Release Date: Apr 1, 2016
For all you coffee lovers visiting Tokyo for the first time, there are certain areas where clusters of coffee shops have formed that make for the perfect coffee crawl. For this column, we head out of Shibuya station, walk straight past that Starbucks and head down Inokashira-dori to the areas of Tomigaya, Kamiyamacho, Udagawa and Yoyogi. Featured here are 10 coffee shops in that area in no particular order – some new, some old, some small, some cozy, some popular, some not so… but all serving top notch coffee about ten minutes from Shibuya station – give or take a few minutes depending on how many coffees you’ve had.
One of the most featured coffee shops on our site, and possibly the most talked about coffee shop in Japan, there is a lot to fall in love with here at Fuglen. When the sun comes up, your espresso is served from a gorgeous gold Slayer, and after the sun goes down, the shaking of cocktails begin! Fuglen have launched a Norwegian furniture showroom “Norwegian Icons” nearby, which is well worth checking out. We also hear a beer bar produced by Fuglen has opened nearby too! Where would we be without you, Fuglen!?
LITTLE NAP COFFEE STAND
Kinfolk favourite Little Nap Coffee Stand, just by Yoyogi Park, appears on almost every recommended coffee shop list in Tokyo. And after you visit, it’s easy to see why. Daisuke Hamada, the owner, is well respected in the coffee industry having produced various successful coffee shops around town. Hamada-san is also a music lover – you can also find a Little Nap stand pop up at community events and musical festivals – including one at Fuji Rock each year!
5-65-4 Yoyogi Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
ME ME ME
Me Me Me is a hidden gem, depicting something out of a children’s fantasy-like picture book (unfortunately, no children are allowed though). The owner is a Portland lover, and travels to the US regularly to get his hands on some of the cutest goodies to display in his shop, perhaps never seen elsewhere in Japan. Fashion items, accessories, ornaments, toys, vintage items, you name it! Me Me Me is serving Little Nap roasted coffee. It’s well worth checking out!
MAMEHIKO (Udagawacho store)
We have recently become big fans of Mamehiko. The staff are attentive, the cafe itself is very spacious with a kissaten-like feel to it (with free wifi), and the coffee and food is top notch. I struck up a conversation with a customer outside the front of the store who introduced me to the “Mamehiko-Teiki” – a monthly pass where you can have as much coffee and food as you like for a very reasonable amount. Nik and I are considering investing!
MARUTA JOY & FRIENDS
More of a lifestyle shop selling various goods including a great selection of coffee equipment, MJ&FRIENDS has a little setup serving 27 COFFEE ROASTERS beans using pour over or aeropress. You’re also welcome to make your own coffee, or make it together with the staff! The staff are really friendly, and together with the owner hold various events and workshops – the most recent one on letter pressing and an exciting one coming up on an overseas bicycle maker. Stay tuned!
Recently having made an appearance on the ever so popular TV show “Ariyoshi-kun no shojiki sanpo”, the petite Camelback sandwich&espresso has quickly become one of the most popular coffee stops in Tokyo. Coffee is served by former Streamer Coffee barista Kei Suzuki, with a section on the side dedicated to some of the best made to order sandwiches going around. On this day, we try the Brie Cheese Honey and Apple sandwich along with our “Immortal Latte” – and we will definitely be back for more!
Hidden away off a back street sits this adorable little cake shop called Afterhours. We imagine the beautiful tree by the side street boasting the most beautiful colors in the Autumn. Each day there is a selection of six or so different cakes and an assortment of biscuits – we order the recommended strawberry short-cake and it doesn’t disappoint. Our coffee is brewed behind closed doors, but we’re not complaining – you’ll find us here again.
1-7-9 Tomigaya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
365 jours (365日)
Famous for it’s divine bread and brilliant design, 365日 is one of the most popular spots in Tokyo. Though take out seems to be go, there is also a counter on the right that seats six, where you can order coffee (or even a glass of wine). Rumour has it that they’re opening another shop very soon – we look forward to bringing you this update!
1-6-12 Tomigaya Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
THE LATTE TOKYO
After exploring all manner of coffee shops in Japan for going on eight years, it’s safe to say that we’ve been into a number of spaces a lot smaller than what we’re used to back in Australia. That said, we don’t think we’ve seen smaller than this. The Latte Tokyo serves up your latte using “Tokyo Milk” with the option of vanilla, banana, caramel, coconut or chocolate in there too. Eiji-san, your barista who travels each day from Kamakura, is one of the friendliest baristas we’ve met. Pick up some shoes, apparal and a book while you’re in there too. It must be seen to be believed!
We end this column off with our new favourite. Jazz, coffee and mood music is written on the front door – and boy, does this place tick all of these boxes. You can also add a mean curry to that list as well. The owner is a professional jazz musician and is happy to speak to you about the music he is playing or play any of your requests. Siphon coffee is served, and it’s dark and smooth. Intimate jazz performances are regularly held here too.
16-4 Kamiyama-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo