JAPAN – Travelers who enjoy meditation and the way of tea can visit O’Chill, while those looking for unique souvenirs should head to Rokuhichido. Here are 5 new must-visit places in Kyoto.
Morgan Awyong, a traveler from Singapore, visited Japan in May and stayed for three months. He explored the ancient capital of Kyoto on foot, covering a total distance of over 200 kilometers, and listed five new destinations that tourists should visit, in addition to the well-known tourist spots.
O’Chill Tea House
Opened in June, this tea house is located near the Kyoto Imperial Palace (a 12-minute walk). It’s a place for visitors to enjoy tea and meditation.
Guests are served tea in a serene room, described by Morgan as “a meditation space within the tea house.” The use of mobile phones is not allowed. After tea, guests can also enjoy shisha made from tea leaves. The meditation session is guided by staff and lasts for 90 minutes.
Rokuhichido Souvenir Shop
Opened in April, this shop is located near the famous Hokanji Temple (a 1-minute walk).
Amidst the attention drawn by the renowned five-story Hokanji Temple, Rokuhichido, a shop producing Japanese paper products using traditional techniques of silk printing and paper cutting, might easily go unnoticed.
The shop initially gained fame for its postcards and later expanded to create small figurines depicting marine animals or famous landmarks like Mount Fuji. Director Shota Yamada explained that their designs are inspired by traditional Japanese culture and the four seasons’ scenery. The most popular postcards feature classic patterns like geisha (female entertainers) or shogun (military commanders). Each craftsman can produce only a few dozen handmade products per day.
Gokago Drink Shop
Opened in June, it’s just a 2-minute walk from Kiyomizudera Temple.
While Kyoto has no shortage of matcha cafes, according to Morgan, “nowhere does it better than Gokago.” Finely ground green tea is used to make drinks or sprinkled on doughnuts or ice cream, freshly prepared in front of customers.
Director Kazuaki Nakanishi stated that the way of tea is a great Japanese tradition. “Experiencing traditional tea culture can be a hurdle, so we believe it’s essential to serve it in the simplest manner to make it accessible to as many people as possible,” Nakanishi said.
Morgan praised it as “a perfect stop for enjoying an authentic matcha in the midst of a visit to Kiyomizudera, one of Kyoto’s most famous temples.”
Kaji Kyoto Restaurant
Opened in May, it’s about a 10-minute walk from Nishiki Market.
Traditional eateries abound in Kyoto, but Kaji Kyoto stands out. Chef Keone Koki combines Peruvian heritage and culture with Japanese cooking techniques, resulting in dishes that are both familiar and unique. The restaurant has only 8 seats, and the owner is known for being friendly and engaging with customers, often chatting with them.
Fuku Coffee Roastery
Opened in March, it’s about a 4-minute walk from Kennin-ji Temple.
Fuku Coffee Roastery is a traditional wooden house inherited by owner Morio Ajiki from his grandmother. The shop not only sells coffee but also provides high-quality coffee beans to businesses.
Ajiki, a shy person, is warm-hearted, and the shop is named after his beloved pet cat. Coffee enthusiasts can even catch a glimpse of this cat. The shop primarily offers takeout, but there are two benches, one inside and one outside, for those who want to sit and savor their drinks.