People of Tokyo, Japan, just like the natives of any other Asian country, prefer tea over coffee. However, this trend has changed over the years. If you visit Tokyo, you will see more coffee shops now than tea stalls.
During the Sakoku period in Japan during the 1638-1858 period, foreign merchants could not trade with Japan. During that period, Japanese people only drank tea. But right after the Sakoku period ended and the Meiji restoration took place, Japan opened its door to foreign good. And one such good was coffee. The first-ever coffee shop named Kahiichakan opened in Japan back in the year 1888.
Only a decade ago, there were only a few shops in Tokyo that sold Specialty Coffee. The Third Coffee Wave has also left its marks on Tokyo, and many dedicated coffee shops cater to the young generation’s taste profile.
What is so Different about the Japanese Specialty Coffee Scene
The Coffee scene in Tokyo is not entirely new. There are a few coffee shops that have been in the business for decades. But if you go there now, you will only find older adults hanging out and watching the news on the TV.
Global Franchises like Starbucks have their stores in Toyko, but many independent coffee shops sell specialty coffee. All of them share a love for the art of coffee brewing.
In Tokyo, you will find coffee shops with menus that cater to the older generation’s preference. On the other hand, you will also find many coffee shops that are a buzzing spot for the young generation.
Specialty Coffee Shops in Tokyo, Japan
Onibus Coffee Nakameguro (2-14-1 Kamimeguro, Tokyo)
Nakameguro is a popular tourist spot in Tokyo. During the Cherry blossom season, thousands of locals and tourists alike flock to this place. After enjoying the beauty of the Cherry gardens, they visit this coffee shop for refreshment.
The Nakameguro Onibus coffee shop is located just beside the Nakameguro metro station in a traditional Japanese house. This coffee shop has two floors. The first floor houses the coffee roaster and the counter where you have to place your order. And on the top floor, you will find the seating area.
The Roastery by Nozy Coffee (5-17-13, Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo)
the Roastery by Nozy Coffee is situated in the Shibuya province. After getting off at the Harajuku station, only a 10-minute walk down Omotesando Avenue on Cat street. This coffee shop is famous for serving single-origin coffee.
This coffee shop procures the coffee beans fresh every day and roasts the amount beforehand. To ensure higher quality, they do not use coffee beans that were roasted the day before. This coffee shop is a partnership between two other popular coffee chains – Nozy Coffee and Tysons & Company.
Along with coffee, the interior design at this coffee shop will amaze you. You can order an Espresso, a latte, or an Americano. They offer two types of brew at this coffee shop- Costa Rica* and Honduras*.
Koffee Mameya (4 Chome-15-３ Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo)
The Koffee Mameya is situated in the same place where once Omotesando Koffee used to have their outlet. But since they closed their shop in 2015, local coffee lovers had no specialty coffee shop to meet their demand.
But since 2017, the Koffee Mameya has successfully catered to both the locals and foreigners. The locals love this coffee shop as they can rely on the baristas to document their previous purchases and coffee blend preferences. As a result, a recurring customer can just walk in and expect the right coffee brew to be served to them.
Unlimited Coffee Bar ( 1 Chome-18-2 Narihira, Tokyo)
The Unlimited Coffee Bar is located near the Tokyo skyscraper Tokyo Skytree. If you are around the area for sightseeing, you should visit this place. The baristas will brew and pour coffee right in front of your eyes to give the customers a personal touch.
The Unlimited Coffee Bar was founded by two famous coffee personalities in Japan- Daichi Matsubara and Rena Hirai. Both of them have extensive knowledge about their craft. Daichi has been a judge for the international Barista championship.
Fuglen (Tomigaya 1-16-11 Shibuya-ku, Tokyo)
Fuglen in Shibuya is your spot if you are a big fan of the Scandinavian approach to Coffee Brewing. It is situated right beside the Yoyogi Park, which houses the popular Meiji shrine. It is adorned with classic antique furniture from the 50s and 60s.
This coffee shop serves coffee during day time. If you are in the area, you should stop by as after the sunset; it starts serving cocktails. To serve the best quality joe, the Fuglen has very recently opened up their roasting area.
So there you go. If you are visiting Tokyo, Japan soon, now you know where to get the best cup of joe. Do leave a comment below if you want us to cover any other Asian country in the future. How about Thailand or Indonesia for our next feature? Let us know in the comment section.