10 Must-Visit Cafes In Kyoto For An Authentic Japanese Coffee Experience

Gin Seah is the voice of AAB Kyoto. His journey in Japan began at age 11 in Miyazaki and led him through many cities including Tokyo, Osaka, and Sapporo. It was in Kyoto, rich with history and culture, that he found his second home.
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Looking for a serene spot to sip your matcha latte? Dive into our list of the most charming cafes in Kyoto that serve up not just coffee but also tranquility and culture. From traditional machiya-style houses turned cafes to modern minimalist spaces, we’ve rounded up the best spots where you can unwind and soak in the local vibes. Get ready to explore hidden gems that offer more than just beverages; these cafes are an experience waiting to be savored.

Ready for a taste of Kyoto’s cafe scene? Scroll down for reviews of our top picks and get ready to embark on a journey through some of the coziest corners this city has to offer.

Key Takeaways

  • Explore a variety of renowned cafes in Kyoto, such as Kurasu Kyoto, % Arabica Kyoto Higashiyama, and Inoda Coffee Honten, for unique coffee experiences.
  • Immerse yourself in the tranquil ambiance of Weekenders Coffee Tominokoji and Sentido for a relaxing coffee break in Kyoto.
  • Discover the scenic beauty of Arabica Kyoto Arashiyama and Walden Woods Kyoto while enjoying a cup of coffee in picturesque surroundings.
  • Experience the fusion of culture and coffee at Efish and Blue Bottle Coffee Kyoto Cafe for a taste of Kyoto’s vibrant cafe scene.
  • Indulge in quality espresso at Vermillion – Espresso Bar & Info. for a delightful caffeine fix during your visit to Kyoto.
  • Whether you seek a cozy corner to read a book or a bustling cafe for people-watching, Kyoto’s diverse cafe options cater to every coffee enthusiast’s preferences.

10 Best Cafes In Kyoto

a quaint coffee shop located in the Nakagyo ward of Kyoto, combining traditional Japanese architecture with the modern café culture

1. Kurasu Kyoto

Kurasu Kyoto is a renowned specialty coffee shop located in the Nakagyo ward of Kyoto. It stands out for its diverse selection of single-origin coffees sourced from different regions worldwide, catering to coffee enthusiasts seeking unique flavors.

The cafe’s interior design reflects a blend of minimalism and style, creating a tranquil ambiance for visitors to enjoy their coffee experience fully. This aesthetic appeal adds an extra dimension to the already exceptional quality of their beverages.

By focusing on providing high-quality, distinct coffees in a visually appealing setting, Kurasu Kyoto has established itself as a must-visit destination for both locals and tourists exploring the vibrant coffee scene in Kyoto.

Whether you are a seasoned coffee connoisseur or simply appreciate good brews in an inviting atmosphere, Kurasu Kyoto offers an experience that combines taste with aesthetics seamlessly. So, next time you find yourself near Nakagyo ward in Kyoto, make sure to stop by this gem for a delightful caffeine fix!

2. % Arabica Kyoto Higashiyama

Located in the historic Higashiyama district, % Arabica Kyoto Higashiyama is a popular coffee chain known for its high-quality coffee and exquisite latte art. Here are some insights into this renowned cafe:

  • Quality Coffee: % Arabica prides itself on serving premium quality coffee sourced from around the world. The focus on quality beans ensures a delightful coffee experience for visitors.
  • Latte Art: A standout feature of % Arabica is its attention to detail in creating beautiful latte art designs atop their beverages. This artistic touch adds an extra layer of enjoyment to each cup.
  • Scenic Location: Situated in the picturesque Higashiyama district, customers not only enjoy exceptional coffee but also immerse themselves in the charm of traditional Japanese surroundings.
  • Global Recognition: With branches worldwide, including locations in Dubai, Hong Kong, and Paris, % Arabica has gained international acclaim for its dedication to providing top-notch coffee experiences.

% Arabica Kyoto Higashiyama stands out as a must-visit destination for both coffee enthusiasts and those seeking a serene spot amidst Kyoto’s cultural richness.

3. Inoda Coffee Honten

Inoda Coffee Honten is a well-established coffee shop in Kyoto, boasting a rich history that adds to its charm and authenticity. The cafe is renowned for its adherence to traditional Japanese coffee brewing techniques, offering visitors a taste of Japan’s cultural heritage intertwined with every cup.

The ambiance at Inoda Coffee Honten is cozy and inviting, making it an ideal spot to unwind or catch up with friends over a steaming cup of specialty brewed coffee. Moreover, the cafe serves delectable pastries that perfectly complement their beverages, enhancing the overall experience for patrons seeking both refreshment and indulgence.

If you are looking for a unique twist on your usual iced coffee or tea routine, Inoda Coffee Honten provides an opportunity to explore new flavors while immersing yourself in an environment steeped in tradition and warmth. Whether you are a coffee enthusiast or simply someone who appreciates quality beverages served with care, this cafe promises an unforgettable sensory journey through the world of Japanese coffee culture.

4. Weekenders Coffee Tominokoji

Hidden in the charming streets of Tominokoji, Weekenders Coffee is a true gem for coffee enthusiasts seeking a unique experience. This café stands out for its dedication to serving hand-drip coffee [1] made from locally sourced beans, offering visitors a taste of Kyoto’s finest flavors.

The ambiance at Weekenders Coffee Tominokoji is nothing short of serene and inviting. Step into this cozy space, and you’ll immediately feel transported to a tranquil oasis away from the bustling city life. It’s an ideal spot for those looking to unwind or even catch up on some reading while savoring their beverage.

Whether you’re exploring the area or simply in need of a peaceful retreat, this café provides the perfect setting for relaxation and indulgence in freshly brewed coffee. The mere mention of Weekenders Coffee among locals sparks excitement due to its reputation as a place where one can truly appreciate the artistry behind each cup served.

For those who enjoy discovering hidden treasures off the beaten path, Weekenders Coffee Tominokoji promises not just great coffee but also an experience that encapsulates the essence of Kyoto’s rich culture and attention to detail.

a must-visit café located in the charming Arashiyama area of Kyoto

5. Arabica Kyoto Arashiyama

Arabica Kyoto Arashiyama is a must-visit cafe located in the charming Arashiyama area of Kyoto. With its prime location, visitors can enjoy breathtaking views of the famous bamboo forest while sipping on their favorite brew.

The cafe prides itself on serving premium quality coffee crafted from meticulously chosen beans. This dedication to excellence ensures that every cup delivers a rich and flavorful experience for coffee enthusiasts.

For those seeking not just a caffeine fix but also an aesthetic treat, Arabica Kyoto Arashiyama offers a perfect blend of sensory delights. The combination of top-notch coffee and stunning natural surroundings creates an unforgettable ambiance for patrons.

Whether you are exploring the beauty of Arashiyama or simply looking for a cozy spot to relax, this cafe stands out as a gem where traditional tea meets modern roasted beans in perfect harmony. A visit here promises not just great coffee but also an immersive cultural and visual experience that captures the essence of Kyoto’s charm.

6. Sentido

Quaint café with a rustic charm:

  • Sentido is known for its cozy and inviting atmosphere, perfect for relaxing or catching up with friends.
  • The warm ambiance and earthy décor make visitors feel right at home.

Features a unique blend of Japanese and Western aesthetics:

  • This café seamlessly combines traditional Japanese elements with modern Western touches.
  • Guests can enjoy the fusion of styles in both the interior design and the menu offerings.

Offers a variety of specialty coffees and homemade desserts:

  • Coffee enthusiasts will appreciate Sentido‘s selection of specialty brews, including pour-over options.
  • Indulge your sweet tooth with delicious homemade desserts that pair perfectly with your coffee choice.

With its charming setting, cultural fusion, and delightful treats, Sentido provides an unforgettable café experience in Kyoto. Whether you’re seeking a peaceful spot to unwind or craving quality coffee paired with delectable sweets, this café delivers on all fronts.

7. Walden Woods Kyoto

Walden Woods Kyoto stands out as a coffee shop that beautifully blends nature and literature in its ambiance. The wooden interiors and bookshelves create a cozy atmosphere, perfect for those seeking a tranquil spot to enjoy their coffee.

This cafe goes beyond just serving beverages; it focuses on sustainability by using ethically sourced coffee beans. By prioritizing ethical sourcing, Walden Woods Kyoto not only offers quality drinks but also contributes positively to the environment and supports fair trade practices.

For visitors looking for more than just a caffeine fix, this cafe provides an immersive experience that resonates with nature lovers and book enthusiasts alike. The fusion of these elements creates a unique setting where patrons can unwind, read, or engage in conversations while surrounded by elements of both the natural world and literary inspiration.

With its commitment to sustainability and thoughtful design inspired by nature’s beauty, Walden Woods Kyoto offers more than your average coffee stop – it provides a retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life within its walls. A visit here is not just about enjoying great coffee; it’s about embracing a lifestyle that values harmony with the environment.

8. Efish

Efish is a modern café in Kyoto that boasts an industrial-chic ambiance, making it a trendy spot for coffee enthusiasts. Known for its innovative coffee brewing techniques, Efish offers patrons a unique experience with their diverse menu selection.

  • The café’s blend of classic and creative coffee options caters to varying preferences, ensuring there is something for everyone.
  • With its stylish interior design and focus on quality beverages, Efish provides customers not only with great drinks but also an inviting atmosphere to relax or work.

If you’re looking for more than just your regular cup of joe and want to immerse yourself in a contemporary coffee culture experience, Efish stands out as a must-visit destination in Kyoto. Whether you appreciate the artistry of brewing methods or simply enjoy savoring different coffee flavors, this café has something special to offer every visitor seeking an elevated caffeine fix.

9. Blue Bottle Coffee Kyoto Cafe

Blue Bottle Coffee in Kyoto is a globally recognized coffee shop that offers a unique experience for coffee enthusiasts. With an emphasis on precision brewing methods, each cup of coffee is crafted to perfection. The cafe provides a modern and stylish setting where customers can savor their beverages.

  • Renowned international coffee chain with a branch in Kyoto.
  • Emphasizes precision brewing methods for top-notch quality.
  • Offers a sleek and contemporary ambiance for customers to enjoy their drinks.

This cafe stands out not only for its exceptional specialty coffees but also for the attention given to every detail of the brewing process. Whether you are looking for a classic drip coffee or exploring more intricate options like matcha lattes, Blue Bottle Coffee ensures that each drink meets high standards.

With its commitment to quality and innovation in the realm of specialty coffee, Blue Bottle Coffee has become a favorite spot among locals and tourists alike seeking an elevated cafe experience in the heart of Kyoto’s vibrant coffee culture.

10. Vermillion – Espresso Bar & Info.

Vermillion is not your typical café; it seamlessly blends the love for coffee with a unique twist – providing travelers with valuable local insights and travel information. This fusion of an espresso bar and an information hub creates a warm and inviting space that appeals to both coffee enthusiasts and wanderlusts alike.

The atmosphere at Vermillion is cozy, making visitors feel right at home as they sip on their favorite espresso drinks while immersing themselves in the wealth of travel knowledge available. The ambiance encourages patrons to relax, unwind, and engage in conversations about their adventures or seek advice on exploring Kyoto further.

Travelers can benefit from the insider tips and recommendations provided by the knowledgeable staff at Vermillion. Whether it’s discovering hidden gems off the beaten path or learning about upcoming events in the city, this café goes beyond just serving great coffee; it becomes a gateway to unlocking unforgettable experiences during one’s stay in Kyoto.

In essence, Vermillion stands out as more than just an espresso bar; it serves as a bridge connecting people through shared passions for coffee and exploration.

a serene café experience, harmoniously blending traditional Japanese aesthetics with the natural beauty of Arashiyama


You’ve now got the lowdown on some of the coolest cafes in Kyoto, from Kurasu Kyoto to Blue Bottle Coffee Kyoto Cafe. These spots aren’t just about coffee; they’re experiences waiting to be had. So, whether you’re a coffee aficionado or just someone looking for a chill spot to hang, Kyoto’s cafe scene has something for everyone. Get out there and explore these gems – who knows, you might find your new favorite coffee haunt!

Discover the charm of Kyoto through its cafes, each offering a unique vibe and flavor. Don’t miss out on these hidden treasures; grab a friend or go solo and immerse yourself in the rich coffee culture Kyoto has to offer. Now, go forth and caffeinate your soul!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Kurasu Kyoto a must-visit cafe in Kyoto?

Kurasu Kyoto is definitely a must-visit cafe in Kyoto for coffee enthusiasts. With its cozy ambiance and exceptional brews, it offers a delightful experience that will surely satisfy your caffeine cravings.

What makes % Arabica Kyoto Higashiyama stand out among other cafes in the area?

% Arabica Kyoto Higashiyama stands out for its picturesque location overlooking the historic streets of Higashiyama. The combination of stunning views and high-quality coffee makes it a popular choice for both locals and tourists.

Are there any unique features about Inoda Coffee Honten that set it apart from other cafes?

Inoda Coffee Honten has been serving aromatic coffee since 1947, making it one of the oldest coffee shops in Kyoto. Its rich history, traditional decor, and flavorful blends create an authentic experience that transports you back in time.

Why should visitors consider trying Weekenders Coffee Tominokoji during their stay in Kyoto?

Weekenders Coffee Tominokoji offers more than just great coffee – it provides a welcoming atmosphere where you can unwind and recharge amidst the bustling city. Whether you’re looking to relax or catch up with friends, this cafe is the perfect spot.

What sets Blue Bottle Coffee Kyoto Cafe apart from other cafes in terms of its offerings?

Blue Bottle Coffee Kyoto Cafe prides itself on sourcing top-quality beans and using precise brewing methods to deliver consistently delicious cups of coffee. If you appreciate attention to detail and expertly crafted beverages, this cafe is worth checking out.

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