Spectacular on the outside, and awe-inspiring on the inside, Sfera’s purpose-built premises is a contemporary landmark in the heart of Kyoto’s historic Gion district. Renovated in 2003, the building plays a central role in the city’s cultural landscape by bringing design, craft, art and cuisine together in a single venue. The retail spaces showcase an inspiring selection of design products and craft items, while the bar and café create spaces for relaxation. The exhibition space runs an exciting programme of art and design events, giving SferaBuilding an atmosphere of creativity and inspiration.


11:00-19:00 Closed on Wednesdays
0F Cafe DOnG by Sfera Tel. +81(0)75-532-1070
1F SferaShop Tel. +81(0)75-532-1105
2F SferaArchive / SferaExhibition Tel. +81(0)75-532-1106
3F SferaBarSATONAKA Tel. +81(0)75-541-1197 (19:00-28:00 Closed on Sundays)

Fax. +81(0)75-532-1109
SferaBuiding 17 Benzaitan-cho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto 605-0086 JapanMAP

The Architecture

When Sfera’s premises was renovated by Swedish architects Claesson Koivisto Rune in 2003, we expanded the original structure to comprise a total floor area of 1,200 square metres. Today, the building is characterised by its metal-clad façade, which covers the pre-existing structure with an external screen made from titanium panels. The titanium is perforated with a digital collage of cherry leaves that diffuses the daylight as it passes through. The design is essentially two separate, but coexisting, structures that create dynamic atmospheres inside the building as well as on the façade.

Café DOnG by Sfera

Enjoy the contemporary décor and refreshing beverages served in the Sfera café, which overlooks the leafy promenade flanking the building’s west side. Relaxed, yet elegant, the cafe serves freshly-ground coffee made from our own unique blends, along with traditional Japanese teas such as Ousu, Sencha and Hoija-cha. Beverages include fresh juices, fruit cocktails, sparkling wines and organic beers. The café serves dishes chosen according to the season and the availability of fresh ingredients. Specialities include Japanese Jo-namagashi and a selection of contemporary Japanese sweets created in partnership with local manufacturers.


From unique craft items to cutting-edge contemporary designs, the Sfera Shop offers some of the world's most desirable household accessories. The shop is a destination in itself, which primarily sells Sfera’s original, own-branded products, The range includes traditional Japanese crafts, many of which have evolved into modern products. The selection is a seamless blend of time-honoured craftsmanship and cutting-edge, contemporary design. As the product ranges reflect the changing nature of design, they also showcase the timeless appeal of natural materials.


Design and art are continually evolving, so Sfera’s exhibition space changes to suit the themes we explore. As we present exhibitions that showcase new visual forms, we also investigate ideas ranging from philosophy, art and design, to fashion, music and literature. Our exhibition programme reflects wider movements in design and art, aligning Sfera with other parts of Kyoto's cultural landscape.

Selected past exhibitions

  • Taku Hotehama ‘Spring again’

    Taku Hotehama ‘Spring again’

  • Nao Hara ‘Sometimes people say they hate what they really love’

    Nao Hara ‘Sometimes people say they hate what they really love’

  • Thonik「Thonik alphabets@sfera kyoto」

    Thonik「Thonik alphabets@sfera kyoto」

  • Aldo Bakker「Time&care」

    Aldo Bakker ‘Time&care’

  • Shoji Morinaga ‘Deformation’

    Shoji Morinaga ‘Deformation’

  • Sanae Nishio ’Calcite’

    Sanae Nishio ’Calcite’

  • Fuku Fukumoto ‘An air of quality’

    Fuku Fukumoto ‘An air of quality’

  • JDS Architects ‘Agendibition’

    JDS Architects ‘Agendibition’

  • d.lab ’Objects around the tablescape’

    d.lab ’Objects around the tablescape’

  • Chinatsu Kambayashi ’Winter is here!’

    Chinatsu Kambayashi ’Winter is here!’

  • ‘Miyagemon-ten’


  • Tomoko Azumi x Maxray x Takeo ’Remains of the light’

    Tomoko Azumi x Maxray x Takeo ’Remains of the light’

  • Bae Sangsun Solo exhibition

    Bae Sangsun Solo exhibition

  • Ryuta Iida ‘Ryuta Iida in SferaExhibition’

    Ryuta Iida ‘Ryuta Iida in SferaExhibition’

  • Kuroda Kiyoshi ‘Discolor 2’

    Kuroda Kiyoshi ‘Discolor 2’

  • Yuko Nagayama Solo exhibition

    Yuko Nagayama Solo exhibition

  • Nithikul Nimkulrat ‘Paper world’

    Nithikul Nimkulrat ‘Paper world’

  • Markus Moström ’Wrapping’

    Markus Moström ’Wrapping’

  • Mie Morimoto ’SferaPhoto’

    Mie Morimoto ’SferaPhoto’

  • Claesson Koivisto Rune ‘Nine houses’

    Claesson Koivisto Rune ‘Nine houses’


The second floor retail space is a uniquely tactile environment where design and crafts can be experienced and enjoyed. Showcased in compelling displays, the products are an inviting mixture of objects to buy and be inspired by. In our eyes, each product is a precious artefact, but we still invite shoppers to feel their textures with their hands as they appreciate their uniqueness with their eyes. The space is a haven for contemporary products from international designers, Japanese craftsmen and leading design brands.


Located on the third floor, SferaBar exudes understated glamour, comfort and style. The bar is characterised by its subdued atmosphere, created by lighting effects that mimic the muted colours of the night sky. Guests may sit at the bar or find a seat in one of the spaces screened off from the main area. The bar is furnished with tables and seats designed specifically for the space, and drinks and snacks are served in glasses and tableware selected from brands stocked in the SferaShop. Whether enjoying an after-work drink with colleagues, a glass of wine before dinner or spending an evening in the company of close friends, the bar is a welcoming retreat for anyone wanting a temporary escape from the fast pace of urban life.