This blog is dedicated to all those who love good coffee and go to lengths to find a good cappuccino or long black (Americano) in whatever city they are visiting. (Aussies, Kiwis, and New Yorkers I’m looking at you.)
Japan is a very modern country full of rich tradition which has truly shown through in the last decade with the boom of specialty coffee shops. From Tokyo to Nagano, Nikko to Kofu and many places in between, you can find stunning coffee shops to curb your cravings (or addiction in my case). Here are just a few to tingle your tastebuds.
The city many of our tours come to a close. Steeped in history and tradition, this city is full of ancient temples, gardens, and breathtaking palaces, its the perfect setting for some seriously good coffee.
Near Nijō Castle just off of Oike Dori Street you will find a small backyard cafe. They keep it quite simple here with pour-over coffee (black or white) that they roast themselves after handpicking the best beans. Its the perfect rest stop to refuel after visiting the castle.
In Northern Kyoto on the banks of Kamo River, you’ll find this quaint cafe. Choose from their short list consisting of a blend and a handful of single-origin beans, get them to stick it in a thermos and head out to drink your coffee by the river. Don’t forget to check out their beautiful antiques before grabbing a few stools to enjoy your coffee outside. This is the perfect spot to enjoy deliciously brewed coffee and soak in the views.
To the uninitiated, Tokyo may seem like a whirlwind of people and traffic. Yet, behind the ordered chaos lie remnants of a very different past. You could easily spend a lifetime exploring Tokyo and never run out of places and things (coffee shops) to discover.
Visiting the Skytree or Sensoji Temple or walking along the river enjoying the Cherry Blossoms? We’ve got you covered. This perfectly located coffee shop roast in house and stick only to single-origin. My favorite part is, they come to your table to pour the milk in front of you when making your coffee. Oh, and they make coffee cocktails too!
For all of our New Zealander and Aussie tour members who want a taste of home during your travels pop into Allpress in the Kiyosumi Shirakawa district. There you will also find Blue Bottle ( a New York favorite) and Arise Coffee who came first and started the trend of specialty coffee in that area.
Onibus is a very popular spot for specialty coffee. They have six locations, an online shop, and offer wholesale. Sakao Atsushi, Onibus’ founder fell in love with coffee when visiting Australia so he works to incorporates the feel and taste he experienced on his travels there. I chose this location in particular because it’s in a prime spot, right next to Naka-Meguro Station, and it has a lovely garden feel to it. Pop in during cherry blossom season and you’ll have a stunning view out of the second-floor windows while you sit and enjoy your coffee.
In Part 2 I will be focussing on must stop coffee shops in Osaka and Nagano.