In between Tokyo’s mile-high skyscrapers, a million passengers pass through every day without recognising each other. This extremely fast pace slows down in coffee shops, the smaller the better. A coffee shop with no more than three stools doesn’t invite you for lingering but rather for a short personal experience. Facing a barista and a fellow caffeine-thirsty customer surely loosens up the atmosphere and leaves you randomly chatting about what brings you here. This time I am settling down in tiny coffee shops with serious-minded coffee makers. … COFFEE AND ICE CREAM | Little Nap Coffee Stand On the back side of Yoyogi park, Little Nap Coffee Stand is not easy to find but people make their way to this side of Tokyo just to sip its coffee. Having featured in many publications, this coffee shop is a popular destination for tourists, both Japanese and foreigners. Little Nap Coffee Stand is run by Daisuke Hamada and it wouldn’t be wrong to say that he is one of the most recognised baristas in Tokyo. Hamada is involved in every aspect of running a …
I have always described Japan as a country of perfection, from manners to dedication. Visiting Tokyo for the third time, I was not surprised to encounter extraordinary hospitality and a sacred-like coffee preparation. While quality was exceptional in most of the cafes, I was rather deeply moved by the creativity and the design of some coffee shops I came across. Whereas coffee quality is the top priority, cafes in Tokyo go one step further to improve customers’ experience. Japanese minimalistic architecture mixed with Western influences inspired designers and coffee lovers to transform industrial and residential space into impressive designs. This time I focus on eye-catching café designs in Tokyo. Here’s the top five. KI CAFE Hidden one station away from Shimokitazawa, a commercial and entertainment district in Setagaya, Ki Café invites Tokyoites to run away from the crowd to a mesmerizing white forest. Ki Café is a true fusion of modernism and minimalism somewhere in between zen philosophy and urban city. No surprise that this little coffee shop has made to top 10 best designed …
In this simple, pure space a guest can savour his coffee and let his mind flow in tranquility. The minimalism culture that had been nurtured in Japan since ancient times has adapted modern influences in Tokyo. Ki Café is a true fusion of modernism and minimalism somewhere in between zen philosophy and urban city. Hidden one station away from Shimokitazawa, a commercial and entertainment district in Setagaya, Ki Café invites Tokyoites to run away from crowd to a mesmerizing white forest. Ki (木) means ‘tree’ in Japanese and details of it can be seen around the shop. While most of the design magazines describe Ki as cafe with an abstract tree theme, it is much more than that. According to the owner, Yuko, the main inspiration is ‘white’, which spreads tranquility and at the same time invites to reach a mental state of no-mind (無心). At the entrance, you will be asked to take off your shoes as if you enter a sacred space. There is no music in the background. No excessive details either. …
When you first hear the name of coffee shop like LC-1A, it does not stuck to your memory straight away. The mystical letters and numbers do not give you a clue what it is all about. You make a guess, such as LC-1A might stand for ‘Love Coffee – First Aspiration’ but actually you have no clue. It is much more simple than that and this complicated name is a coffee master’s big life passion – vintage speakers.
Where to start and where to finish. Let me begin by saying that PIPIPI is the most adorable and personal cafe I have ever been to. Japanese are well known for their madness for cute things, also known as kawaii culture. However, when you take a train from Tokyo towards South, the understanding of ‘cute’ is absolutely different. Colourful clothes, hand-made decorations, vintage teaspoons, flowers and anything basically related to beach – those are some of the things that are highly appreciated and referred as cute in Shonan.
On rainy days I find myself sitting in a quiet cafe. As I have been living all my life in Europe, where rain comes and goes, Japanese one month rainy season has been a quite surprise to me. Like most of the people, my mood depends on weather a lot. I found a perfect place for me to survive those rainy mornings in a beautiful old cafe Mokichi (モキチ).
Caffeine addicted Tokyoites make their way towards Southern Beach in order to fuel themselves with positive energy and great coffee. Surfers and locals beloved coffee shops’ popularity is growing on a national scale with those who are craving for summer vibes. Let me take you to surfing and beach inspired hidden coffee shop and gallery – YUYU atelier gallery café.
Light jazz music, dusk light, smooth coffee. Miniature trees, collection of cactuses, loads of books and little sculptures from the childhood – all neatly organized in the old style Japanese house. Located on Sakuramichi Road, in Chigasaki, Hachiya cafe satisfies all my temptations.
Sunny day in Chigasaki. I was walking down the beachside, wandering in the narrow streets of this city and looking where I could have a cup of coffee. And suddenly very strange question appeared in front of my eyes – Do you know coffee? The owner of that shop and coffee-pro Nii answers this question instead of me “I don’t know coffee” (it’s the name of this coffee shop). And only after having his made coffee, you realize “Maybe I don’t know coffee, but whatever it is, give me one more cup”.
This one I should say is a smart layout coffee shop. In front of big cafe’s windows small trees are being grown mainly for two reasons: first, as exterior detail and second, as a hideaway for customers. While you are having your coffee, reading a book or just relaxing, you are invisible to others outside as they cannot see you. Despite that, you can see every person walking by. So, basically you can observe people closely without being called weirdo.
Shonan has to offer the great variety of coffee beans as well as art. It is becoming more common to combine coffee shops with art space. LAMACoffee is a good example of it. Owner seems to be an extra creative guy as his outfit stands out of the crowd. The interior of this place is also unusual. The coffee shop is divided into 3 spaces: front, back and the second floor (room used for exhibitions). In order to choose your seat to have a cuppa, ask yourself how do you feel like.