Cozy tea time at 100-year old machiya-style cafe
-photo&text/ KENTA BABA
-translation/ MEGUMI SATO
If I were living near this cafe, I would definitely be hanging out here all the time.
It’s just one street off from the Otesuji Shopping District in Fushimi, entering from a narrow path around a salon.
A huge window revealing the neatly cared garden, warm light coming in to a simple and smart interior. It’s beyond imagination from the outside.
This is Cafe Hanaemi, a cafe opened in a 100 years old machiya (Kyoto town house).
Elegant fire place blends into the cozy atmosphere.
The building is designed in a L-shape surrounding the garden. This makes the place all the more relaxing with enough space for each seats.
I ordered a french toast, which was soaked in a rum, and a coffee on my first visit.
This french toast was so extraordinary that I don’t know if I can call it just a ‘french toast’. So rich in taste.
I bet I was nearly screaming out my thrill ‘the french toast was fantastic!!’ when I lest the cafe.
I visited again the next day to do a interview with the staffs, Ms. Noriko Kanamori and Shoko Hiramoto, who is mother and daughter. Another daughter Ms. Junko also works here but were absent for maternity leave now.
Shoko’s husband had initially found this place to start a salon, which is in business now at the front side of the building. Since the back room was vacant, they started , for her mother to enjoy her retirement days.
They started out with obanzai (Kyoto meal) at first. Now in their 12th year, they are mainly serving cafe menus.
It is also amazing how clean they are keeping this place, it sure does not look like a 12 year old cafe.
What is even more amazing is that neither of them have had an experience in cafe business.
They insisted I try the egg sandwich, which is also popular along with french toast.
I could have my face dipped in this egg! Super delicious!
I was overwhelmed for discovering a place where Kyoto’s egg-freaks haven’t probably found yet.
There were no special movements in the way she cooked.
I asked how they can cook something so amazingly good.
‘I don’t know, I never had a confidence in my cooking skill, but I have been flattered to hear people enjoy my food’ says her shyly.
is family run, yet so professional, and very open. They have been a host family for foreign students before and are welcoming travelers from overseas.
There are many machiya-style cafe in Kyoto, but has splendid atmosphere and food, full of coziness.
Address: 4-462-3 Shinmachi, Fushimi, Kyoto (map)
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 11:30-18:00 (17:30L.O.)
Holiday: Sunday & Monday
Can speak English