🌛About Hitori Kyoto🌜

There are plenty of foreigners who have fallen in love with Kyoto and have made it their home; there’s a good chance that they have started a blog on life here. Guess I’m one of them now.☺

Although I started this blog as a photo diary to personally record my foodie experiences in Kyoto, I’m surprised and overwhelmed by how it has become a café/restaurant, etc. source for foodies around the world as well as residents of or visitors to Kyoto. Because I want to support the local private businesses, the cafes, restaurants, etc. that I have covered thus far have roots in Kyoto. One may notice that I include information for certain cafes while others I only recount my experience there: if I’m on name-calling, conversing terms with the staff, then I feel the liberty to include more information, so if you want more information, please feel free to contact me for it if you don’t have any luck researching yourself☺. With the ever-increasing number of eating establishments I found it necessary to start another blog, Bura-Bura Kyoto, to focus on other aspects of Kyoto including shops, events and sights that I’ve experienced. Information may go back as far as July 2000 when I first came to Kyoto but more likely will span the last six years and in no particular order; I’ll update posts as I go back to the places about which I’ve written, so please feel free to go back and check for more (current) information on the ones that you like.

I will try to include definitions for every Japanese word or term that I use but sometimes I won’t define a word because I have a tendency to use it often. Also, certain Japanese terms are better off not interrupted by translation which takes away from the intended sentiment. For unfamiliar Japanese terms, please refer to the page, ✎Some useful Japanese vocabulary to know when reading “Hitori Kyoto”✐.

I am by no means an official food critic, so my opinions should be taken with a grain of salt. I assume that those who will enjoy looking at my blog will be someone who enjoys good food in establishments that are just pleasing to the eye and the senses. For those who currently reside in Kyoto or those who wish to live here or visit one day, I hope that my depiction of Kyoto may help you to love it just as much as I do! And if I can convince anyone to visit Kyoto and the places about which I write, and even to feel the same way, this blog would not be in vain!☺

I’ve also started a blog about Kameoka, Kameoka Jiman, because there are quite a bit of noteworthy experiences that I’ve had in my home since coming to Japan.☺

A little preview…

本日の定食honjitsu no teishoku (daily meal) which included 肉じゃがniku-jaga (meat & potato stew), 青菜のひたしaona no hitashi (boiled soy-flavored greens), ピーマンのトマト煮piiman no tomato-ni (bell-pepper stewed with tomatoes), みそ汁miso-shiru (miso soup) and 玄米genmai (brown rice) at culotte


nunu chocolates×長五郎餅本舗Chogoromochi-honpo チョコレート大福chocolate daifuku and nunu chocolates×千本玉壽軒Senbon Tamajuken kitano brownie with with カフェ・グランピー エスプレッソ・トニックCafé Grumpy espresso tonic, ¥600, with at knot café


エチオピアイルカチュアEthiopia Yirgacheffe coffee and チーズケーキcheesecake at cafe de Corazón


looking down from the second floor of the renovated machiya café, 栞栞カフェShiori Shiori Cafe




42 thoughts on “🌛About Hitori Kyoto🌜

  1. Hello

    Thank you for all those interesting cafés address 🙂
    I am planning to try some of them this coming summer 🙂


    • I’m sorry for the late reply! Thank you for checking out my blog! If you get to try any of the places about which I’ve written, I would love to know what you thought of them!


      • grifter on said:


        Thanks to your website, during my last summer vacation in Kyoto, I tried some adrresses that you recommended :

        – Cafe Karirenge,
        – Cafe Ambiant Mole
        – Patisseries
        – Cafe De Naiki
        – Nama Chocolate Organic Chocolate Cafe.

        All were great and I am looking forward to go back next year 🙂
        I even became a “small” Jouren of Cafe Karirenge and Cafe De Naiki 😉

        I also followed your suggestion of buying some Kyoto Cafe books 😉

        In one of them there was a nicefeedback from Cafe HiFI, a wonderful cute machiya cafe, walking distance from Cafe De Naiki where the owner is quite fond of old discs and books. It overlooks a little garden,
        All in all very relaxing 😉

        If you ever go to Osaka, I recommend you Cafe Cante Grande, a place nestled in lush vegetation and specialized in Indian food 🙂

        I am looking forward to your next posts 🙂


      • Thank you for your comment☺! I’m so happy that my blog was of some use to you during your stay in Kyoto and I think it’s wonderful that you managed to become a jouren for a couple of the cafes! I haven’t made it to Cafe HiFI yet but it’s definitely on my list of cafes to go to next! Thanks for the tip on Cafe Cante Grande, I’ll try to check it out the next time I’m in Osaka!


      • Grifter on said:


        Thank you again for your mouthwatering posts on cafés in Kyoto. I tried to visit some of them during my vacations there last month.
        I went to Cannelés, Hidamari (machiya café), Café Frosch, Efish, Hacobu Kitchen, Cafe Karirenge, Cafe Marble, Cafe Sarasa Nishijin.
        I all loved them and purchased some more cafes guidebooks and magazines…
        I intended to go to Cafe Lily but was unable to locate it 😦

        I am looking forward to your new posts.
        Thank you

        Take care


      • Thank you for your comment! I’m glad my blog was of some use to you when you visited Kyoto; readers like you inspire me to write more about some diamond of cafe I’ve found! You were able to visit some cafes I’ve been meaning to go to! I’m not sure if Cafe Lily still exists because it’s been seven years since I went there last but it’s one of the first cafes that got me started on カフェめぐりcafe meguri, or “cafe-hopping”. It was located on 今出川通Imadegawa Street close to Doshisha University.


  2. Thank you for this amazing blog and all the reviews about these incredible places !! I’m always looking for new coffee shops and restaurants. Next month I will live in Kyoto, I stayed there 6 months (3 years ago) so I know some places but not so much ! You should add a newsletter on your blog, or you should create a facebook’s page, then more people would be able to follow you.


    • Hi, Julie! Thanks for checking out my blog! I’m so glad that you’ve found the information here useful and I’m glad that you’ll be living here (お帰りなさいO-kaerinasai!(Welcome back!)) to actually experience the wonderful cafe life in Kyoto that I’ve experienced! If you want more information about any place that is in my list of cafes, restaurants, etc. let me know, I’ll be glad to help!


    • Julie, I took your advice and started a Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/hitorikyoto ! Let’s hope I can use it properly! ☺


  3. Pickles Chen on said:

    I found this website looking up cafes in Kyoto on google. I was wondering — do the cafes you go to generally have wifi? I am looking for places where I can bust out some work for a few hours while enjoying a fine pastry/baked goods and coffee and am always looking for new places to go. Unfortunately the restriction is that it must have wifi
    Are there any that you would specifically recommend that has wifi, good cakes/pastrys and coffee?? I would be eternally grateful for just one or two. Going through your blog in its entirety now haha
    All the best


    • Hi, Pickles Chen! Unfortunately there are still quite a few cafes in Kyoto that don’t offer wi-fi service. Just ask at any cafe before settling in but it’s safe to assume that older cafes or ones whose owners are older may not have this service. Some places require you to have a password but you can find it written somewhere in the cafe or you can ask the staff for it. Out of the cafes I’ve written about, I know for sure that Sarasa 3, Cocokara azito cafe+share, café Noinah and both the Very Berry Cafes have wi-fi. Cafe Phalam, Sentido and CAFE Aseruboku probably have wi-fi, too, because I see people on their computers there. I can probably give more suggestions if I knew in which area of Kyoto you’d prefer to hang out…


  4. Calinda on said:

    Great blog! I’ve lived in Kyoto for 4 years and really miss having a nice matcha latte or set lunch at some cute cafe! Cafes abroad just don’t have the same atmosphere!

    Have you been to Salutya/さるう屋 cafe and bar? I couldn’t find it on your blog. It’s great.


    • Thanks for you comment, Calinda, I’m so happy to hear your opinion! I understand how you feel, Japanese cafes, especially Kyoto ones, are in a league of their own!☺

      I have been to さるう屋Salutya, about two years ago, but because there are so many reviews in English about Salutya, I’ve refrained to get more information about the less-known cafes out there. But I definitely plan to write about my experience there soon!☺


  5. Grifter (Emilie) on said:

    Bonjour HitoriKyoto san 😉

    Thank you for the info on Cafe Lily, I will try to find it next summer 🙂
    I wish that we had nice and cute cafés like Kyoto in Paris 😦
    Take care


    • Bonjour, Emilie! 🙂 That’s wonderful that you come to Japan so often! I’ll try to look for Cafe Lily in the near future and let you know if it’s still in business!


      • Emilie on said:

        Bonjour HitoriKyoto San
        Merci beaucoup 🙂
        I wish i could live in Kyoto like you….

        Take care


      • Hi, Emilie! Maybe you can make living in Kyoto a reality someday! 🙂

        By the way, I went to look for Lily’s cafe last week but I couldn’t find it, or even the building it was in. And I didn’t find any recent information, so maybe it no longer exists…how sad since I have a good memory of the place. 😦


  6. Emilie on said:

    Hi HitoriKyoto San,

    That was very kind to find out about “former” Lily’s Cafe.
    Domo arigatoo 🙂
    I wish i had been there before but, no worries, thanks to you, there are still plenty interesting cafes i can try on my next visit 🙂



    • Hi, Emilie! Yeah, I wish we could all still enjoy the services of Lily’s cafe but like you pointed out, there are always nice cafes, and new ones starting all the time, in Kyoto, so I’m sure you’ll find quite a few you want to visit and and to which you want keep going back…I’d be honored to be the continuous source for that. 🙂


      • Emilie on said:


        I will be in Kyoto on the saturday 04th April. If you have some free time, maybe we could chat around a nice cup of coffee ?
        No problem if your schedule is hectic 🙂

        Kind regards

        Ps : Do you know of any cafe in Kyoto where you can pet dogs ? Something like neko cafe but with dogs instead ?


      • Thank you for letting me know you’ll be in Kyoto soon. I’m not sure about that day at the moment as I work that day but I will let you know if I can do coffee when I do.

        I’m not familiar with cafes that have dogs you can play with but apparently there’s a dog cafe in Fushimi called Petton Cafe specifically for playing with dogs. As far as cafes where dogs keep their owners company, there is THE GRAVY and cafe de Naiki.


  7. I am also a fellow cafe lover ^^ and someone who eats by myself a ton. You’ve written about so many places on my to-do list, yay! and, thank you! 🙂 Are you on Yelp?


    • Hi, Yifen, thanks for your comment! I’m always glad to meet people who enjoy eating out alone at cafes like myself but Japan makes the experience so easy and pleasant.:) Nope, I’m not familiar with Yelf, but do you recommend it?


      • I think Yelp is a good way to keep track of places I’ve been, and connect with local people ^^ However, they are relatively new in Japan, and their database isn’t as developed as other places (like the US). For Japan, I think I prefer using Foursquare.


      • Thanks for letting me know, Yifen! 🙂 I’ve heard of Foursquare, I’ll look into that and Yelp and see if it’s for me. I started this blog as a cafe diary complete with anecdotes and pictures pretty much for myself, that’s why I haven’t extended into other areas besides Facebook. I’m still so surprised so many people have been interested in what I post! 🙂 Thanks for your support!


  8. Thanks for your great website. I really miss the cafes from home and without Japanese ability plus being vegetarian i’ve found it hard here. Looks like you’ve found some fantastic places so i look forward to visiting them!


    • Hi, Lucy! Thanks for your comment! I’m not sure where you’re from or how long you’ve been in Kyoto but I really enjoy the cafe culture here in Kyoto and would miss it terribly if I was to leave. I’m honored that you would use my blog as a source for eating out! If there’s anything I can help you with, let me know! Sometimes I’m horrible about getting posts out for my blogs but I post quite often at the Hitori Kyoto page about places I go, so please check it out, too!


  9. Lily on said:

    Hello Hitori;

    I am new to Kyoto and I find blogs like yours are very useful in helping me to orient myself. One things I am trouble finding is cafés that are comfortable with laptops. I know there are many places that have wifi, however sometimes in kyoto cafés I feel worried that I disrupt the atmosphere if I bring my computer, however I am a writer and student so it is part of my way to enjoy coffee shops and do my job. I end up spending all my money at Starbucks, and I would rather support & enjoy local coffeeshops! Do you have any recommendation for such coffee shops that are computer and student friendly?

    Also, do you have a list of your top 5 or 10 recommended cafés in Kyoto?

    Thank you! 🙂


    • Hi, Lily, welcome to Kyoto! I’m glad that you’re using my blog as a Kyoto cafe source! For my recommendations, please check the page, ❤Hitori Kyoto’s Recommendations❤. As for cafes that are computer-friendly, off the top of my head after assessing the situations in the cafes that I’ve visited, Sentido, Cafe Phalam, Very Berry Cafe, kiln cafe and kawa COFFEE seem to be okay with computer users.

      I’ve noticed many cafes/coffee shops, especially older establishments, in Japan tend to serve as a place to grab a quick meal or coffee before heading out, a place where one can read a book or relax alone (there are book cafes especially for this) and a place for chatting with a friend or two or where a regular goes to chat with the owners and staff; there are not so many people on computers and some places don’t allow the usage of computers because it may bother other customers, especially when the user is oblivious to those around him.

      If a customer is going to be using a computer in local establishments that allow computers, however, I feel there is something of which he needs to be aware: unlike coffee shops part of a chain, local coffee shops and cafes can’t afford to have a customer sit for hours with just one cup of coffee, if you get what I mean…I usually go to cafes that offer meals, sweets and drinks and have what I call a full course (a meal, at least one order of sweets and at least one drink), that way I don’t feel guilty about staying for hours and that’s just the way I like to enjoy a cafe anyway. As for a place that serves only coffee and maybe something very light to go with it, I’ve been known to order at least two drinks and sometimes two somethings to go with them when staying a while. Of course most places won’t make one feel obligated to order any more than one’s willing or make one leave if one’s been there too long without ordering but a bit of courtesy on the part of the customer is just as much a factor in the ultimate cafe experience☺.

      Sorry if I’ve made you feel like you’ve been lectured to but I just wanted to share my feelings on the subject after my experiences at cafes here in Kyoto. I hope you can find a place at which you can get some work done while enjoying the atmosphere and what the establishment has to offer. Let me know if there’s anything with which I can be of help!


  10. Ann Zhu on said:


    Thank you for such a wonderful blog.

    What time is the best time to visit kyoto for autumn this year ?
    And the kyoto style of food for autumn ?


    • Hello, Ann! Thank you for your comment! I’m so glad that you’re enjoying the blog as much as I love to post for it.☺

      The best time to visit Kyoto for autumn is usually anywhere from late September to early December depending on how early it cools down. Last year was kind of disappointing as far as 紅葉fall foliage was concerned due to a warm fall and early winter but hopefully it’ll be better this year.

      No matter to what restaurant or café you may go, you’ll find harvest of the season used in the menu…for fruits, apple, grapes, pears and persimmons; most vegetables, especially matsutake mushroom, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, peppers and turnips; fish like sanma (saury) and katsuo (bonito); and chestnuts and ginna (ginkgo nut).

      Kyoto-style cuisine consists of anything from obanzai (a variety Kyoto home-style cooking of lightly delicious flavors) to kaiseki-ryori (traditional Japanese course) to Japanese fusion of food you may be familiar with. Yu-dofu (tofu boiled in a dashi soup) is also something to try when you come to Kyoto. I hope this information will be of help to you. Let me know if you have any other questions!


    • This is just the pecrfet answer for all forum members


  11. Hello from Singapore! Thank you so much for your recommendations! I’m headed to Kyoto this winter and I was wondering if you had any suggestions for breakfast places (definitely don’t want to have Starbucks everyday haha) and places that serve kakigori even in winter. I’m a big fan of kakigori and have been having a lot of difficulty finding places that serve it all year round.


    • Hi, Christa! Thank you for your comment. That’s great that you’ll be coming to Kyoto this winter. My suggestions for breakfast are Cafe Phalam, Sentido, 逃現郷Togenkyo, Whole Food Cafe Apprivoiser and Coffee House maki off the top of my head. Since kakigori is served as early as May and as late as September, finding places that serve kakigori all-year-round is hard because very few people want to have it during the bitter-cold Kyoto winter; the Japanese enjoy their seasonal foods and kakigori just happens to be a summer tradition. I believe 祇園 日Gion NITI, page one and 二條若狭屋 寺町店Teramachi Nijo Wakasaya serve kakigori all year. I found this site (sorry, it’s in Japanese) that list a few more places that I haven’t tried yet: http://www.plaholi.com/pub/04e5f3ec53a4dc714af0eb891a5aebd5 …I hope this information will be of help.


  12. JJ O'Donoghue on said:

    Dear Hitori Kyoto, would it be possible to contact you by email?


  13. Bruno on said:

    I love your blog and how honest and intimate it is, it reminds me of another one called http://www.counterseat.com I wish you would go to more shojin and kaiseki restaurants!


    • Thank you for your comment! The honesty and intimacy comes from this blog being my personal diary of my pleasant experiences eating out in Kyoto. I’ll try to visit more shojin-ryori and kaiseki restaurants from now, thanks for the suggestions!


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