Tokyo Coffee Walk: 10 Spots in Yanasen

Hi there! This is a map and list of cafes in Yanasen. The area comprises Yanaka, Sendagi, and Nezu, just north of Ueno Park and the University of Tokyo. Give yourself a few hours or even a full day to you work your way through Yanaka Cemetary and the nearby temples, Nezu Shrine, Snake Street and Yanaka Ginza with their small boutiques and traditional shops. This area is best enjoyed by giving yourself an hour or two to sit down somewhere. Just enjoy the ambience of a place that catches your eye. There are places for people watching, quiet retreats, and old-Edo style experiences. The guide focuses on cafes, which include kissaten, Japanese coffee houses….

Tokyo Cafes: Kokonn

The signs clearly say cafe, but you almost wonder if you’ve mistaken when you look through the window. Kokonn’s shopfront is a store selling crafts such as pottery and tableware. It seems just like many other independent stores dotted throughout the residential Yanasen area. However, when you go inside, you’ll see some shoes discretely placed at the back of the hallway. When you poke your head in, you’ll find a raised tatami mat seating area. Kokonn is closer to a kissaten, or a lifestyle cafe, rather than a specialty coffee shop. What sets this place apart is its homey atmosphere. Once you’ve…

Tokyo Cafes: Kayaba Coffee

If you frequent the Yanaka area, you may have seen a lineup outside a dark, 2-storey wooden house. What’s the fuss? Kayaba Coffee has been around since the Showa Era, which means it’s over 50 years old. That also means this is a traditional kissaten, Japanese coffee house that also serves staple comfort foods. Come here for the food and ambience.   They are most famous for their egg sandwich, a classic item. It’s light and mild, but the egg comes soft, flavourful, and warm. If you get a lunch set you, you also have a choice of tea or coffee…

Tokyo Cafes: Macchinesti Coffee

From the outside, the year-round Christmas lights and neon coffee sign, Macchinesti Coffee looks like an over-zealous suburban transplant in sophisticated Tokyo. Nonetheless, to the discerning coffee drinker, the red sign clearly says ‘Chemex’, indicating a refined brewing sentiment. The interior comes as a bit of a surprise. Even though it’s an open space with a simple, industrial shell, the eclectic furniture and setup effectively section off each of the seating areas so that you feel you have your own space – whether to work yourself, or to catch up with friends in a group. There are plenty of English books…

Tokyo Cafes: iki Espresso

It’s the first sunny spring day in Tokyo, and iki espresso has opened its panel doors to let the fresh air in. It sits on a quiet street with little traffic and the covered veranda keeps the sun out of your eyes as it warms your lap. They have recently planted themselves in Kiyosumi after operating for two years in Chigasaki, Chiba Prefecture. The most noticeable thing about this place is the relaxed and contented smiles that staff have. All of the staff have worked with the company for several years, and most of them have had a career switches from industries…

Off-Centre Tokyo Cafes

This is a list of posts I’ve done on cafes outside the main areas of Shibuya and Shimokitazawa, which are already well-covered by many travel and coffee review sites. This list is growing as I review more places. If you have suggestions to add to my maps, please let me know! Coffee Walks and Lists Tokyo Coffee Walk: Kiyosumishirakawa Tokyo Coffee Walk: Ikejiriohashi (Setagaya) Tokyo Coffee Walk: 10 Spots in Yanasen 10 Cafes in Kichijoji Central Tokyo Ginza, Mitsukoshimae, Tsukiji, Jimbocho Cafe 634 (Ginza) Turret Coffee (Higashi-Ginza) Gumtree Coffee (East of Tsukiji) Glitch Coffee Roasters (Jimbocho) Mighty Steps Coffee (Mitsukoshi Mae) East…

Tokyo Cafes: Ryumon Coffee Stand

Consider yourself in know if you’ve come to check out hip Kichijoji, just 15 minutes train ride out of Shinjuku, but already in Musashino City. You probably already know about lights, bustle and covered main shopping arcade with a down-to-earth mix of veggie stalls, boutiques, bars, and famous food joints. The unique indie shops radiate from that central area of Kichijoji Honmachi, but Ryumon Coffee Stand decided to go against the grain. Just 5 minutes from the train station, it’s on a wide, well-kept commercial street that caters more to neighbourhood visitors. Righ across, you have a neighbourhood bar, and…

East Tokyo Cafes: 15 on a Short List

Hi there! This is a full map of East Tokyo Cafes, which has many hidden gems missed in popular guides. You should set aside an entire day to explore this entire map, the neighbourhoods, and scenic canals of Koto District (Koto-Ku). If you want a quick tour, I recommend focusing on Kiyosumishirakawa, Oshiage (Tokyo Sky Tree), and Monzen-nakacho (Tomioka Hachimangu, birthplace of professional sumo, and Fukagawa Fudo Temple). 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…