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Sagano-yu, Arashiyama, Kyoto

Cafe in a former sento (bathhouse)

Sagano-yu is an unusual cafe in the popular Arashiyama area in Kyoto. Formerly a public sento, or bathhouse, the whole building has been converted into a modern cafe while maintaining the highlights of the former bathhouse. Tile art, mirrors and faucets are abundant, giving rise to a feeling of nostalgia. The menu is diverse with the specialty being pancakes and desserts, and lunch sets include light salads and a daily pasta or curry rice. Japanese snacks including flavored rusks and crackers are for sale, too. In addition, artisanal home decorations (zakka) are displayed in the gallery upstairs. Sagano-yu is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and the nearest stations within walking distance are JR Saga Arashiyama station and the Keifuku Electric Railway Randen Saga station.

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