It took me almost two years but I’m finally going to write about gojo和カフェWa-cafe たか橋Takahashi, a teahouse-turned-machiya-café that is over 100 years old and along a small path near 五条大橋Gojo Bridge (it’s actually quite close to efish and not too far from where I work) which opened in April 2011. I wouldn’t have known about this place if it hadn’t been written about in KYOTO CAFE BOOK 2012.
I first went there in late October 2012 after having lunch at BAAN THAI also along 河原町通Kawaramachi Street…it was actually quite easy to find, especially because of the sign; otherwise, it would have looked like any other house that surrounded it.
By the way, this area used to be a red light district back in the day.
the front of the café
An elderly woman who I assumed to be the owner greeted me upon entrance and showed me to a room on the second floor.
the view of the front before going up the stairs
looking down the steep stairs at the entrance (to the left is the room that I was shown)
interior reminiscent of the 大正時代Taisho Era: the hallway with the restroom and another room ahead (there’s also another room at the right)
清水焼Kiyomizu-yaki tiles in the restroom…the owner said that they must take good care of these tiles because they can’t be replaced anymore.
the room next to the restroom
the room next to the room to which I was shown
the window area of the room where I sat…you can pretty much see into the house across the way.
the rest of the room…the KYOTO CAFE BOOK 2012 that I had was also in the small book stand in the room.☺
Although the Japanese sweets that they offered were tempting, I was still full from lunch, so I just ordered a 抹茶ラテmaccha rate (green tea latte), ￥500, of course made with real green tea whipped up upon ordering.
Beautiful color and rich with the taste of real green tea, it was a comforting drink. The elderly woman kept me company (easy to do since I was the only customer until I left) and explained about the cafe…people can rent the rooms for dinner parties, etc. or even spend the night there. We also chatted about Kyoto and me coming from the States and being in Kyoto for a while. I told her I wanted to introduce the cafe in my blog about which she was quite happy.
It really felt like I was in someone’s home as well as transported back in time in such surroundings. When it came time to leave, the owner only charged me ￥400 although I insisted on paying full price, especially because it was such an exceptional green tea latte.
On my way out, she introduced me to a man who I assumed to be her son who told me they host 落語rakugo (telling of comical story) and 日舞nichibu (Japanese dancing) performances as well. I went away satisfied to have found such a wonderful facility that graciously offered the ultimate Kyoto experience for visitor or local alike…definitely a hidden treasure of Kyoto.☺