Vert Café in Gyoda Suijo Park captivates the passerby with its atypical European appearance. A beautiful wooden mansion glossed in a light fern green, it is not only aesthetically pleasing, but there is also an interesting backstory of its 100 year history. Moreover, the building has been awarded the coveted title of a tangible Cultural Property of Gyoda City.
Vert Cafe started out as a Credit Association, the equivalent of a modern day bank, in 1922. It is officially referred to as “the former Oshimachi Credit Association Store”. The bank was the central investment office for tabi production in Gyoda City. Gyoda is the largest tabi producing city in Japan since the 1700s. Although built in the 1920s, it looks Georgian in architecture, with its high painted ceilings and cornices. The interior keeps with the exterior. There is symmetry in the doors and windows, the latter of which are long, paneled and numerous.
Vert Cafe opened in the Cultural Property in September 2018. The main menu isn’t particularly large, but they have a nice choice of healthy homemade food. I love the fact that even their desserts are healthier than most as they substitute cream with tofu. Another thing I love about this cafe is that it is run by moms, hence the child friendliness of the establishment.
The cafe is particularly suited to children under seven. It has a healthy and reasonably priced kids menu. They even have a small play area downstairs for young children. It has a good selection of books. There are some toys and they have a lovely wooden play kitchen. In the room there is a travel cot to lay down a baby. Upstairs where the main seating area is, there is a nursing room and baby diaper changing facilities. There is an elevator to this floor.
Located in the Gyoda Suijo Park, the cafe enjoys beautiful views of the park lake. In springtime the park is renowned for its cherry blossoms. There are some tables outside you can use. In fine weather they put up sun umbrellas. The cafe only opens in the afternoons, from 2 pm to 5 pm on weekdays and from 11 am on Saturdays and Sundays. There are no official holidays, but sometimes the cafe closes early. You can see any notifications of such on the official website.
If visiting Gyoda in late summer or early Autumn don't miss the incredible rice field art at Kodai Hasu no Sato.