A Tokyo Coffee Crawl


[trip style = food/wine + urban + steals]

Living on the West Coast of Canada a mere three hours from Seattle {aka: coffee Grand Central}, I'm predisposedby osmosisto caring A LOT about coffee. Obsessed with all things coffee, coffee shop and coffee culture, I seek it out every day AND wherever I travel.

To me, a good barista bar is a prime connection to a city's soul; a window into its creative side; a place to wind up or wind down. And, when you find your place and your people: it's a great avenue to ask "what's cool?" in the city you're visiting.

Trip Styler Tip: Many coffee shops in Japan don't open until 10 or 11am. 

Recently I was in Tokyoone of my favorite cities in the worldand made it my mission to seek out the java-scape. Fortunately, over the past 10 years, Japan has been going through a craft coffee coup, so tapping into the caffeine scene wasn't too difficult. Here are the standouts:


Omotesando Koffee
Tucked into the narrow backstreets of Omotesando, the koffee shop bearing the same name, is minimalist to the max stationed in a 60-year-old house. In this indoor/outdoor space, the wood-adorned and seatless interior is highlighted by two bonsai trees, while the rock- and tree-encased outdoor area is an ode to the traditional Japanese garden. Order the cubes of baked custard. When you taste them, you'll understand why they're the only non-brew on the menu {and my newest epicurean obsession}. 


Café Kitsuné
Benches, bamboo and bonsai set the tone for this international java stop. Doubling as a chic, Paris-based retail store selling sweatshirts and lifestyle wear that redefine casual, plan on spending much more than a few yen on a cappuccino at Café Kitsuné, especially if you fall in love with the J'adore Paris sweatshirt like I did. Fun fact: Baristas are trained by the gent behind Omotesando Koffee. 


Shozo Coffee Store
Just a few blocks from Cafe Kitsuné, we came across another steamy stop for joe. Unlike the others we'd met, Shozo was fully open-air {protected by a canvas roof}, and offered a treasure trove of treats from scones to cookies to shopping totes. It's also part of Tokyo's homage to food trucks and pop-up shops in a space called 246 Common {where we ate dinner the night before but failed to notice this place because it's waaaay in the back}.


Nui Cafe and Bar Lounge
Situated on a side street near the the Kuramae Metro station, Nui is a hostel {a word you don't often read on TS, except here} and local hangout for denim- and fedora-wearing cats looking for a woodsy whereabouts to crunch a croissant and express themselves through espresso. Cafe by day, lounge by night; there's no bad time to stop by, partly because the area is a one-stop-shop for wised-up eateries.

[photos by @TripStyler + @MrTripStyler]