A visit to Arishiyama to see the super awesome Bamboo groves and hiring a bike is a must. I advise you to go early to avoid the crush and rush of the huge amount of tourists that gather here around the lunch hour.
We came across this cafe/motorbike garage place because the toy figurines of Ultra Man were displayed in the window and the delightfully presumptuous sign of “the coffe of my store is nice” hooked us in.
The cute little Antea cafe is filled with plastic and metal toy collectibles and a cool Mini Minor cut into a bar. You can see the garage at the back of the cafe that also has another counter/diner style that you can sit at. We ordered the Matcha coffee set Y750 ($7.64 AU): a big slice of fluffy pan bread that was more like cake which had matcha powdered green tea sprinkled on top with whipped cream and a filtered tea like coffee and a beautiful cup of black clean tasting tea with a slice lemon.
Directions can be found HERE
FUJITO (Kitchen Fuji Metropolitan)
Old couple works fluidly,
– Haiku by kime sama
We happened to come upon this because we took a short cut home from the Tofukuji train station. There is a tiny play ground the size of a sand pit and across from it, there is a local eatery that is frequented by workers from the nearby factories. The menu is totally in Japanese with limited pictures. The first visit we ordered from the picture menu. That day, I ordered lunch set A: Panko Prawns, sliced beef, Y850 ($8.66 AU).
On our 2nd visit, we sat at the bar among the locals. The middle age woman next to us was heavily engrossed in her romance manga and a family sitting nearby had their noisy toddler yelling at the pictures on the walls. Just as we thought we were full, we watched the wonderful cooks create more delicious dishes. We politely caught their attention, pointed to what was being served and they made it for us. Thank god, we had a very light lunch and were able to fit in 2 dinners! This was a thick, juicy burger patty, sweet cabbage, some sort of creamy croquet and succulent cuts of marinated meats coated in panko.
My friend Mika found the link for it here.
THE ING BAR
ING bar, is hard to find at first but you take the elevator up into this small and VERY rock and roll bar. After waiting for some room at the actual bar, Olleh and I parked our butts and made friends with the owner (he is one cool dude, he played a Joy Division song for Olleh and totally made his day) and this English dude who bestowed his advice on life and love. I got stuck into my gin and tonics Y600 ($6.11 AU) while Ol had his large black bottles of Sapporo’s Y650 ($6.62 AU). The bar food is so simple and popular. We had these hand cut garlicky French fries with so many sauces Y450 ($4.58 AU), then these wonton wrapped cheese sticks that were deep fried Y400 ($4.08 AU). Oh man, these were so good that we ordered about 2 plates of them. I had such a great time in that little bar. The atmosphere was so intimate and I didn’t mind the smoking.
That whole night was pretty cool because we stepped out into rain which made the whole place like the set of Bladerunner. The neon lights on dark wet surfaces is so fucken cool to look at. To end the night, we tipsily but safely rode our bikes home in the pouring rain…it felt great!
Opening hours: 6pm-2am Mon-Thu, to 5am Fri-Sun,+81 75 255 5087, 2F Royal Building, 288 Minamikurayama-chō, Nishikiyamachi-dōri, Takoyakushi-agaru
ING bar website and menu
THE RADIO CAFE
Head east towards the direction of Shijo St intersection of Sanjodori Metropolitan Miyuki-dori and you’ll find this place is cool…..literally, it has aircon! There is a turn tables and local radio broadcasting upstairs and sometimes in the cafe. It looks like something that you’d find in Melbourne with a Swedish/Japanese feel. I like the little plants and itty bitty birdy ornaments.
I ordered the Spring roll bento Y850 ($8.66 AU): crispy pork spring roll with a tomato and corn salsa, a side of garden lettuce, the creamiest whack of awesome potato salad, miso soup with fried bean curd and a bowl of fluffy white rice.
We loved this place so much that we came back a few days later to try their fried chicken lunch set Y850 ($8.66 AU). This came with a bowl of rice, miso soup and fried bean curd, salad green, glass noodle salad with pickles and the nicest, crunchiest and juicy fried chicken pieces a girl could ever want. I cannot get over how cheap and delicious the food is over here! And because it was our last day in Kyoto, we ordered coffee and desserts Y750 ($7.64 AU) each: New York baked cheese cake with a parsley garnish (!) and ice cream with caramel sauce and flaked almonds and with their version of a cortardo (espresso cut with a small amount of warm milk).
We rode our bikes back to the hire place and to say goodbye to the owner who wore the MOST skinniest jeans in the world. I miss my hire bike and the freedom of wearing no helmet.