Yamaguchi Cafes: A Coffee List and Map

Hi there!

This post has two parts. The first is a map of just Shimonoseki City’s cafes. The second part features cafes I’ve visited in different cities in Yamaguchi Prefecture.

Part 1: Shimonoseki City Map

This is a map of independent cafes in Shimonoseki City in Yamaguchi Prefecture. It is based off of the Shimonoseki Saten Map (Japanese), which is available online.

Shimonoseki is worth stopping over if you are on your way to Fukuoka using a JR Pass. There is the Karato Fish Market for fresh value sushi and pufferfish (fugu), the local specialtyIt is open daily until 3pm. It is lively and much more spacious than Tokyo’s Tsukiji. Try something from every stall and take it outside to picnic by the sea, where you can see Kyushu just across the bay!

The list includes third-wave espresso bars, drip / pour-over roasters, and a handful of independent lifestyle cafes. I also feature in-depth posts on cafes every week. You can check the homepage for more!

*Note: You can load this map onto your Google Maps App on your Android Phone and iPhone. Japanese addresses are easier to search, which is why I have left them as Japanese.

THE SHORT LIST*

*Not indicative of quality. These are the local ones I’d visited in my travel around the area.

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Himaar Coffee and Crafts

Location: Iwakuni
Closest Famous Sites:
Miyajima Island, Kintai Bridge (錦帯橋)

Good For: Pour-over / hand-drip coffee, snacks / desserts, hangouts & catching up, spacious tables for work but no WiFi

Address:
1 Chome-10-3 Imazumachi, Iwakuni, Yamaguchi Prefecture
テ740-0017 山口県岩国市今津町1-10-3 [JR岩国駅より徒歩8分]

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Former British Consulate

Location: Shimonoseki
Closest Famous Sites:
Karato Fish Market, Akama Shrine

Good For: Afternoon tea (and coffee), desserts, lunch, dinner, evening drinks (as a pub), hangouts & catching up

Address:
 4−11 Karatocho, Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi Prefecture
〒750-0005 山口県下関市唐戸町4-11

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Zakka & Cotocoto Cafe

Location: Hagi
Closest Famous Sites:
Hagi Old City & Ceramic studios

Good For: Pour-over / hand-drip coffee, snacks / desserts, hangouts & catching up, spacious tables for work and spotty Japan Free WiFi

Address:
2-32 Gofukumachi, Hagi-Shi, Yamaguchi
山口県萩市呉服町2丁目32

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Ruco Guesthouse & Cafe

Location: Hagi
Closest Famous Sites: Hagi Old City & Ceramic studios

Good For: Pour-over / hand-drip coffee, snacks / desserts, beer, hangouts & catching up, tables and second floor to work, WiFi available

Address:
92 Karahimachi, Hagi, Yamaguchi
〒758-0044 山口県萩市唐樋町92

Yamaguchi Prefecture

Yamaguchi Cafes: Former British Consulate 旧下関英国領事館

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Just across the street from the Karatocho Fish Market, one of Shimonoseki’s main attractions, there’s a small, red-brick European building casually hanging around. It’s the former British Consulate, which is now open as a small museum with rotating exhibitions.

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Once you’re done looking around, head to the cafe on the second floor. It’s a restaurant and tea room by day, and pub by night. It’s brightly lit by the French windows, which offer a glimpse of the harbour outside. Even with a full room, the conversation remains hushed, more like a cozy sitting room than a busy cafe.

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While the restaurant offers lunch, we came here for the afternoon coffee. They have dessert sets, coffee, and of course, various teas on offer. The French toast is light and fluffy. They dessert sample set will have 3-4 daily small samples. The cheesecake could be more flavourful.

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This cafe is mentioned largely for its ambience rather than for it’s coffee (which is decent). The chinaware the food is served in and the spacious seating are the real highlight. On a summer day, it is the perfect place to escape the afternoon heat and spend 2-3 hours with friends or with a book. In theory, you could work, but with all the tableware, I would not recommend bringing a laptop.

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Good For:

  • Coffee: Pour-over coffee (would recommend the pour over or a macchiato)
  • Lunch, afternoon tea, cakes
  • Space: Various tables in tea lounge and bar seats
  • Friends: Hangouts & catching up
  • Work: Maybe. No WiFi
Address: 4-11 Karatocho, Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan
山口県下関市唐戸町4-11
Hours (Daily):
Pub Hours
10:00-17:00
17:00-22:00 (L.O. 21:30)
営業日
定休日:
無し
パブタイム
10:00-17:00
17:00-22:00 (L.O. 21:30)
Yamaguchi Prefecture

Yamaguchi Cafes: Ruco Guest House

 

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If you’re near the Hagi Bus Centre and have an hour or two before your bus, this is the place to drop by. This place is a guesthouse with a cafe area meant for guests and locals to interact. True to the spirit of its name (‘流’ meaning flow ‘交’ meaning exchange), the man at the bar sheltered us from the morning rain and took our coffee orders even though the cafe officially opens at 4:00pm.

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The coffee is pretty standard Japanese: mild, slightly acidic. The highlight is perhaps the local Hagi cermanic cups they serve with.

What I personally enjoy about this place is the cozy setup. You can help yourself to the photo books and magazines on the small rack. It also has WiFi, which makes it a great place to work out of.

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Good For:

  • Coffee: Pour-over coffee
  • Food: light food and beer (in the afternoon / evenings)
  • Space: 2 Floors. Downstairs large table and chairs, and upstairs hangout area
  • Friends: Hangouts & catching up
  • Work: WiFi Available
Address: 92 Karahimachi, Hagi, Yamaguchi
〒758-0044 山口県萩市唐樋町92
(0)838-21-7435
Hours (Daily):

 

16:00-22:00
*Late morning for coffee’s OK.
営業日
定休日:
無し
16:00-22:00
Yamaguchi Prefecture

Yamaguchi Cafes: Zakka & COTOCOTO Cafe

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On one of the main streets of Hagi’s historic Shitamachi, there will be a shop with a cafe menu. The building has its traditional shingles, wooden frame, and sliding door, just like all the other houses along the street. In some respects, this initial uniformity is a charm; it challenges a viewer to look for the details that differentiate one shop from the next.

This, too, is a shop on the outside. By the windows facing the street, there are clothes and other designer items on display.

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However, if you wish to enter, you will have to do what people have done for centuries: take off their shoes at the gengkan, the doorway where the shoes are left. Help yourself to a set of slippers in a basket.

The cafe area is hidden just behind, in a separate, but visible room. This room faces the private inner garden. When you enter and slide the doors shut behind you, even the light footsteps on the street outside fall away.

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The cafe has hand-drip coffee and daily cakes on offer. The menu is in Japanese, but the lady who runs it will be able to tell you the English name.

Treat this cafe as a traditional kissaten. In other words, enjoy the regular cup of coffee and cake together as an afternoon break. Soak in the spacious layout, the carefully selected wooden furniture, the audio system in the corner, and the books on the shelf. It’s not a third-wave espresso shop.

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Good for:

  • Coffee: Pour-Over only.
  • Food: Cakes, light refreshments
  • Space: Seats about 20 comfortably, and is laid out to be spacious. Has coffee table books and food magazines.
  • Friends: Hanging out
  • Work: Longer work table, coffee tables. Maybe WiFi (public free Japan WiFi reception is spotty)
Address: 2-32 Gofukumachi, Hagi-Shi, Yamaguchi
山口県萩市呉服町2丁目32
0838-26-7199
Hours:
Closed: 2nd & 4th Tuesday every month
10:00-17:00 (May change for holidays)
営業日
定休日: 第2第4火曜日

10:00〜17:00(季節により変動)

If you liked this post, check out my list of East Tokyo Cafes.

Yamaguchi Prefecture

Yamaguchi Cafes: Himaar Coffee and Crafts

In the town of Iwakuni, there is a cafe camouflaged amongst the bland cement blocks. The walls are white-washed. The cut-out door could lead to a paint shop or characterless office. Only the small sign saying coffee gives it away.

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Once inside, you first see display of local pottery and handicrafts. Just behind, there are the tables neatly lined up one after another along the wall. Even with the odd patron, it is quiet.

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Don’t be intimidated, though. The Tsujikawas who run this place are friendly and happy to translate the menu. They are local returnees who opened the shop 4 years ago after returning from Tokyo. The beans they use are from a former neighbourhood roaster in Tokyo – in an area between Mitaka and Kichijoji.

They have two hand drip coffees on offer and one ice coffee. They also have tea, ginger ale, and mikan juice (local orange juice). Their cheesecake is dense and rich with flavour. They also have a selection of small baked goods on the counter.

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It doesn’t have WiFi, but this cafe makes a perfect focused working space. Unlike the city cafes, it never gets too busy. Even if you don’t have work, you can flip through their bookshelf, which has some English coffee table books.

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Good For:

  • Coffee: Pour-over / hand-drip only
  • Snacks / Dessert
  • Space: Open studio setting.
  • Friends: Hangouts & catching up
  • Work: No Wi-Fi, but good quiet space (just happens to be the vibe)
Address:

Closest Station:JR Iwakuni, 10 mins walk

1 Chome-10-3 Imazumachi, Iwakuni, Yamaguchi Prefecture 740-0017
山口県岩国市今津町1-10-3
[JR岩国駅より徒歩8分]
Hours:
Closed Mondays
10:00-19:00
営業日
定休日:月曜日

10:00-19:00

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I write about independent local cafes in Tokyo and places I travel to in Japan. If you visit Tokyo, check out my list of Off-Centre Tokyo cafes.

Yamaguchi Prefecture