This is a real find to be treasured. An unassuming little café near Demachiyanagi station, I must have walked past Lush Life a thousand times before finally noticing it today, stepping inside, and bursting out laughing. Outside, it just looks like your average run-of-the-mill café. But inside – it’s so nice! Like a little wooden jazz-lover’s den, with one wall decorated floor to ceiling with record covers and a nice cozy counter to sit at. Everyday, there’s a simple but tasty “dish of the day” if you want something to eat. Or you can enjoy some of the luscious looking homemade cake. Today’s lunch was chicken curry (the owner was kind enough to make me a vegetarian bean curry instead) which I thoroughly enjoyed while listening to Nina Simone singing her Backlash Blues. And the coffee? That made me laugh too, because it was so good! Better than how I like it!
Here are some pictures, to put you in the mood. Click through to flickr for a better look.
Lush Life (named after the jazz standard by Billy Strayhorn) has been open 19 years under the current ownership, but there has been a jazz café on this spot since the 60’s and judging by the number of regular customers who have their “keep” coffee tickets tacked to the walls, I’d guess it’ll be around for a long time to come. Although, it’s a small shop, a quick look at the website reveals they have sponsored performances in Kyoto by the major jazz pianists Abdullah Ibrahim and Randy Weston.
This happy little place is open from 12:00 ~ 24:00 everyday except Tuesdays. Tel: 075-781-0199.
You can find it to the side of the taxi rank just opposite the Eizan exit of Demachiyanagi Station. There’s a fairly obvious cycle rental store next door. Here is a map.