For 40 years an old government building had remained vacant. Originally built in 1927, the Western-style concrete space had been used as a garage and administration office until it closed in the mid-1970s. But last year a group of young craftsmen decided to revitalize the space and turn it into a café that would also function as an outlet for showcasing the work of young Japanese craftsmanship.
The restoration was led by Kaikado, a 140-year old family-run company known for their airtight tin “chazutsu” tea caddies. In 2012 Kaikado teamed up with the Denmark-based design firm OEO, who helped the company, as well as an initiative known as Japan Handmade, in breathing new life back into unique heritage products. And so for the new Kaikado Café, which is conveniently located just 5 minutes away from Kaikado headquarters, OEO worked with local architect Hideki Ohiwa to transform the “100-year-old government building into an eclectic universe of coffee and tea.”
Inside, you’ll find a full menu of coffee (from Japanese roaster Nakagawa Wani Coffee) and black tea (from Postcard Teas London), as well as Kaikado’s own green teas. The café also serves snacks like cheesecake, breads and toast.
Come for the coffee and tea, but stay for the world of craftsmanship because you’ll find that the café is filled with Kaikado’s tea caddies but also work by other members of the Japan Handmade consortium. The list includes cups & saucers from Asahiyaki, coffee drippers from Kanaami Tsuji, coffee stands from Nakagawa Mokkougei and more. It’s a one-stop-shop for everything your Kyoto-crafter heart desires.