There’s a tree-lined canal that runs between Shirakawa and Higashioji Dori that is one of Kyoto’s best kept secrets. Follow it south and then east and it leads on to the far more famous 哲学の道 (“The Path of Philosophy”), but follow it north in the springtime and you can enjoy the cherry blossom here minus the crowds of tourists, and in June it’s also a good area to spot fireflies. りほう (“Rihou”) is a charming cafe and art gallery that sits by this canal just north of Mikage Dori. Bring a book, enjoy the excellent coffee and maybe even treat yourself to a slice of cake. They have regular exhibitions on the second floor too. All in all an excellent way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon.
Here are some pictures from the first floor cafe. You can click through to flickr for a better look.
And here is a previous exhibition on the second floor. The title of the exhibition was: 植物と硝子と or ” With Greenery, With Glass” by 中村彩 and 今井美智 (March 2007).
To find りほう go north on Shirakawa Dori from Imadegawa, and then turn left onto Mikage Dori. After a short walk you will see a flower shop and then the canal, turn right and りほう will be on your left again.
Open: 11:00 ~ 19:00 / Closed on Wednesdays