Kyoto – For the many tourists who arrive in Kyoto via train, an underground shopping centre with restaurants, a hotel, retail options and even a theatre awaits them. After all, the Kotochica building was designed to be the door to a city also known as ‘the gate to history.’ And now, there’s a new addition to the list: the Bake Cheese Tart store.
For the design of its new location, the Japanese chain specialised in baking fluffy tarts hired Fumitaka Suzuki from Yagyug Douguten. Suzuki found inspiration in the traditional wood-or-charcoal Japanese cook stove, kamado – quite difficult to find nowadays – to steep in nostalgia for a bygone food culture.
To recreate the historical kitchen, a multi-functional plastered counter that serves as display, payment area, wash basin and teapot stove was placed in the centre of the shop. Nevertheless, its stretched and bent shape, forming sinuous curves, provides a modern touch to the whole space. In addition to this, a seating area allows customers to eat their tarts and drink their teas in total tranquillity, despite the usual rush of station’s cafes.
But why is the kamado so relevant to today’s Kyoto? The larger and wider counter allows people from all over the world to gather ‘round and spend time together eating freshly baked food, just like Japanese families gathered ‘round the stove in the old townhouses of Kyoto.