Café and Bar Uruwashi was founded in 1965, when Nakamura-san’s aunt, who had worked for the renowned bar, Club Uruwashi, in Ginza, Tokyo, opened her own bar here in Fukuromachi. Nakamura-san or “Akie Mama” is originally from Osaka, and managed a coffee shop and snack bar in Kyoto. In 2018, she took over Café & Bar Uruwashi, following her aunt’s wishes, to begin a new chapter with the place.
Kyoto is a center of history, culture, and art where people, things, and information converge from all over the world. Realizing the value of the exposure and information she gained in Kyoto, she welcomes and engages with customers using this wealth of experience and various forms of media. As the bar is located near the entrance of the district, she hopes it will also serve as an information center for visitors and keeps books and magazines about local travel and history of the city on her bookshelves. She is also eager to learn about more of Japan and of the world to better serve her customers, wherever they may be from.
Anytime something interesting catches her ear, she immediately looks it up on her phone. She says that keeping up to date and well-informed helps her serve customers better. She was surprised that few seemed to know Fukuromachi had been depicted in the famous novel, Hana no Shogai by Seiichi Funahashi, featuring the main character, Naosuke Ii, the Edo period daimyo lord of the Hikone domain, so she was compelled to share more of the area’s local history. With 40 years of life experience, she says, “I love people and truly enjoy my job. So, I’ll continue doing my best as long as I live.”