On my way home from work tonight I picked up the latest issue of BRUTUS (545), which is a bilingual issue (warning: as with CASA BRUTUS bilingual issues, it’s only the cover feature that is translated, not the regular sections). The theme for the issue is “Kyoto Through Blue Eyes,” which takes us on a tour of Kyoto from a foreigner’s perspective. I of course dig the cafe section:
Art, organic food and live music are all part of Kyoto’s eclectic restaurant and cafe scene. Forget what you’ve heard about aloofness, expense and old capital self-importance. Kyoto really is unique. The combinations of food, mood, conversation and design that come together in Kyoto can’t be found anywhere else. The coffee shops of Kyoto in the sixties and seventies were hotbeds of politcal activism. Today’s radicalism exists in exciting blends of the traditional and modern – spicy Indian curry in a traditional Kyoto house, fusion sushi, middle eastern food and sake, as well as other provocative variations on the local cuisine. The Kyoto dining experience is a demonstration of how Japanese culture adapts foreign influences and continually reinvents itself.” The places mentioned on this page (accompanied by a few pics) are the Tranq Room, Cafe Peace, Sake Bar Yoramu, Ratna Cafe, A WOMB, and yu-an. As far as BGM and cafes go, “at nostalgic Shizuka it’s classical music to read by. For Jazz, go to Yamatoya. Electronica gives neutron its enigmatic ambience. And many cafes, such as Shinshindo, have no music at all. Silence is golden!
I’m starting to feel like a weekend trip to Kyoto is in order. Haven’t been there in ages.