Located deep in Arashiyama area, between Randen Line’s Randen-Saga Station and San-in Line’s Saga-Arashiyama station is ‘Saganoyu’ , a lovely resort style café.


It’s easy to recognize as it stands out with it’s chalk white exterior.

Saganoyu is located in a former public sento (bathhouse) that was built in the late Taisho era (1923) and was in use for around 80 years until it closed it’s doors in 2003. Three years later in 2006, the property was bought and renovated into what is now the extremely popular Saganoyu cafe.



The owners wanted to preserve the history of the building, so during the renovation most parts (some of the walls, flooring, baths, decorative tiling) of the former bathhouse were preserved.


The café consists of the entrance area with a kitchen on the left, a shopping space in the middle and the payment counter (which used to be the famous attendance booth) on the right.


Past the kitchen and shop area up the tiled steps past the sinks you will enter the center and main café area.

The main wall that separated the male and female bath areas has been torn down to unite the two areas into one large café seating area.

Then in the back and to the right of the main area are two other cafe areas. There is a total of fifty seats.




Above that ‘bath’ seating area is a large skylight that lights up the entire room and gives it a charming and comfortable atmosphere.


A beautiful tile artwork from the taisho era, each tile placed by hand one by one.


Not pictured here, the bathhouse had a chimney, a symbol of old sentos. Unfortunately due to the risk of collapsing it had to be torn down.


Through the entrance on the right, are stairs that lead up to the café space on the second floor. It’s a spacious area with a completely white interior with a white hardwood floor, white ceiling and walls featuring beadboard and wainscot paneling. 


The furniture features some beautiful rustic, antique pieces, including church chairs, windsor dk268 chair and a set of lovely leather tub chairs. 


The Kyoma (kyoto style room) on the second floor used to be a residence of which the floor has tilted at least 20 cm during the years. This was straightened again during the renovation.


The large white table with glass plate in the middle of the room used to be a small atrium. You can still see the entrance from above through the glass plate. 


The menu consists of their signature dish ‘White Saganoyu Tofu pasta set’. Yes you read that right, Tofu pasta. It’s a white cream pasta with chicken meatballs and white onion with on top of that a wooden board with bread and delicious chunk of tofu. For additional flavoring there is some “matcha powder, red pepper powder and a little bit of yuzukosho paste”. Yuzukosho is a paste made from chili peppers, yuzu peel and salt. It tastes absolutely fantastic.
For people who can read Japanese and wonder why tofu is written 豆富 instead of 豆腐 on the menu, it’s because the kanji 腐る (kusaru – to go bad, to rot) apparently doesn’t look good to have written on a menu, hence more and more restaurants are using 富む (tomu – to be rich in, to be abundant in) instead.


メニューには豆腐ではなく、「豆富」の漢字が使われています。なぜかというと、腐るという漢字のイメージがあまり良くなくて、美味しそうくない感じるので、最近 「富む」の使い方が増えてきました。

The dish comes with a side of salad with friend renkon (lotus root) and a bottle of homemade sesame seed dressing.

Besides pasta they also have curry plates and even seasonal pancakes. Every season a different style of pancake is offered. Each of them beautifully presented on a plate. 



Besides eating inside there is also an order counter next to the entrance outside for take-out drinks.


Saganoyu is an absolute fantastic cafe with a beautiful interior, a lovely atmoshpere and great food that is a must visit whenever you are in Arashiyama area. 


Here you can find more photos during the renovation.


Interior details・インテリア詳細: Windsor DK268 chair  | Church chairs・教会の椅子


Hours: 11:00 AM ~ 18:00 PM

Nearest Stations & Exit:

Randen Line – Randen-Saga Station

*We always recommend checking the opening hours & holidays on the official website or instagram of the establishment.
Hours: 11:00 AM ~ 18:00 PM
Nearest Stations & Exit:

Randen Line – Randen-Saga Station

*We always recommend checking the opening hours & holidays on the official website or instagram of the establishment.

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