First a Brewery, Now a Live House! Check Out Coffee House Jittoku in Kyoto
[Local College Students Tell All!] Kyoto is full of old buildings that were originally built for one purpose, but have been reformed and are now used for an entirely different purposes. Coffee House Jittoku, one of Kyoto's oldest live houses, is one of those. Check it out!
Aug 09 2017 (Sep 09 2020)
What is Coffee House Jittoku?
North of Nijo-jo Castle, there is an area blessed with delicious water that is full of old tofu factories and sake breweries. An old sake brewery with over 100 years of history in that area was renovated and reopened in 1973 as Coffee House Jittoku. It was originally just a coffee shop, but after musicians asked to play there, it gradually also became a live house! It's considered Japan's oldest live house due to that history.
Step right in!
We were able to talk to the founder and owner of Jittoku, Mr. Terada!
The tables and chairs are all made of recycled sake barrels. It's a lovely space that still retains the feeling of a brewery.
The floor is made of granite. They were originally used on the now-defunct Kyoto city streetcar, so he was able to obtain them cheaply.
There is also an area with tatami flooring that he brought over from the rock coffee shop that he owned before Jittoku.
The name "Jittoku" comes from Kanzan and Jittoku, a duo of poetry-writing monks that lived during the Tang dynasty in China. Mr. Terada gave the business that name because he looks up to Jittoku's unique way of living. There are art prints of Kanzan and Jittoku inside the live house.
Enjoy live music in Kyoto's veteran live house!
Jittoku is a place where musicians of all genres from all around the country gather, so you can enjoy live music almost every day. Entrance fee starts at 1,000 yen, and you can casually drop by without prior reservation. If you come in after the live music ends at 9:00 PM, you can come in for free and enjoy the lively atmosphere as though it were a pub.
The regularly-held acoustic open mic night is particularly recommended. Anyone can take the stage, so why not try it yourself? You usually have to bring your instruments yourself, but sometimes participants will lend them to others. It's great that you can participate in this open mic without having to pay!
Check out the drink and food menu, made with care!
Jittoku opened as a coffee house, so they have an extensive drink menu including coffee and liquor. The food menu includes set meals made with brown rice and sandwiches made with homemade bread, so definitely check those out! They also have an English menu.
Coffee House Jittoku is one of Kyoto's most well-established live houses, so please visit to enjoy delicious coffee and live music in the atmosphere of a sake brewery!
The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.