This Café in Kyoto Lets You Experience Japan’s Unique Monko Tradition
It promises to help give you peace of mind.
464, Myomanjimae-cho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto City
Open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (last order is at 4 p.m.). The store is closed on Wednesdays, Sundays, and national holidays.
How to get there: It’s a 5-minute walk from Kyotoshiyakusho-mae Subway Station.
Monko is a tradition of the Japanese that involves burning fragrant incense and “listening” to its essence. If you find yourself wondering exactly how this works, Monkodokoro is the perfect place to teach you this.
Monkodokoro is a café operated by the long-standing incense and stationery store, Kyukyodo. The building where the café is located was originally a 90-year-old townhouse in Kyoto.
With the help of the staff, we show you how the pleasant monko experience works.
First, you’ll have to choose an incense to use. We recommend that you select between the aloeswood (¥1,080) or kyara wood (¥1,728) from the menu.
After picking your incense, the staff will put it inside an electric burner.
Use one hand to hold the burner and the other hand to cover the top.
“Listen” to the fragrance by heightening your sense of smell and letting the aroma permeate your body and soul.
After enjoying the fragrance for about 20 to 30 minutes, you can take home the remnants of the incense.
Later, you may find that the experience helped you regain some peace of mind and awakened your spirit.
After this experience, you can drink the Ippodo sencha tea with small sweets.
The macarons are filled with daitokuji natto (a kind of fermented soybean).
Apart from these features, the café also doubles as a store where you can buy different kinds of merchandise and original products.
The incenses and Japanese paper products are carefully selected by Kyukyodo.
ICHIZAWA SHINZABURO HANPU’s bag (¥9,720)
Purse with metal clasp (¥1,512)
Hand towel (¥864)
Items of Japanese x creator project “Japan Creative” are on sale at the store, too.
The café does not require reservations for its visitors. However, it only has a seating capacity of eight. The café also has no parking lot and strictly prohibits its customers from smoking.
Provided by Japan Walker™ and Tokai Walker™ (11 July 2018)