The modern dining hall Kyogoku Stand was established in 1927 in the center of Shinkyogoku, Kyoto’s most popular entertainment district. This story began when Haruo Sugiyama, who was born and raised in Asakusa, which was hard-hit by the Great Kanto Earthquake, visited relatives in Kyoto as if to escape the aftermath of the disaster. Upon visiting Shinkyogoku and seeing its many yose comedy clubs, theaters, and movie theaters, Haruo Sugiyama envisioned the nakamise shops that lined Asakusa, where he had grown up. The entertainment he envisioned became Kyogoku Stand, a revolutionary public dining hall where everything was offered for 10 sen.
The shop featured marble tables, tiled counters, and the letter “R” painted directly on mood lighting. This interior combined with its unique system made it an instant topic of conversation among the people. In 1945, ownership was passed onto his son Hiro but due to his dislike for engaging with customers but manager Nakai, who had been the right-hand man of Hiro’s father, took over daily operations. Hiro went on to marry his childhood friend Kazuko, who was taught by the tough manager Nakai in the ways of carrying food, taking orders, and engaging with customers.
The fixed position of the okami is an old American wood cash register manufactured by National that they still use today. The use of a quick calculation table as an order form was proposed by a university professor who was a regular customer. Adding up all the numbers circled in red to the far right of each menu row provides to total for that customer.
Recommended menu: Age soba; 770 yen –A mountain of vegetables that you’d be hard pressed to believe is for only two people, and a smooth yet crunchy texture that quickly becomes a favorite. Omelette w/ demi-gras sauce over rice; 700 yen – The most common menu item for western food. With nearly 100 menu items, from oden to raw fish and various alcoholic beverages, 3,000 yen per person is more than enough to enjoy yourself and be satisfied.
- 546 Nakanocho, Shinkyogoku Shijo Agaru, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto
- Approx. 5 min. walk from Kawaramachi Station on the Hankyu Kyoto line
- 12:00pm to 9:00pm