Enjoy rivers of Kamo and Takase from an outstanding view from Cafe efish
Text & photo Kenta Baba
A cafe at the foot of Gojo Ohashi, owned by Mr. Shin Nishibori, x-designer of Apple.
Looking at both Kamo and Takase rivers
What is so amazing about this cafe is it's location.
A grand view of Kamo River from the 1st floor. The more I stay in Kyoto, the deeper I fall in love with this river.
Takase River is located at the opposite side from Kamo River. Takase River is essential in creating the the landscape of Kyoto.
(The red autumn leaves litting up the window modestly)
Most of the items inside the cafe is Nishibori-designed. The atmosphere blends well with the outside scene, with each seats having its own special view.
Efish is a cafe with a collection of special seats and view.
These rivers shows different scene according to the time, morning-noon-evening, and the 4 seasons.
I've imagined this place to be a wonderful spot, but in my first actual visit, I felt that it was totally different from what I had thought of it.
It's like a home of a friend, always cozy.
I had thought of it more like a gallery or museum type of cafe since people often talked of it as being modern and stylish, but it was actually more cozy and welcoming.
Interview with the staff: Ms. Kokoro
'The 2nd floor used to be a residence of the owner, Mr. & Mrs. Nishibori, cafe gallery on the 1st and office at the 3rd floor. But as many people, like owner's friends started to visit here, the cafe space on the 1st floor expanded to 2nd.
(Seats on the 1st floor is perfect in feeling the great vibes of the rivers. Windows will be opened during spring and autumn)
'Since this area used to be a red light district and that there were still some left 16 years ago, people thought it strange to start a cafe here. But people gradually started accepting us.'
(A goldfish tank which is a symbol of red light district. Red tailed tropical fish can also be seen during winter)
(2nd floor that used to be Nishibori couple's residence. Guest can choose their own seats)
Now I see why it feels so comfortable here. It's because it used to be a home!
(Counter at 2nd floor)
It's a friendly friend's house! Always prepared to host guests with good drinks and food, something special that we usually don't have at our own home.
There is a shop space of Nishibori-selected simple and useful items. It's one of those things that people would probably ask a friend where they bought it when visiting their place.
(I visited before Christmas so the shop area had a gift selection)
'I was flattered when a long time customer said to me once, that this place is always like a new spot, always full of refreshing air even after 16 years. On the other hand, I am also happy to hear that this place hasn't changed at all after many years.'
Here are the staffs that is hosting the guests with unchanging warmth.
They seem so happy to be hosting the guests, with a great service, which probably is attracting customers from the neighbors as well. This cafe is loved by the locals, too.
The grand menu hasn't changed much from the opening 16 years ago (photo is a set of sandwich and cup soup / ¥1230）
(Tuna, cottage cheese and avocado sandwich ¥930 is a popular one)
Sandwiches, soup, curry and cakes, most of the menu had been loved for a long time.
There are soup and cakes of the day, too. On my visit, they had bacon, cabbage and corn cream soup. The grand menu of 16 years of loved history and the new ones created by the staffs are both delicious.
Soups are ¥500/cup, ¥650/ bowl (with bread). The bowl volume is enough for a lunch.
Various drink and alcohol menu is available throughout the hours, YES you can drink from 10:00 in the morning!
There is also a limited seasonal menu. The above photo is hot white chocolate drink with soy milk, hazelnut liqueur, whipped cream on top, it has to be good!
Many hot cocktails to warm you up during the winter.
(Coffee beans are from specialty coffee beans Uni)
Efish in the morning
I recommend weekday morning to enjoy efish.
They are now opened from 10, which used to open from 11 until 2014.
Why not start a day gazing at shining Kamo River and refreshing air.
You can enjoy a brunch with scone, today's soup and sandwiches. Weekday mornings are relatively slow so you will have a better chance of choosing your favorite seat.
Gojo area is seeing more shops and share offices opening lately. It is evolving into a good spot for tourist and daily hangouts. Try coming here to experience the comfortable space.
Address: 798-1 Nishi Hashidume-cho, Kiyamachi Gojo Kudaru, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto
Car parking available
English menu available
Pet allowed in 1st floor