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155 Furusawa-cho, Hikone, JP, 522-0007

  • Phone: (81) 749 27 8211
  • Fax: (81) 749 27 8212
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  • Bars & Cafes

    »Speakeasy Bar

    Unlike its sister cafe-bar, Speakeasy Diner, the emphasis here is more on drinking than dining. Various food items are available, however. A youngish crowd likes to gather here for the pool table and the pop music. Approximately 45 people can be seated in this somewhat out-of-the-way bar. Beers and cocktails are both moderately priced. Tacos and other Mexican foods, as well as various spaghetti dishes, are offered for similar prices.

    15-2 Izumikawa-cho
    Kyoto, 606-0911

    »Speakeasy Diner

    Cafe by day, full bar by night, this hangout, which seats about 40 people, is popular with expatriates and locals alike. Speakeasy Diner is famous for its breakfasts, burgers and Mexican food, although the portions tend to smaller than in a true American diner. It is one of the very few places in Kansai where you can get bottomless coffee. English-language versions of Japanese newspapers are available and there is CNN on the two large TVs. To find it, look for the Stars and Stripes on Higashioji Street. Convenient for visitors to Shugakuin Rikyu. Breakfast Number 5 seems to be the most popular item on the menu: eggs, hash browns, bacon, French toast with syrup as well as salads, nachos, enchilada, hoagies or burgers go.

    7-7 Kawahara-cho
    Kyoto, 606-8003

    »5th's Club

    This is a large, gleaming, upmarket pool palace near the Takaragaike Prince Hotel. Eat and drink from the extensive menu as you pot, cannon and bridge. Fried rice and other snacks can be sunk along with imported beers, tea and coffee and an impressive cocktail list. All the tables and cues are imported from the US and you can even purchase a cue or a case here, too. There is a private member's room downstairs with even more deluxe equipment. It is popular with young couples and a great place for a quiet break.

    17 Enokijitsushiba Matsugasaki
    Kyoto, 606-0936

    »Wood Note

    This simple and small cafe, at the casual end of cozy, has been around serving organic coffee since 1983. It seats 20 people and is handy if you have been visiting Manshuin or Shisendo temples. The atmosphere here is nice and calming and the music brillaint. Local bands play at Wood Note which gives them a chance to show their talents. What people come here for is the music which is good with their amazing sound systems.

    23-3 Oharada-cho
    Kyoto, 606-8187


    Located near Philosopher's Walk, this popular cafe-restaurant is situated in a two-story replica of a traditional New England house. Whether you need light refreshment or something more substantial, Otembakiki makes for a pleasant break from the nearby temples. The upstairs is bright and spacious with large windows looking down onto the street below. There is also a fine selection of jazz playing to enjoy while dining. The menu includes curries, pasta chicken dishes and salads with a decent selection of alcohol, soft drinks, tea and coffee.

    Kamiminamida-cho Jodoji
    Kyoto, 606-8405


    At newly-opened Shuetto there is something for everyone; freshly-squeezed organic juices and bacon sandwiches. Shuetto's faux-Euro decor stretches as far as a classical ceiling mural, which complements the clean, plain wooden interior and furnishings. The cafe also sells a variety of health products on the premises.

    63-1 Nisida Cho
    Kyoto, 606-8417

    »Second House

    This casual, Mediterranean-style spaghetti and cake eatery attracts a mixed crowd of people who enjoy the low prices and relaxing atmosphere. There is a good menu to choose from, too, especially in terms of attractions for your sweet tooth. The cakes are the draw here. There is a choice of 20 different kinds, all delicious. Examples of what is on offer: gateau chocolat, banana nut pound cake, creme brulee, maple cake and an assortment of cheesecakes

    Abita Kitashirakawa 1F
    Kyoto, 606-8417


    An oasis of tranquillity to be found on Shirakawa Street not far from the major tourist sights of Tetsugaku no Michi (Philosopher's Path) and Ginkakuji (the Silver pavilion.) Here you can find members of the ex-pat community meeting with Japanese people of all ages in a relaxed, somewhat New Age cafe. The World Music on the sound system should enhance your enjoyment of your Mexican (or Indonesian) Fried Rice, tortilla, or smoked salmon and cream cheese sandwich.

    103 Shimobanba
    Kyoto, 606-8413

    »My Favorite

    My Favorite is a fashionable, rustic, woodsy European-style cafe/restaurant located in the east of Kyoto near Philosopher's Walk. The decor is fairly simple. The tables feature clean, fresh lines and a new, bare, wood finish. The fusion food is all homemade and mixes Japanese and European cooking styles. The lunch sets consist of a fried fish course, homely salad, soup and rice. a good place to lunch after temple strolling in the Higashiyama area. The cafe does a pleasant lunch and drink set for JPY1,000.

    73 Nishiteranomaecho Shishigatani
    Kyoto, 606-8425

    »Cafe Carinho

    New on the Kyoto scene, tiny little Carinho is a place to go for something a little bit different, something a little fun and funky, something simply delightful. Everything about Carinho says light, happy and beautiful in an off-hand, often surprising way. The owner, young, bright and cheerful, Keiko Kariya, speaks English, Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese, so do not be surprised if you feel like you have left the country when you step through the door. English menu and English, Spanish, Portuguese spoken. Set up in a tiny, two-story, glass fronted building, Carinho is a cozy and totally relaxed place to meet friends, or hang out and read (TIME, Rolling Stone, soccer magazines and Brazilian magazines) or study. If you are a smoker or like to sit outside, their small deck and benches can handle four or five. The walls are bright yellow, the floor and stairs forest green, and the tables and counter brilliant red. The food too is of another world. Look for fresh Montreal bagels here (sold for take home use as well), organic French rye baguette and graham bread, free NASA-level filtered pure water, and excellent coffee and cake (brownies, rich heavy cakes, original cream puffs, and more). The main part of the menu, if sweets and coffee are not for you, is all about big, juicy sandwiches (BLT, salmon and cream cheese, plain cream cheese, peanut butter and honey, egg, avocado and tomato). There is Brazilian and Canadian beer too!

    1148 Nishida-cho
    Kyoto, 606-8417

    »Anchovie Cafe

    Handily located below Bar Fakers just north of Mototanaka Station on Higashioji Street, an artsy, relaxed crowd enjoys good pizzas and pasta at reasonable prices. It is a trendy but casual place with Mediterranean pink walls and an open kitchen, so you can see your food being prepared. There is cool jazz on the stereo. The cafe seats about twenty-four.

    Kyoto, 606-8211

    »Hakuna Matata

    This cafe bar located on tree-lined Shirakawa in trendy Sakyo-ku offers a menu of "world food and drink" in pleasant, modern surroundings. A relaxed and intimate atmosphere for a serene after-work break or a leisurely evening of sipping. The drinks' menu has drought beer, Corona, wine a glass or a bottle, plus sake and a comprehensive cocktail list from. As for food, there are nachos lettuce and beef spring rolls at and rosemary-flavored potatoes plus a variety of other finger and bar food to sample as you watch the world go by.

    2-2 Heights
    Kyoto, 606-8165
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