See a Different Face of 400-Year-Old Japanese Confectioner, Kagizen, at this Modern Cafe
As you enter ZEN CAFE, you will immediately know you’re on your way for a relaxing time reflecting the shop’s name. ZEN CAFE serves seasonally changing Japanese sweets that you can safely have high expectations in as they are made by a long-standing Japanese confectioner, Kagizen. This café plays soft instrumental background music and is the perfect place to hide away and take a break from the downtown crowds. ZEN CAFE has seventeen seats and features spaces with bookshelves full of books for guests to grab and read at their table. The cafe also not only serves Japanese tea, but coffee, freshly squeezed juice, and sparkling water too, making it the perfect place for visitors to easily familiarize themselves with Japanese sweets.
Seasonal Sweets
Seasonal Sweets / ¥800 (Inc. Tax) / Drink Set ¥1,500 (Inc. Tax)
The Seasonal Sweets are a selection of ZEN CAFÉ’s seasonally changing sweets. Pictured above is the “Noasobi” Wagashi set of Japanese sweets. On the left is a red bean Manju bun, the middle is a traditional Japanese sweet made from kneaded red bean paste and the right is a combination of a steamed castella and Yokan Japanese jelly. As the photo was taken in May, this set was meant to symbolize the image of picking flower, watching fish swim through the river, and frolicking in a springtime field. With the drink set, you get a choice of hot “Sencha” green tea, “Hojicha” roasted tea, coffee, or Café au lait. The “Sencha” green tea and “Hojicha” roasted tea are also served in teapots. The sweets are made with inspiration taken from each specific season, so no matter if it’s spring, summer, autumn or winter, every time you go you’ll be greeted by something new for you to enjoy.
Kuzu Mochi
Kuzu Mochi / ¥800 ( Drink Set ¥1,500)
ZEN CAFÉ’s Kuzu Mochi is a dessert made from arrowroot and glutinous rice flour. Such desserts might not be too well known outside of Japan,, but it’s a definite must try when in Kyoto. Simply experiencing the texture of the Kuzu Mochi for the first time is sure to be an unforgettable experience, but actually tasting it is even more incredible. The soft jelly-like Kuzu Mochi melts in your mouth, releasing its mild sweetness to crawl across your palette. We recommend trying the Kuzu Mochi on its own at first, then adding some of the brown sugar syrup and Kinako soybean flour as you like.
Seasonal Fresh Fruit Juice
3Let's Try!
Seasonal Fresh Fruit Juice / ¥800
This Seasonal Fresh Fruit Juice is freshly squeezed to order! The fruits used change seasonally and this season’s fruits were pink grapefruit and pear.
Solo Seating
4Let's Try!
Solo Seating
This semi-private single person seat sits directly across from a bookshelf that features an undefined selection of books, from photo-books on furniture, to books about how to pour a delicious coffee. This relaxing seating option is partly enclosed, so you can sit back and enjoy some me-time. There are two single person seats to the left and right of the walk way, making this a great option for friends or couples wanting to spend some alone time, together. The perfect seat to sit back with some Wagashi and Japanese tea while enjoying a ZEN CAFÉ moment.
How to Order

how to order - zen cafe 1how to order - zen cafe 2

Ask for the English menu if needed. Also have fun and give saying some of the items such as "Kuzu Mochi" in Japanese a try too.

- Order Tips -
Ask to be seated in front of the bookshelf if you want to fully enjoy some solo time with a book and some tea.
3.6 food3.3 service3.5 atmosphere4.0
Overseas Tourist-Friendly
3.8 food3.5 service4.0 atmosphere4.0
When I was first about to enter the café, I saw the exterior and garden that sits across from the counter seats and bubbled over with excitement, thinking “Oh wow, it’s incredible!” The combination of chic background music and the fact we were eating traditional Japanese sweets in a modern café, brought about a very unique feeling and made me feel better just being there. The seasonal sweets were small and oh so cute. I’m super excited to see what kinds of sweets will be on offer next season.
3.3 food3.0 service3.0 atmosphere4.0
You can order seasonal fruit sandwich if you are a little hungry. They not only have Japanese tea, but also have coffee and cafe au lait too. I never had Kuzu Mochi like this before. It was really good! I like to put a lot of sweetend soybean powder on it.
3.5 food3.5 service3.5 atmosphere3.5
Overseas Tourist-Friendly
3.5 food3.5 service3.5 atmosphere3.5
Category Cafes, Wagashi (Japanese Sweets)
Phone +81 75-533-8686
Address 570-210 Gion-machi Minami-gawa ,Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto
Directions 2-minute walk from Keihan Line Gion-Shijo Station
Open Hours 11am - 6pm (L.O.5:30pm)
Reservations No
Closed Mon. (if Monday is a national holiday, the store will be closed the following day)
Price range
¥1,000 - ¥2,000
Credit cards VISA, MASTER, JCB, AMEX, Diners / Available
Good for Solo, Romantic, With Friends
Overseas Tourist-Friendly
English menu is available.
Menu English
Lanuages spoken Basic English
Number of seats 17 seats
Private dining rooms Unavailable
Non smoking / smoking Non smoking
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