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Nestled away on a side street just south of the busy intersection of Shijo and Kiyamachi streets, the Western facade of the Salon de the Francois cafe stands out amidst the traditional machiya wooden townhouses.

Inside, the Italian Baroque design, the classical music playing in the background, the old, slightly musty smell of the chairs, and the entire atmosphere evokes the cafe culture of the pre-Internet Showa Era, when people gathered in coffee shops to talk or read books and newspapers.

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