The Weekend Australian - Travel - - TRAVEL & INDULGENCE -

KY­OTO: POCKET PRECINCTS Steve Wide and Michelle Mack­in­tosh

(Hardie Grant, $19.99)

So much smart art and de­sign, now let’s move on to the fab­u­lous eat­ing places and tea houses. Maido! Konichiwa! Wel­come to Ky­oto! Au­thors Steve Wide and Michelle Mack­in­tosh re­veal trea­sures ga­lore in this guide to the city’s best, out on March 1. It’s a place of tra­di­tion and his­tory where the in­flu­ence of an­cient tem­ples and shrines (all 2000 of them) touches ev­ery as­pect of daily life.

“But new gen­er­a­tions are ren­o­vat­ing old town­houses, set­ting up ex­cit­ing new re­tail spa­ces and open­ing cafes, restau­rants and stores with their own take on any­thing from cof­fee to hand­made pa­per,” the au­thors say. Take me im­me­di­ately to Ky­oto De­sign House with its old-meets-new-meets-east-meets-west home­wares, ac­ces­sories and so much more; about 1500 items are exquisitely dis­played. Then on to Tsunesaburo Lac­quer­ware for eye- catch­ing striped gob­lets, tea can­is­ters and ap­ple­shaped sugar bowls. Hid­den down a res­i­den­tial street find Art­books Ya­mazaki with its parch­ments, scrolls and rare Ja­panese wood­block prints. Wher­ever you dine (and the choice is di­verse), leave time to pop into Ko­to­banohaoto, a catthemed dessert cafe in a tra­di­tional wooden town­house. Order a matcha latte then go for the cute Cat Par­fait which, in a book of splen­did pic­tures, looks purr-fect.

Much else about this guide is very good. It’s (al­most) pocket sized and pa­per­back light. The text is lively and there’s a handy street map. Only one small thing: where did that es­ca­la­tor­like, fall­ing-over “S” come from in the head­line type­face? Snazzy de­sign, I sup­pose.


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