, common for machiya establishments like this.
Upon entering, I was greeted by the calm owner (a young guy with a moustache and his hair in ponytail under a knit hat and dressed in casual drab in natural colors) who told me to go in and pick whatever seat I like.
the view of the foyer after taking my shoes off and going up…to the right is where customers pay.
view of the street outside from the window in rhe foyer
the simple and homey café space after going through the sliding doors…
and shop space…plants can be purchased here. Actually, I got the feeling that’s the bigger purpose of Jujumaru considering the small number of options on the menu of the café and very little mentioned in their website and Facebook page about the food or drinks. I wouldn’t be surprised if the café is just a means of enjoying the greenery (maybe even be inspired to buy some).
Because I was the only customer at the time (and for the time that I was there), I chose the seat that looks out on the garden in front, the only seat where one doesn’t have to sit on the floor.
I got there at a time that was too late for lunch but too early for dinner, so I just ordered かぼちゃのチーズケーキkabocha no chiizukeeki (pumpkin cheesecake), ￥500, and ホットコーヒーhot coffee, ￥300 (￥100 off with cake).
The cheesecake was creamy and had a rich pumpkin flavor with, in my opinion, just the right amount of sweetness. I suspected the fresh cream that accompanied the cake to be made with sour cream and found it to be a great accent for the richness of the cake (and I’m not a fan of fresh cream). With coffee, very easy for most people to drink, to go with the cheesecake and a serene and charming atmosphere all to myself (I barely heard the staff while I was there), I felt so much at home; it was as easy to get down to work as to lose myself in thought there.
When the owner (I never saw his wife who prepares the food at the café) was ringing me up, I asked about the fresh cream…I was right about it being made with sour cream! He turned out to be more friendly than I gave him credit to be. Next time, I want to try the meal.☺
Update: Over 10 months after the last time I went, I was finally able to experience lunch there with Mason after we went to 出町ふたば; however, to my display 今週のごはんkonshuu no gohan (weekly meal) was sold out…well, only five meals are available a day (I forgot reading about this in my café book) and considering there were five people dining, all with the meal, it was easy to see that the meals go fast. The サンドウィッチセットsandwich set, ￥850, was available, so we settled for it.
It took a while for our order to arrive, so we took the liberty of checking out the place.
the garden in the back (to the left is the door to the restroom)
タンドリーチキンサンドTandoori-chicken sandwich which I got with アイスアールグレーティーiced Earl Grey tea (a drink comes with the meal)…Mason had apple juice with hers.
I said settled but after taking a bite of the sandwich, I had no regrets about having lunch here: the combination of the subtle but tasty curry flavoring of the tender chicken and vegetable filling went well with the lightly toasted bread. Mason pointed out that it would have been perfect if the bread had been sliced thicker (I agree) but it was still a tasty sandwich nonetheless and although I was full, I couldn’t help craving a little more.
But I’ll be back to have the rice meal one of these days.