A theatre that people come to see a play of course, and for lunch and break time as well.
Text : Keiko Kimora / Photo : Takashi Oka
Photo provider : Rohm Theatre Kyoto
A canal that draws a lake water from Biwako Lake. This slow canal has been going around the city of Kyoto for more than 120 years since the first canal was completed in 1890. Kyoto Kaikan, which locates right next to the canal, has been loved by people in Kyoto and it reopened after renovation in January, 2016 as Rohm Theatre Kyoto.
Surprisingly, the outside appearance hasn’t changed so much compared to how it was before. The reason why people wanted to remain this building as it was is because they love its modern architecture, appearance and details which represent Japan so much.
The distinctive character of the appearance is the straight Ohisashi (big pent-roof), brick-tiles on the wall, and the eaves soffit panels which keep the original form but using new materials. A general manager, Mr. Yota Kageyama said, “To tell you the truth, some people touch the bricks and remember the good old days”.
They focused on not to change a lot of stuffs, but they upgraded the latest equipment in the theatre. They are able to welcome and hold an opera, a ballet, and a live by pop artist by making the stage larger and the ceiling higher than before even though they haven’t changed the scale of 2,000 seats capacity only in Kyoto.
What makes Rohm Theater Kyoto special is that they not only theatre but also ‘Kyoto Okazaki Tsutaya bookstore’, ‘Kyoto Modern Terrace’ restaurant and it is a gathering place which has a free space that you can go in and out freely. ‘Kyoto Okazaki Tsutaya bookstore’, which carries Starbucks Coffee started selling traditional crafts in Kyoto along with the books chosen by themes of ‘Art’, ‘Living in Japan’ and ‘ON JAPAN’.
BOOK&ART GALLERIA, park plaza 3F, is the place you can relax and able to read the books Tsutaya bookstore chooses freely. There is no time limit to stay, so that you can do your work there and also take a good rest.
Cafe and restaurant, ‘Kyoto Modern Terrace’ offers some kinds of alcohol, sencha tea, cold-brew coffee and firewood grilled foods which you can taste the best of its ingredient really well. You can go there for lunch in a short break, or you can stop by there as a bar on your way back home from work since it opens till 11:00 p.m. It is very open to see Daimonji (Chinese letter ‘big’) on Higashiyama Nyoigatake from terrace seats.
The manager said, “Rohm Theatre Kyoto has just opened recently. We would like to grow up together with people in Kyoto and like to be friendly theatre for everyone”.
The building stands massively like a leisurely stream of Biwako Lake canal, however once you step inside, you feel very light. This is not only the center of culture and art in Kyoto, but also it is a lunch spot and a place for cultural exchange. I think this place will be loved forever and ever by people in Kyoto.
ADDRESS : 13 Okazaki Saishoji-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto City (MAP)
PHONE : +81(0)75-771-6051
Kyoto Okazaki Tsutaya bookstore & Starbucks Coffee / 8:00 a.m. ~ 10:00 p.m.
Kyoto Modern Terrace / 8:00 a.m. ~11:00 p.m.
Rental Cycle Kyoto Okazaki Tsutaya bookstore / 8:00 a.m. ~ 8:00 p.m.
BOOK&ART GALLERIA / 9:00 a.m. ~7:00 p.m. (if there is an event going on, it will be opened till the end of the building hours)
MORE INFORMATION : http://rohmtheatrekyoto.jp/