Kyoto soba confectioner launches store in wooden machiya townhouse
A celebrated Kyoto soba confectioner and restaurant, Honke Owariya, offers a custom-built outlet for its sweet treats courtesy of Osaka-based designer Teruhiro Yanagihara
There is a new addition to Honke Owariya, widely regarded as the oldest Kyoto soba confectioner and restaurant. Today, it is run by 16th-generation owner Ariko Inaoka, who asked Osaka-based designer Teruhiro Yanagihara, creative director of ceramics brand 1616/Arita Japan, to transform an empty bicycle park next to the restaurant, housed in a 19th-century wooden machiya townhouse, into a dedicated sweet shop.
In the new space, a wall of glass showcases a minimalist interior, the contemporary lines of a concrete block counter softened by plaster walls, walnut door frames and atmospheric lighting by New Light Pottery (see W*236). Beneath an old shop sign on the wall, wooden boxes display the confectionery for which Honke Owariya is famed, from soba rice cakes to melt-in-the-mouth soba warabi-mochi.
Meanwhile, a glass side door slides open across a threshold of graphic roof tiles (found buried in the garden during renovations) onto a walled garden. The outdoor space flows towards the machiya entrance, connecting shop to restaurant in this much loved Kyoto soba confectioner. §