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Girljin in Japan By Rachel Tranter Davies
Wife and Husband
Where great coffee meets pretty picnics near the banks of the Kamogawa River





Looking around Kyoto, it's not hard to find a good cup of coffee. No matter where you're staying in the city, the recent surge in coffee culture cool has meant that a swathe of new cafes have opened up, offering something for everyone, from minimalist chic to traditional machiya to a takeaway service with a bespoke picnic set. It's the latter that peaked my interest this month.





May is the perfect picnic month in Kyoto, before the rains of June kick in and after the cold winds of spring have mostly given way to a warm breeze and sun-filled days. It's now that you should head to ''Wife and Husband''. Just south of Kitaoji Station and almost on the banks of the Kamogawa River, you’ll know you've found it when you see a tiny shop front littered with hanging stools, baskets and tatami mats. The small shop, dim but for light pouring in from its huge front window, roasts its own beans, and offers one house blend, affectionately named ''Daughter'', and five types of single origin beans. But it's not just the beans that draw you in to this funky little coffee shop. The interiors are strewn with antiques, many of which are for sale, and the owners offer bespoke picnics stuffed with tasty cakes, pastries and a hot thermos of your favourite coffee. They even rent out furniture; stools, folding tables and chairs and if it's particularly sunny, straw hats and parasols.





What I love about this quaint little cafe is that it offers something totally different. There's an air of familiarity as you enter the shop and everything is easy. Rental is charged initially for 1.5 hours and you can add on 30 minute increments. Pick up your picnic and head to the banks of the Kamogawa River, a mere 5 minutes from the shop front. Reservations aren't taken so there's no chance that rain will spoil pre-booked plans, just head there when the sun's out for a wonderfully civilised spring treat. For me, it's the perfect way of doing a picnic; no prep, no clean up and no purchase of outdoor furniture that takes up precious space. Oh, and the food and coffee are simply delicious.


Wife and Husband: Open: 10:00-17:00; Closed: Mon., Thurs., Sun.; www.wifeandhusband.jp


Rachel is a food, drink and travel writer. Originally from England, she recently relocated to Japan and is now finding her feet in Kyoto. You can find her blogging tweeting and instagramming her experiences at Girljin in Japan.




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