The barista prepares the filtered coffee (Photo: Christie Petrakopoulou)

Akatsuki Coffee, Kyoto

The neighborhood’s cozy coffee shop

The barista prepares the filtered coffee (Photo: Christie Petrakopoulou)
Christie Petrakopoulou   - 3 min read

Kyoto is a beautiful city full of culture, history, warm- hearted people, amazing scenery and apparently great coffee shops. Away from the busy streets of Sanjo and Kawaramachi in central Kyoto, there is a calm neighborhood with a small, peaceful and comfortable coffee shop that you need to visit. It’s name: Akatsuki Coffee.

Unlike big coffee shops, Akatsuki Coffee has only three tables and four seats by the counter. The young couple that owns the tiny coffee shop doesn’t talk much; neither do the customers, and if they do it is more like whispering. Don’t ask me why but I liked the silence at Akatsuki Coffee, and combined with the wooden deck and the soft blue and white walls, this coffee shop is the perfect calm environment for a short break from your busy tourist schedule.

"Actually this place is perfect for me. Juicy but pretty clear-tasting black coffee, thick and sweet cafe latte, amazing cakes and sandwiches. Besides that, I love the cozy and silent atmosphere. Time passes very slowly there and that’s exactly what I need for a relaxing afternoon break. I’m also lucky to live close by."

Ko, my best friend and a Akatsuki Coffee regular.

They specialize in drip brew coffee, which means that you’ll have to wait a bit before you can enjoy their really good filtered coffee. If you’re not a fan of filtered coffee, feel free to order a cappuccino or a latte. Warming up the milk for a cappuccino or a latte is actually more difficult than you think and if you don’t know how to do it, you can easily burn the milk and if that happens then the milk smells and destroys the taste of the coffee. However, the owner of Akatsuki Coffee (and the barista) is well-trained and his cappuccino and latte taste very good and even have discreet latte art on the surface of the coffee that will make you smile!

If you have a sweet tooth, then I would highly recommend you try out one of the homemade sweets that the owner’s wife bakes on a daily basis. As you can see from the photos, I ordered the carrot cake and the sacher torte. Speckled with raisins, the carrot cake will delight your taste buds with a hint of cinnamon. The best thing about the sacher torte was the chocolate with its intense and pure taste.

Last but not least, from 10 am until 4 pm you can order one of their delicious sandwiches or salads made with bread from a local bakery. Since it was lunch time when I went there with my friends, we tried the chicken sandwich and the eggs and bacon one. Both were served with fresh salad topped with a tasty dressing and cost about ¥1000.

The coffee shop is located on Higashi Oji Dori right after the crossing Kita Oji Dori. The nearest train station is Chayama Station served by the Eizan Main Line and from there you’ll need to walk about 10 minutes.

Akatsuki Coffee offers a complete food and coffee experience as well as a tranquil environment that once you visit it the first time you’ll definitely want to go back again.

Christie Petrakopoulou

Christie Petrakopoulou @christie.petrakopoulou

Hi! My name is Christie and I’m a journalist/blogger. Originally from Athens, Greece but living in Stockholm, Sweden I’m doing my Masters in Media and Communication Studies at Stockholm University. For one year I’ll be living and traveling around Japan in search of new challenges and experienc...