Nostalgic space full of kitschy picture books and items
Text: Keiko Kimura / Photo: Kaina Honma
Mijas Pittoo is a very cute variety store on the street of Higashi Ooji-dori near Yasaka-Shrine. The shop makes a different air from other surrounding shops with its cute items, clothes, pale-white wall and kitschy texts and drawings on the glass door. It's somehow 'nostalgic' tastes fits the classic Kyoto city.
Mijas Pittoo opened in 2003 in a Kyo-machiya building (traditional Kyoto style house). Yuichi Harada, the owner, and his staff painted the walls and renovated the place to how it looks now. They started off with only the ground floor, but now has expanded the store area to the basement where it is filled with small and colorful items.
What is more, they have an 'Ehon Room (picture book room)' upstairs on the second floor. You can go up through the narrow stairs behind the cashier. You must take off your shoes off before going up to a secret attic-like room.
This room is open to public about 4 times a month, each for around 4 hours. Entry fee is 270 yen, and visitors can read the picture books until they close. The opening dates are announced on the signs inside the store, newsletter and flyers placed at the entrance about 20 days in advance.
'Picture books are of course fun to read, but they are also great item for interior. I chose the books for their stories as well as their drawings and design' explains Harada. He has surely decorated the place as a stylish yet nostalgic room, leaving the retro essence of former machiya style with the colorful and kitschy picture book covers.
Half of the books are his private collection but the other half is for sale, both are available to be read in that room. The books for sale has a short description memo on the cover as some assistance to the guests. This room will offer a special moment with these books that shall let you forget the busy daily issue.
The room has a capacity for only 4 people, due to the number of sofa, but even though when it is full, there are enough space for each guests to relax and devote into their choices. 'I chose an orange light to make a comfortable space' says Harada. You can enjoy reading picture books or to just soak yourself into this space.
ADDRESS: 6 Tsukimi-cho, Higashi Ooji Yasui Agaru, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto (map)
CLOSED: Irregular holidays