A variety of interesting people come together and get along immediately.

Text & Photo by Kenta Baba

“You definitely want to go to iroiro.”
When I started commuting to Kyoto, someone told me about it.
“Because a lot of interesting people come together, so definitely you should.”

iroiro is the place that mixes a design office, shop, restaurant, and bookstore all together in Matsubara-Kyogoku shopping street which has the old history in Kyoto.

I used to see them often coming out on some web magazines when I was a student and admired them for who they were. I only visited them for a few times, however when it comes to an evening or a night time, I naturally feel like going to iroiro and I think it becomes indispensable and one of my best places in my Kyoto life.


Popular stores in a local community such as cafe, bar, hotel, bookstore or even record shop often do more than what they are expected to do. We don’t know why, but we see a lot of interesting people gathering around and able to meet each other and something will happen after that. I think iroiro combines each extra powers together and becomes extraordinary one after all.

After sunset, most of the stores on this shopping street will be closed, so that only iroiro lights up themselves with a warm atmosphere.
I took off my shoes at the entrance and Ms.Ayako Tanida, a chef, welcomed me.

Dishes and drinks that Ms.Tanida prepares and cooks are based on three rules.

1. She only uses things that she can get nearby or on the shopping street.
2. Something that goes with alcohol.
3. Any dishes that customers would like to eat.

Whatever she cooks is very delicious and sometimes it surprises me with something arranged stuff aside that normally you don’t expect from a meal you know.



バルクソーセージ マッシュポテト添え #menu

iroiro(food,shop&books)さん(@iroiro_in)が投稿した写真 - 2014 11月 9 12:43午前 PST

The most popular menu ; a home-made bulk sausage.


This is the latest menu ; a butter chicken curry with additional order of their regular menu, Matsubara Kimura’s ham-cutlet, which I specially asked her to put it on top of this chicken curry.

It looks like I introduce something heavy so far, but they also have many kinds of alcohols and desserts as well. They add new menus at any time, so please take a look at their instagram down below.

>>iroiro’s instagram


Not only her dishes, but also her character makes me feel like coming here again. I would say, she has an atmosphere that she doesn’t really care what’s going on with us, but let’s say she is like a boxer who is able to punch so fast that we can’t see. (Sorry, this is not a quite good example, but she does really care us without showing off!) To be honest, she gives us a moment ourselves, but when we need someone, she is always there.

I asked her what she thinks of iroiro, about this mixed conceptual store.

She answered, “I have never wondered anything about it. However, I am kind of glad that local people come together here and become friends each other making their own parties at their houses and going to Kamogawa river for a walk or something. It’s great, you know. And also we have so many foreign tourists and people who live in Kyoto visiting this place. They just stopped by or fell in love with this place so much and they come here often.”

And, YUYBOOKS is the bookstore inside of iroiro and it’s becoming popular world widely.
They have books that you usually don’t see at any other bookstores, such as domestic and foreign photo-books, magazines, zines, little presses, and picture books.


When you think of a bookstore owner, you might imagine that a person is probably quiet and prefer reading a book to talking to someone. However, he is the bookstore owner who enjoys the moment with everybody.

Mr.Yusuke Ono, YUYBOOKS owner.
His profession is a motion designer and works at a company everyday. However, he deals with customers at YUYBOOKS on every weekend.


Mr.Ono selected all these books based on a concept of ’story’ about a book itself or from an author. He stocks directly from its own author, or publisher.

Let’s ask him his recommendations. I asked him do you have any recommendations of foreign magazine, for example?

He showed it to me immediately. It is called OE MAGAZINE.

He said, “It is very interesting to see how they make this fashion magazine in Berlin actually. One man does editing, designing, photoshooting and styling by himself. He also makes his own business card by using some left over papers from magazine cover.”

Since I really love magazine, so that this story strikes me straight forward!

Moreover, Mr.Ono recently visited Berlin to see OE magazine crew and he said, “To tell you the truth, they actually invited me.”

When he started YUYBOOKS, he was the one who tried to contact every author and publisher out of the country, but now he becomes the one who receives so many contacts from them oppositely saying that they would like to have their books place at YUYBOOKS.


He said, “It’s probably because my bookstore is in Kyoto and it seems like a lot of foreign publishers want to be a part of it. Sometimes, some foreign tourists stopped by iroiro and they raised their voices louder like ‘I wrote this book! how did you get this one here?’ with their happy face.”

He doesn’t know how to behave and has ‘a serious face’ in front of a camera saying, “I really don’t know what to do...”

Even I changed a place, he can’t change his face.

Finally, I got him smile!!!


“Everything started becoming quite awesome after I came to iroiro. People who I meet here is amazing and it’s happy to see people who come to my bookstore first but they start staying at a bar and drinking. I can also see the opposite way, too. It’s really cool.”



Mysteriously, we see people here having the same wavelength each other and getting along really well. It is like something we cannot see floating in the atmosphere.

Not only Ms.Tanida and Mr.Ono does a great job here, but also the producer of iroiro, Mr.Wataru Sano, who is the president of ‘iroiro-design’, created this place in order to have this special atmosphere.


Mr.Sano holds a talk event called ‘iroiro-talk’ and has a school called ‘iroiro school’. He also manages ‘Refsign Magazine Kyoto’ since 2008 and it turns out that he is our senior of BEACON KYOTO.



There is a shop inside of iroiro having daily goods or things that you would like to choose for a gift and they are all selected by Mr.Sano. They are available at a shop and online store as well.
>>iroiro online-store



This is the place that you will see unexpected things happening like you turning the pages of your favorite magazine.

I think I mention this place too special to visit, but as a regular shop and bookstore, it is very nice to hang out in any time. Please stop by this place and if you love it, bring your friends who started living in Kyoto around you with this word together, “You definitely want to go to iroiro.”




ADDRESS : 327-2 Tenjinmae-cho, Aburakoji Higashi-iru Matsubara-dori, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto-city (MAP)
PHONE : +81(0)50-1545-5689
HOURS : 3:00 p.m. ~ 11:30 p.m. (L.O.)
CLOSED : Tuesday & Wednesday