Kyoto's Hot New Spot for Healthy Sweets
Koe Donuts is a relatively recent addition to Kyoto's Shingkyogoku shopping street, and while plenty of people are intrigued by the tasty treats inside, many new visitors are drawn in by the contemporary interior design. Architectural designer Kengo Kuma worked to give the donut shop a clean and calm atmosphere, while also bringing interesting Kyoto-style elements into the mix. Travelers are attracted by the woven, basket-like Japanese bamboo decorations clustered on the ceiling, and flowing down the walls.
- The donut display is a simple setup.
- The kitchen, where they make the donuts and some other desserts, is completely open! You can watch the magic happen while you're there.
The Donuts at Koe Donuts
The slogan for the shop is "life happens, donut helps," which is something the JAPANKURU team can certainly get behind. Koe helps by coming out with relatively low-calorie donuts, made with naturally sweet, organic, and local Kyoto ingredients.
- It's easy to see why these donuts, topped with traditional Japanese sweetened beans, are a hit on instagram!
- This being Kyoto, of course there are some donuts topped with luscious matcha.
- If you've got a sweet tooth you won't go home disappointed, but they also make plenty of varieties that are perfect for the refined palates out there. Toppings and fillings like sesame, or lightly sweetened red bean, are sure to please the sugar-averse among us.
- Don't worry about getting sesame seeds all over your hands, or the table. Koe Donuts provides little paper sleeves printed with a kimono-clad girl, which will keep all the seeds, beans, or frosting contained.
Koe Donuts' Einstein-Themed Merchandise
Koe Donuts collaborated with illustrator Yu Nagaba to create a logo featuring the iconic Albert Einstein... admiring a donut.
Which toppings do you think Einstein would have chosen? Strawberry? Green tea?
- You'll find the cute little Einstein all over the shop, including this neon-sign on the wall. It's a popular photo spot, where you can pretend that you're just casually chatting with the physics genius over a donut or two.
- If you find yourself a little charmed by the logo, you'll find a selection of illustrated merchandise in the store. Tote bags, t-shirts, keychains, mugs, hats, etc., grab some goods and you can bring home a unique bit of Kyoto.
- We recommend the mugs, which are a classy addition to any kitchen.
- Or protect yourself from Kyoto's intense summer sun with a cap. Get two and you can match with a friend or special someone.
Kyoto-Style Donuts at Koe
Koe Donuts is our recommendation for tasty sweets in the Shijo Kawaramachi area of Kyoto, but it's also a great place to relax and take a break from your busy travel schedule. Sit down with your donut, let the air conditioning cool you down, and take a couple snapshots with the architecture (and Einstein!) for your instagram before you leave!
Address: 557 Nakanocho, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto
Access: Hankyu Kawaramachi Station - 1 min. from Exit 9
Hours: 8:00 - 20:00