Find the hidden essence of Japan voice cream

From the ancient time to the present. A place to visit for Asuka tourism, a crossroads of time

A retro café where it feels like you’ve slipped back in time, nearby the Ishibutai Kofun (stacked-rock burial mound)

While reminiscent of ancient Asuka, one’s mind lingers on scenery from the Edo period. This is an essential spot to visit on a stroll around Asuka Village, where the couple made a new start, moving into a 200-year old building to open the café Kotodama in March 2015.

Self-renovation of a former sake brewery built nearly 200 years ago by a couple charmed by Asuka Village

Mr.Junichi Kato and his wife Tsuneko are diehard fans of Asuka Village. They say, “Asuka Village is a place that just gets more fascinating the more that you know about history. This shop must have been part of a shrine long ago. Doesn’t it give you the shivers knowing that Empress Jitou walked in this very spot?”

Both of them were so interested in history that they moved here from outside the prefecture to open the café.

The thick beams, latticed windows, and interior garden lanterns leave an aura of the Edo period, and the interior also reflects modern taste, giving a nicely sparse feeling of nostalgia. The tableware used in the shop is mainly Japanese tableware.

There is also a feeling of Asian fusion, with long plates made by artists, and Korean and Chinese tableware also mixed in.

The well-known sweet treat, Korean style Patbingsu shaved ice, full of fruit grown in Asuka Village

We recommend the Kotodama Lunch, which uses plenty of Asuka-grown vegetables, for a healthy and large lunch. They like to use products from Asuka Village as much as they can, including vegetables, rice and tofu.

Because there are limits on the amount they can prepare, they sometimes sell out, so it is recommended to make a reservation in advance.

In addition to Japanese dishes with a hint of Asian flavor, it includes dessert and a drink, so it is known as a place where you can enjoy leisurely conversation after a meal.

(The photograph shows eight dishes, including the Kishu plum chicken dish with plum sauce and Asuka tofu mabo spring roll.)

Tsuneko says, “Our idea is that people will exclaim ‘Wow!’ at the moment that the dishes are presented. The decorations are important, but more than anything we want people to enjoy it and fill their stomachs up.”

Drinks like coffee from Kouhi-ya Naramachi, or the Japanese black tea made by Kaheehonpo, are popular at tea time, along with hand-made sweets.


In the jointly established gallery TE-HI-TO, artwork by young artists from Nara is displayed for sale. How about visiting when you are out for a stroll to find satisfaction while enjoying the food and conversation?


café Kotodama
10:00 - 17:00(Sat/Sun/National Holliday-18:00)Closed: every Tuesday and 3rd Wednesday
1223 Oka, Asuka-mura, Takaishi-gun, Nara Pref.

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