Nostalgic yet one of a kind.
-photo&text/ KENTA BABA
-translation/ MEGUMI SATO
There are many cafe in Japan that has overseas city names like Paris, London, New York and Brazil.
In most cases, it is probably because the owner simply likes that city, not because they are from those places.
So when I was wondering around Chushojima in Fushimi and found this place, I though ‘Unzen must be a Unzen in Nagasaki’. And since I was from Nagasaki, I had felt emotionally close to this cafe.
It takes a courage to open a door into a place for the first time, but was one of those places that gives you a nostalgic feeling as if you had been coming here all the time.
It was named Unzen because the first owner liked that place, simple as that.
It is representing a period when it was popular for owners took the freedom of naming their shops after their favorite places.
was opened in 1935.
Back then, it was named ‘Milk Hall Unzen>
* Cafe serving light meal and coffee were called a milk hall in the Meiji period.
Their name changed to ‘Cafe Unzen-so’ then to ‘Cafe New Unzen’, changed their business style along the changing trends, too.
In the Showa period, they were crowded with people with loud music from jukebox all day.
They were literally packed when they had alcohols. Once they even had game boards too.
(Menu from the Showa time)
The cafe had been handed over to the second generation couple now. They took over in their early 20’s, and now are going into 60’s. What has changed in their time is the menu, their age, and less people on the street. Inside the cafe has barely changed.
A grand counter that has a legacy of the time serving alcohol is now giving relaxing moment with a sip of coffee.
(There is a large table that can be used to meetings behind the cafe)
Nel drip coffee
Breakfast and other meals
There are moments in a trip that one may desire for a relaxing ordinary time, to cool down the excitement of extraordinary experience.
People may often go in to major fast food chains but there are a special yet relaxing moment that can be found in a nostalgic cafe like this.
Cafe New Unzen made me realize so.
Address: 4-90 Minami Shinchik, Fushimi, Kyoto (map)
Hours: 8:00- 22:00
Holiday: Sunday (Other days may be off depending on circumstances)