A review of 2/F cafe close to the University of Tokyo in Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo. Notes are by an amateur coffee enthusiast and shoestring digital nomad. Descriptions are equal parts coffee and remote-work suitability. Most photos are shot with a second-hand Fujifilm X100.
Depending on the time of the day, look for a lineup-cluster at a white shop that’s too small for you to even see the food they serve (udon). See if the door to the right is open leading up a narrow flight of stairs. If it’s after 11am, it should be, and walk up the steep flight of stairs that say “Faro Coffee”.
Faro Coffee opened in the Spring of 2016 in the literary Bunkyo Ward in Tokyo. The upstairs open studio-like space is about 10-minutes walk from the Korakuen Park and the University of Tokyo.
I appreciated the limited coffee selection. Basically, they had two espresso blends and one single-origin for pour-over. The beans are from Obscura Coffee Roasters from Sangenjaya in Setagaya Ward. I came with a friend, so I ordered the single-origin, which is the typically light caramel flavour, maybe with some fruity hints. My friend ordered the espresso blend hand brewed, which will probably satisfy anyone with an American palette for black coffee (a robust, smokey flavour). Both coffees generally had mellow, smooth profiles (nothing too dramatic or complex). Both came to ¥500.
At around noon, the cafe also serves “cafe food” which includes simple home-cooked meals. Craft beers and other drinks are also available. I noticed plugs along the walls, but I don’t think they have WiFi.
Their Story / What I like About Them:
I had arrived early and interrupted a meeting, so the staff invited me to come back at 11am. When I did come back, they asked me how I learned about them and where I came from. The vibe is a relaxed and down to earth, friendly, but not in your face.
The other small details that won me over were the ping pong table, the gorgeous collection of books on the shelf (great for visual inspiration), and the cute studio entrance cut out beside the bookcase.
In my three hours there, I enjoyed both the quiet and the more lively chatter. People came for lunch, coffee, to catch up, to read a magazine by the window. The trickle of people made the place feel like a cozy neighbourhood secret – neither too busy nor too empty. All in all, a great place to spend an afternoon working or relaxing.
- Coffee: Espresso (beans from Obscura Coffee in Sangenjaya), 1 single-origin pour-over
- Food: Lunch, craft beers
- Cafe Space: 2/F loft-style decor
- Friends: Hangouts, catching up, reading (great coffee table book collection)
- Workspace: Plugs in the floor (around the walls), communal table, individual tables
- Remote Work: Bring your own pocket WiFi.
|Address:|| 2 Chome-39-7 Hongo, Bunkyo, Tokyo 113-0033
|Mon – Sat: 11:00-23:00 月〜土
Sun: 11:00-18:00 日
If you liked this post, check out my list of Off-Centre Tokyo Cafes.