Inoda Coffee (イノダコーヒ)

Inoda Coffee is a chain of coffee shops headquartered in Kyoto City. It is operated by Kabushiki Kaisha Inoda Coffee (株式会社イノダコーヒ). It is sometimes written as "イノダコーヒー," but its official name does not have any macron at the end. A pictorial device representing a red coffee pot is used in its trademark. Also, a painting of 'a donkey and a man transporting beans' painted by Shichiro INODA, who was the founder of the company is also a symbol of the company.

In addition to several shops deployed in the central part of the city including the main shop on the corner of Sakaimachi-dori and Sanjo-dori Streets in Nakagyo Ward in Kyoto City, it recently setup branches in the immediate vicinity of Sapporo Station, Tokyo Station, Hiroshima Station, etc. mainly in the Daimaru department stores. Shops in Kyoto City have a smoking section and adopted a bunen system (system of diving seats into smoking and non-smoking areas).

Production Structure
It is operated as a high class establishment and offers coffee and other drinks at a price range that is double of those of major chains such as Starbucks and Tully's Coffee. In the past, sugar and milk were served already mixed in the coffee, but in recent years, customers are asked if they want them separately. On the other hand, there is dekamori Kinki chiho (extra-large helping in Kinki region) for light meals like sandwich and 'Kyo no choshoku' (breakfast of Kyoto), a large volume breakfast can be eaten within the main shop. The company has its own roasting plant and cake manufacturing plant, as well as coffee beans and ground powder which are sold not only in shops, but also in department stores, supermarkets and tea shops in various places in Japan. Its blended coffee named 'Arabian Pearl' is particularly famous. Tableware such as coffee cups and accessories are offered in addition to coffee through their own shops and an online mail order system.

It was founded in June 1940, when Shichiro INODA started a wholesale overseas coffee business, located in the place where the current main shop exists, and in August 1947 opened the first coffee shop. At that time, customers devoted themselves to conversation and as the coffee become cold, the surgar and milk would not mix well. This kickstarted the tradition of serving coffee with sugar and milk mixed ahead of time. In May 1958, Yugen Kaisha Inoda Coffee was established as a corporation and started by opening Nijodori branch in 1964, while shops were deployed in Kyoto City. In the early 1970's, fashion magazines aimed at women, such as anan and non-no were founded, and shops were introduced by such magazines and the ratio of female customers exceeded half; this trend has continued up to the present.

In 1978, their blended coffee 'Arabian Pearl,' which is the leading product even today, was launched. Since its foundation, it has been carrying out in-house roasting, and, in 1987, opened a cake manufacturing plant and was renewed in 1994 together with the roasting plant. In June 1993, the founder, Shichiro INODA, died and his first son, Hiroshi INODA, assumed the position of the president the following month. In 1995, the capital was increased to thirty million yen and the company was changed into a kabusiki kaisha (joint-stock company). It has expanded its business, for example, by opening the Hiroshima branch in 1999 as the first shop outside Kyoto. In 2007, Hiroshi INODA assumed the position of chairman, and Masayasu FUJIWARA assumed the position of president.

Inside Kyoto City
Main shop, Doyu-cho, Sakaimachi-dori Sanjo-dori sagaru, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto City, 205 seats in total
It is located in the spot where the company was founded and the head office exists in the same place. The wooden shop building that had existed since its foundation was extended in 1967 and used, but was partly destroyed by fire during preparation for its opening on April 9, 1999. As the shop was located in the semi-fire protection district, the shop could not be reconstructed as it was before. Shinsuke UTSUMI (an employee of Takenaka Corporation), who designed the Sagawa Art Museum, designed the shop, and the aluminium external wall was painted with woodtone and partly in Bengal red to create the atmosphere of a merchant house of Kyoto. A portion of the second story is finished with metal trowel finished mortar and painted in black and, although the building is made with reinforced concrete, it is fairly impressive. During its rebuilding, seats for customers on the second floor were made and, on the first floor, a window with glass measuring five meters was provided. Since March 16, 2000, it was reopened and it has the largest number of seats of customers among shops.

Sanjo Branch, Masuya-cho, Sanjo-dori Sakaimachi-dori Higashi-iru, Nakagyo Ward; fifty-eight seats in total
It was opened in 1970 and is the nearest branch to the main shop. It has a unique round counter from which customers can observe coffee being made in front of them. Many regular customers sit around this round table. While the main shop was closed due to fire, this shop changed the opening time early in order to supplement this. After the main shop was reopened, it was rebuilt.

Shijo Branch, Tachiurinishi-machi, Shijo-dori Higashinotoin-dori Higashi-iru, Shimogyo Ward; one hundred and sixty seats in total
In 1965, it was opened in the basement of the building and, in 1975, the second basement was also opened as a shop. It has the largest number of seats for customers among all the branches and smoking is allowing in all seats in the basement and its menu is rich with a variety of refreshments and has a lot of regular customers. All seats on the second basement are non-smoking and the menu contains a rich variety of dishes such as all sorts of rice omelets and seasonal menus, with families and groups patronizing the store.

Coffee Saloon Branch, Tachiurinishi-machi, Shijo-dori Takakura-dori Nishi-iru, Shimogyo Ward; fifty-four seats in total
It was opened in 1970, and exists on the first floor of the Daimaru Kyoto store located on the same block as Shijo Branch. It is the first shop opened in Daimaru.

Porta Branch, Higashishiokoji-cho, Shimogyo Ward; eighty-one seats in total
It was opened in 1980 in Porta, which is an underground mall in front of Kyoto. It is the shop nearest to Kyoto Station.

Kiyomizu Branch, Kiyomizu, Higashiyama Ward; one hundred seats in total
It is the newest shop in Kyoto City, opened in 2000. Partly because it is located near Kiyomizu-dera Temple, it has a pure Japanese-style building with slated roof.

Other than Kyoto
Sapporo Daimaru Branch, Kita-gojo Nishi 4-chome, Chuo Ward Sapporo City; fifty-four seats in total
In 2003, it was opened on the seventh floor of the Daimaru Sapporo store. It was the first shop in Hokkaido.

Sapporo Kinokuniya Branch, Kita-gojo Nishi 5-chome, Chuo Ward, Sapporo City; forty-nine seats in total
In 2005, it was opened on the first and second floors of the Sapporo main shop of Kinokuniya book store. The first floor is sapporo55cafe, which specializes in take out while the second floor is the tea room.

Tokyo Daimaru Branch, Marunouchi, Chiyoda Ward; fifty-eight seats in total
When the Daimaru Tokyo store moved to GranTokyo in 2007, it was opened on the eighth floor of the same building. It is the newest and first shop in Tokyo. One of its unique dishes includes Linz cake.

Kuzuha Mall Branch, Kuzuha Hanazono-cho, Hirakata City, Osaka Prefecture; sixty-eight seats in total
It was opened in 2005 in the Kuzuha mall. It is the only shop in Osaka Prefecture.

Hiroshima Branch, Matsubara-cho, Minami Ward, Hiroshima City; nineteen seats in total
First branch outside Kyoto, opened in 1999. It was also the first shop where all seats were non-smoking. It is located in the basement of the Fukuya, Hiroshima Ekimae shop and the number of seats is the smallest among all shops.

Regular Customers
It has close connections with the world of art; Shichiro INODA, who was the founder held a post as supervisor of the Nika Association and the main shop appeared in movies, Yorunokawa in which Fujiko YAMAMOTO played the leading role and Koto (novel) where Sayuri YOSHINAGA played the leading role. The following male authors and artists were known as regular customers.

Junichiro TANIZAKI (novelist)
Shotaro IKENAMI (novelist)
Kozaburo YOSHIMURA (film director)
Kayo YAMAGUCHI (painter)
BONNIE PINK (singer)

[Original Japanese]