Mar. 13, 2023 UPDATE
Renovated machiya-style townhouse fun in Kyoto! Eat, drink, and have fun in machiya!
Part 2

It’s afternoon tea time in Kyoto! Top 4 machiya tea houses

When sightseeing in Kyoto, you also need to take some time to have afternoon tea and chat away with your friends. There are many interesting cafes and tea houses in Kyoto, some of them old, some new, but the most Kyoto-like ones are located in machiya townhouses. The machiya are old, but they are beautifully renovated, so you can enjoy the historic atmosphere in a very aesthetically pleasing setting. Of course, the afternoon tea sets served at these tea houses are all delicious. So have a break in a machiya with some tea, and enjoy the calming experience.
Kyo-Kinana Gion
Ice cream in a machiya at Kyo-Kinana Gion!
You can find Kyo-Kinana Gion on a small alley by the famous Hanamikoji Street in Gion – and you’ll know the tea house right away, it looks so nostalgic!
Very Berry Parfait
Here you can see their famous Very Berry Parfait, which is a big hit among young women! They also have a more classic offering in the shape of three balls of ice cream. The ice cream melts in your mouth, and it’s a great treat to have on a hot day.
A sweet for every month at Seien
Seien is a sweets shop founded in the early years of the Showa period (late 1920’s) and even though it’s located in central Kyoto, it still has that old-timey machiya look.
Kohaku Nagashi
This tea house is famous for its “Kohaku Nagashi” a kind of transparent traditional Japanese sweet, which is flavored differently every month. In the picture, you can see it flavored with a Japanese ginger drink called Hiyashi Ame. Note that they don’t serve this dessert from January to March.
Yuki no Shita Kyoto
Thick & fragrant pancakes at Yuki no Shita Kyoto
On the Sanjo Street, in a quiet residential area, you can find Yuki no Shita Kyoto on the second floor of a machiya townhouse. The café is full of traditional Kyoto atmosphere.
fluffy pancakes
The rich, thick, fluffy pancakes here are made to order, so you need to wait around 20 minutes to get your pancake. But once you do, and the rich notes of egg hit your nostrils; that’s it. You have to devour the delicious pancake as fast as possible. But you need to also be prepared to line up for a while, as this café is really popular!
SIONE is a café by the pottery designer Showko Kawahara, located close to Ginkaku-ji Temple. The café is in a renovated old Japanese-style hotel (ryokan).
Japanese tea
SIONE is famous for its Chinese medicine-inspired Japanese tea, but the teacups are also something you should definitely take note of here. The tea here will not only taste good, but it will also make you feel good, so if you’re going to Ginkaku-ji, remember to also pay SIONE a visit!
You can also enjoy tea, coffee, and art in Kyoto’s machiya townhouses. Sit down, take a sip, and enjoy the calm surroundings. Enjoy the mix of modern with the old. This experience is something you definitely have to have in Kyoto! Kyoto’s machiya townhouses are waiting for your visit!

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