Thursday, January 14, 2016

Mo-an

Mo-an (茂庵) is a cafe located at the summit of Mount Yoshida in Kyoto, Japan.  While it's not technically a tea room, the cafe and it's surroundings have a strong connection to tea that is worth experiencing. 


There are many winding paths to Mo-an and I followed the most recommended route which begins near Imadegawa Dori and Shirakawa Dori.  Mo-an is not accessible by car and there are several sets of stairs along the path, so plan to wear comfortable shoes.



The route can be confusing, with turn-offs leading to homes and shrines.  Directional signs will keep you on the right path. 


Mo-an is a former machiya.  The original owner was a devotee of Urasenke tea ceremony and had eight chashitsu (teahouses) built on the land .  At this time, only two are maintained and in use and you can see them along the path to the cafe.  



During the ascent, I paused to look back and enjoy this breathtaking view of Kyoto and the surrounding mountains.  


Mo-an stands at the end of the path.  The warm glow from the upper story windows is a welcome sight.



Once inside, shoes are removed and it's time to ascend the stairs to the cafe on the second floor.  



Mo-an's structure and woodwork is traditional while the cafe decor is modern.  Seating is at tables, lounge chairs, and at the bar, and wifi is free.  On a clear day, the view of Kyoto Basin is incredible.  Though it rained heavily during my visit, obscuring the view overlooking Kyoto, the view of the surrounding forest was well worth the damp trek.  



Mo-an offers two lunch sets: western and Japanese.  I opted for the pita sandwiches of the western set (pork with mushroom sauce and tomato mozzarella) and my friend chose the Japanese set.  English menus are available on request.



Following the meal, I relaxed with a cup of Orange Pekoe tea before setting off on the rainy descent.  


Mo-an hosts tea ceremony lessons and gatherings.  Sign up for their newsletter to learn about upcoming events and classes.

Please note that photography inside the cafe is discouraged as I learned after my visit.  I am grateful to the staff for allowing me to take these photos.

Address: 〒606-8311 京都府京都市左京区吉田神楽岡町8
8 Yoshidakaguraokachō Sakyō-ku, Kyōto-shi, Kyōto-fu 606-8311

Hours:
11:30am to 6:00pm
Closed Monday

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