Established in 1971, 喫茶Kissa KANO is an elegantly charming retro coffee shop along 高瀬川Takase River close to 五条大橋Gojo Bridge in an area with many old restaurants and hotels. Its magnificent windows afford a view of the tree-lined river where each season provides a different but nonetheless beautiful scene for the enjoyment of the customers.
I first discovered Kissa KANO briefly covered in a magazine and since it’s quite close to where I work, I wrote it down so that I may drop in before or after work one day. In late November 2014 when I made it in to Kyoto early and was able to grab lunch at アジアンレストラン キンカーオAsian Restaurant Kin Khao, I decided to have dessert and coffee at Kissa KANO before going in to work.
I followed the road along Takase River from 七条通Shichijo Street up to 五条通Gojo Street which is a pleasant walk with beautiful fall foliage to keep me, and my camera, entertained. No matter what direction that one may come across the coffee shop, the exterior is just eye-catchingly splendid…for some, it may even be a bit intimidating to enter.😅
Upon entering there is a shop called asian modern そのSONO where one can find various Asian-style products from all over Japan as well as overseas; to the right is the coffee shop area. The color combination of red, white and wood gives the interior a sophisticated air that almost makes one almost guilty for coming in casual attire. There is a counter as well as table seating with chairs upholstered in red velvet…I had a hard time choosing since every seat would have been fine.
a better view of the area by the wall furthest in
I decided on a table by the windows that look out on to Takase River…the ledge by the tables here are mirrored so that one gets a pretty reflection of the ceiling and its gorgeous light fixtures and the leaves outside.
In my apple pie phase, I couldn’t resist ordering the アップルパイ・ ホットコーヒーケーキセットapple pie & coffee cake set, ￥820.
The baked sweets here are homemade and on display near the entrance to the dining area to give one an idea of what is available for the day. The apple pie was old-fashioned, Japanese-style (all the baked sweets are), and with large apple chunks, just the way I like my apple pies, and the crust wasn’t heavy and easy to eat…although it might seem dry to those who want richer pies, I definitely wouldn’t mind having it again. The coffee was good, a nice complement for the apple pie. The menu is quite extensive, from drinks to sweets to meals, typical 喫茶店kissaten (Japanese coffee shop) fare.
I assume that Kissa KANO is a family-run business because I saw an elderly man and a middle-aged man behind the counter when I dropped in (see the third picture for them); it was “the son” whom I asked if it was okay to take pictures…he said politely and in a quiet, reserved voice that it was okay as long as I didn’t take pictures of the customers and I tried not to disturb anyone’s time while subtly taking a few shots. The customers who were there in pairs chatted quietly; you got to appreciate places that attract the kind of people who don’t have to shout their conversations for the whole establishment to hear.😜
Thanks to the pie and coffee, I was able to warm up from the cold walk and the lovely environment gave me the relaxation that I needed before starting my work day. Definitely a place that I would recommend for going alone as well as with a friend or two.☺