Miyoshi (series: kissaten reviews)
I order iced coffee and buttered toast and they are served with syrup and milk for the coffee and a salt shaker for the toast. I might write in my notebook but only to look occupied. If I have a book to read, I might open it and skim a few pages. I wanted to take a walk through the places mentioned. I go out to get away from work. The kissaten is a five minute walk away, in Senzoku, right on the edge of Yoshiwara, behind the Ōtori Shrine. The interior is austere. Natural light comes in from the big windows that face an intersection. Maybe the lack of a particular atmosphere has kept this kissaten alive, while dozens of others in the neighborhood are shuttered. This is not a neighborhood kissaten, where people you know might stop by. There is no chit-chat. Tables are far enough apart that it feels private and anonymous. The coffee is not outstanding. The menu has no surprises. There is no smoked glass Shōwa glamour. But the blankness is appealing. The proprietors are professional. Men walking through Yoshiwara stop here and drink their iced coffee quickly and go out again to walk back to Minowa Station. Women working in Yoshiwara stop here and eat plates of Napolitan. The coffee is gritty.