This old onsen was turned into a cafe! The description on the official website says it’s like Spirited Away. That alone is enough to make anyone want to go, right?
I was staying in a hostel near Gion so I wondered if it would be a little too far, but it was really easy to take a bus there and make the short walk down a couple neighborhoods to the cafe. A lot of things close early in Kyoto (like temples), but this cafe is open till 11 pm (last order at 10pm) every day except Wednesdays, so you could come here after and spend the whole time staring at everything, like I did. (Info and location in English on Inside Kyoto.)
Since I was snacking in an onsen, I guess I expected some sort of mood music, but the background music turned out to be old anime hits that I recognized from my high school years (or something similar). I thought it was weird at first, but it ended up making for a happy and whimsical cafe-going experience.
There’s actually a cool “see inside” feature on Google Maps that allows you to explore the inside of the cafe in high quality. You can click around and see the different parts of the cafe. (See inside the cafe.) It makes my pictures seem dull and sad, haha, but it really was fun eating inside the cafe.