When you want some coffee but also want to enter another world.
Japan has plenty of exclusive restaurants and ryokan, traditional Japanese inns. There’s Kabuto, the eel restaurant in Tokyo that has a six-month waiting list for reservations. There’s Tomaya, the ryokan in Iwate Prefecture that only accepts reservations by postcard.
And there’s also ANGEL LIBRARY, a cafe in the Gion District of Kyoto, that is so exclusive you need a special code to even get inside.
ANGEL LIBRARY was recently brought to the attention of the Japanese internet by @probotprobot who posted this about their visit: (translation and pictures below)
次に京都に行くときに行きたいカフェがある！ 祇園のマリベルにある秘密のカフェ「ANGEL LIBRARY」 店内のスタッフにカフェを利用したいと告げると暗号を渡され店の裏にある扉に入力、そして地下への階段を降りるとそこには… https://t.co/LIr8pjzAzL—
ﾐｸﾙ (@probotprobot) May 19, 2016
“There’s a cafe I want to go to next time I go to Kyoto!
It’s a secret cafe underneath CACAO MARKET in Gion.
You tell a staff member that you want to use the cafe, and then they will hand you a secret code. You have to go around to the back to a door behind the building and put in the code, then when you go downstairs….”
▼ So just to recap, this is not a photo of the cafe. It’s merely a distraction
to keep the masses away from the hidden ANGEL LIBRARY.
▼ After being given a code, which changes every day,
you go around back to a very magical-looking door.
▼ And then you descend a very ominous staircase to find…
▼ …the cafe hidden underneath!
From looking at other photos, ANGEL LIBRARY seems to live up to its name. The decor is made up of books, shelves, angel paintings, and other angel-related memorabilia.
▼ Some pictures of ANGEL CAFE that make it feel like
you’ve just discovered a hidden library inside a mansion.
angel libraryは部屋の内装もすっごいそれっぽいし、音楽もあってる曲の選曲でめっちゃ好きな空間だった◎ 待ち時間が少し長めだったから時間のある時にでもまた行けたらいいな… https://t.co/EUVLbjzCki—
パン駄 (@pandasan0420) January 26, 2017
▼ The downright holy-looking warning not to bump your head
on the low ceiling, and a few angels that decorate the interior.
ANGEL LIBRARY👼 https://t.co/mqL0qjzXuv—
hana (@unicorn9724) June 25, 2016
▼ Even the secret code you’re given to access the cafe
is printed on mysterious-looking paper with a key.
カフェ利用ですって言ったら秘密の番号渡されて地下のエンジェルライブラリーに降りていく なにこの乙女仕様！！！しかも若いお嬢さんと一緒やで… https://t.co/CpGhr0uB6p—
四股松=サン(ドッソイ＝サン改) (@A_H0126) December 23, 2016
If you’ve ever wanted that feeling like you’re going into a hidden-away world, like in Alice in Wonderland or Narnia, but you’re short on magical rabbit holes and wardrobes, then ANGEL LIBRARY seems like an excellent alternative.
And at least the secret code to get in is a lot easier to get than other places like Ataraxia Cafe, where you have to pass an otaku test to even get inside.
Address: Kyoto-fu, Kyoto-shi, Higashiyama-ku, Tokiwacho 165-2
京都府 京都市東山区 常盤町 165-2 B1F
Open 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.