Café Bibliotic Hello! Kyoto

Categories Café Hop

This café takes some searching; it’s hidden away in one of the small streets in the old neighbourhood of Nijo-Yanaginobanba in Kyoto. But once it’s sighted, it’s impossible to mistake it for anything else — it’s the only machiya (traditional Japanese townhouse) on the street with the large banana plants in the storefront (the thick cover of wide green leaves themselves almost eclipsed by a row of neatly parked bicycles).

The interior of Café Bibliotic Hello! is certainly most awe-inspiring, even for a specialty café — a book café — the requisite wall of books do not stop when they reach the ceiling but instead continue stretching up to the second floor, where we hover over metal walkways and look down past the wooden rafters upon the other patrons lost in their reading. It is almost as though we are transported to a library designed by industrialist architects.

And what a bohemian environment! Ikebana (Japanese flower arrangements) can be found all over the café while the barista switches the music from Emi Fujita to Sufjan Stevens. Two young girls in kimonos sit at the large wooden communal table, nibbling at their small and beautiful slices of cakes. A group of graphic designers huddle over a coffee table discussing their latest project. (They are later replaced by a solitary man in office attire occupying the entire space by himself, silently drinking coffee alone. We are impressed with how the staff allow him to be and to take his time; a similar scenario in KL would certainly have a waiter at one’s elbow requesting one to change to a smaller table.)

This is a place where one can relax and succumb to the magic and charm of good coffee and the company of a really good book, and so we do. There’s no better way to spend an afternoon.

幾年前去京都玩時,我們的咖啡毒中得還不深,
不像現在般會特地去找一些咖啡館來泡。
但有一家咖啡館是馬少很想去的,那就是Café Bibliotic Hello!。
其實那時也不是爲了要喝咖啡,而是聽聞這是一家book café;
愛看書又愛吃東西的我們,
自然很想看看這樣一家結合了食物與書的咖啡館;
會帶給我們什麽樣的驚喜。

Café Bibliotic Hello! 位於二條通那的住宅區內;
兩層樓高的店面由百年老町家改建而成。
外頭的原木門面和香蕉樹在老住宅區算是內鶴立雞群,
來到這條街應該不難發現。
(可是要找到這裡來得花點時間了,我們迷了幾次路才找到的。)
踏入店內,入眼的是個大型書櫃﹐從地板一路延伸到二樓去。
除了日文書外,還有不少的英文書籍,藏書量相當豐富。
仔細瀏覽的話,你會發現店裡是由各式吊燈,
和許多形狀各異的椅子混搭而成;
然後再配上大量的木質裝潢和白色磚牆,
跟我想像中日式的咖啡館還挺不同的。

我們選了一張靠窗的小桌,在我們傍邊是一張大型communal table;
那裡坐著有一群在討論方案的設計師(我們猜),
穿著和服的日本少女和衣著光鮮的中年夫妻;
這裡的顧客群還挺多元化的,難怪在京都的人氣居高不下。
雖然顧客很多,但裡頭的氛圍還挺悠閒自在的,
我們一邊喝咖啡吃甜品﹐一邊看書寫東西,
在京都最後的一個下午就是這麼渡過的。


Café Bibliotic Hello!
650 Seimei-cho, Nijo Dori, Yanaginobanba-higashi iru, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan
Mon-Sun 11:30am-12am
+81-75-231-8625
www.cafe-hello.jp

Kenny is a writer. CK is a photographer. Together they café-hop around the world and have contributed to The Malay Mail Online, Time Out, and other cool publications. Read more of Kenny’s stories at Life for Beginners and check out CK’s photography at Devil's Tales 胡思亂想.

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