Spring is finally here as we see many plums start to bloom in Kyoto. Famous as “touristy” spot, Philosopher’s Path (哲学の道, Tetsugaku no michi) turns out to be one of local’s favorite place to enjoy hanami (cherry blossom viewing). It is basically a stone path that follows a canal starts from Ginkakuji Temple and ends at Nanjenzi Neighborhood, which is lined by cherry trees. You can definitely find shops, restaurants, and cafes along its way while doing a morning jog or afternoon walk. There, you will probably find a pretty long line (especially during cherry blossom blooming season) for entering a place to grab some dessert. It is Yojiya Cafe.
I went there few weeks before the cherry blossom blooms at the philosopher’s path so it didn’t take a very long time for me to finally enter the place. The place only occupied 6-8 pairs of table, so make sure you don’t go there as a group of people. Before entering you need to take off your shoes and then they will take you to a seat for two people facing its main view, the Japanese garden. The place itself has a very calm and relaxing vibe where most people don’t talk loudly, even not talking at all, starring at the garden while enjoying their maccha latte or ice cream. I am also very satisfied with the staff’ service as what you can usually expect from Japanese service. They are very friendly and nice for asking which ingredients I can’t eat since I am a muslim.
Here is the fun part: The dish. The menu that I got contains only dessert, green tea dessert in particular. I am not sure enough whether it is because I went there past lunch time or they only serve sweets, but you can check their menu in advance on their website. However, the website itself didn’t serve the matcha cheesecake (650¥) that I ordered and they also have some limited seasonal menu that is not available at the website. Other than the cheesecake, I also ordered the recommended Yojiya set for 1000¥ which contain a macha latte and a matcha-ice-cream-eating starter pack; the green tea ice cream, a crackers as its “cone”, and (green tea best pairing) red bean. I can give a 5 out of 5 stars for its packaging, branding, and the whole Japan-ish experience for enjoying the dish.
Yojiya Cafe Ginkakuji よーじやカフェ 銀閣寺店
606-8421, 15 Shishigatani Honenincho, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture
Phone : 075-754-0017
Hours : 10.00-18.00 (opens everyday)
Electrical outlet: Not Available
Average Spend: ¥650-2000/person