⟨ Secret Place ⟩

Ichikawaya Coffee in Kyoto

The Magical Morning Moment

Words & Photography / Jas Tse
Translation / Iris Heung

咖啡香氣縈在唇上伴著突如其來一場雨,空氣潮濕但被剛烘熱的牛奶麵包香軟撫平,夾著煙肉與蕃茄薄片、對半切開的菠菜,甘香油脂與果蔬新鮮相濡以沫的瞬間預告美好的一天開始。我想每天都重來一遍這樣的早晨光景。「好餓⋯⋯」旅程上總是餓,想把腦海裡憧憬過的別人日常塞進肚子。用料理作為記憶,因為食物最為忠誠,如此的記憶就最貼近真實了呢。

那是第一次在日本搭公車,想嘗嘗在地人的滋味,甫跳下車就下起雨,卻連淋雨也歡快。只一小段路就看到市川屋的圓形招牌,我急不及待伸手趟開老舊的深啡色木門,店員便領我們到吧檯的位置。環看周圍的長木檯、小圓木檯也很好,當然還有風光最好的靠窗單排座,但一坐下就覺得慶幸,因為這裡才是飽覽店裡獨有風景的最佳位置。

站在吧檯前、負責料理的店員把手上的麵包放進小小的焗爐,放一人份的長形牛奶麵包就剛剛好,一邊備料、一邊和熟客閒聊,每一步都不慌不忙、輕聲細語的,不知是因為外面仍下著小雨,還是旅人心裡始終夢幻,這樣的光景就像起了一層霧,變成我偶爾的日常。

點了烘焙程度最深的手沖咖啡,幾乎是每到日本咖啡店的指定動作,雖然間中還是會被喫茶店裡老派得極吸引的whisky coffee誘惑過去。沖咖啡的店員在我們面前仔細澆著熱水,蒸氣升起高過她的眉頭再慢慢褪去,我邊忍不住用表情讚嘆嘴裡的牛奶麵包,也偷吃了一口旁邊那位的蛋沙拉三文治。咖啡來到。誠心地呷一口,是早餐中的完美頓點,而且第一口總是令人心滿意足。

在離開後散步的時候,才發覺忘了記下咖啡豆子的名字,但也沒所謂了,這樣才是旅行最好的時候吧。

下次也要再來啊。

The aroma of coffee was lingering on my lips. The air still retained the moisture brought along by the sudden rain, but the smell of the freshly toasted milk bread simply made the air crispy again. Sandwiched between the two slices of bread were bacon, sliced tomato, and spinach. The irresistible smell of bacon combined with the fresh vegetables became one of the best ways to begin a beautiful day. How I wish enjoyable mornings like this would come and greet me every day. “I’m starving…” When traveling, I always crave tasting the everyday food of the local people. This feeling gives me constant hunger. Food is one of the best ways to remember a place because the taste of food is always honest; the memory is, therefore, closest to the reality.

It was my first time to ride on a bus in Japan. I was hoping to experience the everyday life of a local. It started to rain once I hopped off the bus, but it was joyful even when I got soaked. A few steps away from the bus stop I spotted the round-shaped sign of Ichikawaya Coffee hanging at its doorstep. I could not wait to push open the antique looking dark brown wooden door. We entered and was led to the seats close to the cafe counter. The long and round tables looked very nice, but of course, seats facing the street offered the best view. After all, we were glad to be seated by the counter, which was the best place to oversee every corner of the cafe.

The staff standing behind the counter was also the chef of the cafe. We were watching him putting the bread into the small oven that was just the right fitting for one portion of the long milk bread. While preparing the dip at ease, he was as well chatting to the regular customer in a low voice. Was it because of the drizzle outside or was it because of my holiday mood? This scenery looked misty and I began to see it as my routine.

A cup of strong pour-over coffee is what I usually order when visiting a cafe in Japan. At other times, I would be lured by the charmingly old-fashioned Whisky coffee at the kissatens. We could see the barista carefully boiling the water; the steam rose to her eyebrows and then dissipated. After praising the delicious milk bread, I also had a bite of egg salad sandwich that my travel companion ordered. Our coffee finally arrived. I took a sip and enjoyed it from the bottom of my heart. This came off as such a perfect pause of our breakfast. I always find the first sip of coffee so satisfying.

After leaving the cafe, we took a stroll in the nearby area. Only until then I came to realize I have forgotten to ask for the name of the coffee bean. It is no big deal anyway, this is the true essence of traveling.

“I’ll come again next time,” I said to myself.


市川屋珈琲
〒605-0875 京都府京都市東山区渋谷通東大路西入鐘鋳町396-2