- Mayuka Ueno
Top 5 Fancy Cafes for Exquisite Sweets Around Kyoto Station
Here are five recommended cafes with fancy interiors near Kyoto Station where you can eat exquisite sweets and desserts.
1. Inoda Coffee Porta Branch
If you talk about long-established coffee shops in Kyoto, then Inoda Coffee definitely comes to mind. Its branch in Porta features an interior that is designed in a white and brown motif, and when you enter, the attention-grabbing large triangular table at the center gives this place a sophisticated atmosphere. This cafe takes pride in its coffee that uses select beans that were roasted through the company’s unique roasting technique and is carefully poured into every cup. Here, there are about five kinds of original blends (depending on the season) that are highly aromatic and rich in flavor, with each coffee served with milk and sugar, as has been done since the shop opened its doors. The coffee can be customized so you can have it however way you like. Inoda Coffee, which has been a well-loved place in Kyoto for a very long time now, is a place where you can taste simple coffees and cakes.
2. Nakamura Tokichi Kyoto Station Branch
Nakamura Tokichi is a wagashi (traditional Japanese sweets) shop produced by the long-established tea house Nakamura Tokichi whose main shop is located in Uji, which is known for green tea. Inside the shop, the well-placed lights and Japanese paintings on the wall as displays create a modern, fancy vibe. It is famous for having an extensive menu that includes parfaits that use green tea, shaved ice and soba noodles, so you will often be greeted by a long line of customers outside. Of all their wares, the namacha jelly is particularly famous. Its sweetness is barely noticeable, but the robust aroma of tea and the jiggly texture is addicting. This shop is definitely a must-try, despite the wait!
3. Saryo Tsujiri Kyoto Isetan Branch
Saryo Tsujiri was produced by Gion Tsujiri, which is also a long-established tea house like Nakamura Tokichi. It is popular for its numerous parfait concoctions that mainly use matcha. While the ingredients that they use vary depending on the flavor, this shop’s parfaits all have voluminous contents, centering on matcha ice cream, matcha sponge cake, matcha jelly, and anko (sweet red bean paste). The parfaits contain a lot of ingredients, so you can enjoy them up to the last bite without getting bored. Recommended here is the out-of-the-ordinary yogurt parfait (1,134 JPY (incl. tax)). The yogurt cream with an exquisite balance of acidity and sweetness is truly a perfect match for a matcha dessert! To those who are looking for a new Japanese dessert, you should try this parfait. Also, if you enter this shop's expansive space that has a wooden, grain-inspired interior design, you will surely be overwhelmed by the sight of the Kyoto Tower that is visible through the windows depending on where you sit. It’s a perfect place to go on dates.
4. MALEBRANCHE JR Kyoto Isetan 6F Salon Branch
This branch of MALEBRANCHE is a cafe owned by Kyoto’s famous sweets shop MALEBRANCHE. The mont blanc (476 JPY (incl. tax)), which has been its most popular pastry since it opened, is still this shop’s staple dessert, but the freshly squeezed mont blanc (800 JPY (incl. tax)) that is only available here is also recommended. The freshly squeezed mont blanc is a rich dessert with fresh cream, cocoa sponge cake, and walnuts that are covered with freshly squeezed chestnut cream. There is no doubt that you will unknowingly break into a smile when you taste the smoothness of the cream and the lightness of the sponge cake! This dessert is seasonal and the type of chestnut used may change, so if you go to Kyoto in autumn, the season of chestnuts, you just might encounter this mont blanc that uses premium Tanba chestnuts.
5. Gallery Cafe Kyoto Saryo
Gallery Cafe Kyoto Saryo is a cafe that is annexed to a gallery showcasing traditional folk crafts. The inside of the store has a rather dim and serene atmosphere with downlights so that customers will be able to see the works on display at the gallery. The metal-plated pieces on the walls and other decorations create a solemn and fancy space that closely depicts Kyoto. In this space, you can enjoy seasonal wagashi and carefully selected teas, with six types of tea to choose from for the wagashi set. The ability to select your tea is what makes this shop very popular. For instance, there are two types of matcha, strong or light. If you want a sweet taste, then you can have the strong, while if you want a subdued taste, then you can pick light. The wagashi that comes with the tea are such delicate works of art it's almost a waste to eat them. The prices of tea and dessert sets in this cafe start at 1,029 JPY (incl. tax). If you do visit, take your time and savor the teas and pastries here.
Kyoto is home to so many easily accessible spots where you can drop in after your train arrives or before your train departs from Kyoto Station. So, if you have time, please try to check out these places.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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