Kitakubo isn’t somewhere that travelers to Kochi usually think of visiting. It isn’t close to other tourist attractions like Obiyamachi or Kochi Castle, but as it is only about ten minutes from Kochi Station it is still easily accessible. There are actually quite a few shops, restaurants, and cafes here, as well as the Museum of Art, which make this overlooked area of Kochi well worth a visit.
Having spent nearly a year living in this area, I’ve had plenty of time to discover what’s hidden amongst the rice paddies and office buildings. Tempo was one of my first discoveries and has remained one of my favorite cafes in Kochi ever since. They offer a variety of espresso-based coffee drinks (I usually get plain espresso but one of my friends loves their caramel latte), cakes from Patisserie Negrita in Obiyamachi, and lunch items like sandwiches and pasta.
On my most recent visit, I ordered a caffe latte and pistachio crumble. Both were excellent. The cafe had the relaxing-but-lively atmosphere it usually has on weekends when it’s busiest. The customers today seemed to be mostly young to middle-aged Japanese women out for lunch with friends as well as a few couples enjoying the fine weather together on the terrace. The staff were friendly and the service was quick.
Tempo is attached to one of the two Attract stores in Kochi. The other location specializes in modern furniture while this location sells clothing, accessories, gifts, and some home decor products. Although a bit more expensive than your average souvenir shop, there are many items that would make unique gifts.
For the few travelers who even make it to Kochi City, Kitakubo probably isn’t on their travel itinerary. If you’re in Kochi and have a day or half-day that needs filling, consider venturing off the standard tourist paths and stop by Kitakubo and track down Tempo for a relaxing, much-needed pit stop.