The 10 Coffee Shops In Japan Coffee Lovers Must Try
If you are a coffee lover who loves to travel, you might be used to carry your own coffee pods or beans with you. Not every place has great coffee shops, but that is certainly not the case with Japan, the beautiful Asian country that is known for its heritage and culture. There is a lot to see in the country, and you certainly won’t be disappointed with the wonderful coffee shops that you will find there.
This article shortlists all of the finest coffee shops in Japan that coffee lovers can’t resist trying. Let’s have a look at all of them one by one.
The Largest Chain of Coffee Shops in Japan
Doutor is one of Japan’s most popular signature coffee houses, with a daily influx of more than 500,000 visitors. The coffee house was first opened in Harajuku, Tokyo in 1980, and is known to be the first European-style standing coffee shop in the country. Today, it has more than 1,000 stores in all of Japan, which is a testament to its dedication and passion.
It procures the finest coffee beans from more than 20 coffee-producing destinations in the world and selects them after a thorough screening and selection process. Then, they create their distinct signature flavors by mixing different types of beans together.
The next step involves direct-fire roasting of the beans, which is more time-consuming than hot-air roasting but helps in reaping the finest taste and aroma that is required for Doutor’s coffee. This extensive roasting process gives their coffee a fresh and rich flavor, which is why people from all over Japan visit their outlets, including tourists who visit Japan.
The coffee isn’t the only thing that makes Doutor stand out. The coffee place also has a laid-back and relaxed atmosphere that draws people in. Their menu is also quite inexpensive as compared to other coffee shops in Japan.
We have written an extensive article about Dotour coffee, you can read it here.
A Traditional Coffee House with Old-School Vibes
If you would like to know how people enjoyed their coffee in Tokyo in the 60s, head over to Ginza Renoir. It is a huge coffee chain that has a 1960s feel and ambiance, and the coffee is also served in the classical style. The first Ginza Renoir was opened in Nihombashi in 1964 and since then, it has opened a wide array of stores in and around Tokyo.
Step into Ginza Renoir and you are instantly transported to Taisho-roman architecture that was popular in the 19th century. You might also find a number of elderly people sipping their coffee and chatting about life, while a few of them will also be smoking. Don’t worry, you can also find a non-smoking space for yourself to enjoy your coffee.
If you like a luxurious atmosphere, you will love visiting Ginza Renoir, which features velvety cushion chairs, neat and clean white marble counter and tabletops, and a professionally dressed and courteous staff that always greets you with a warm smile. Moreover, Ginza Renoir’s coffee is as luxurious as their décor, especially their Colombian coffee, which is their highest-selling item. You can also find iced coffee, tea, and flavored milk if hot coffee isn’t your thing.
A Special Coffee House for Smokers – and Non-Smokers Too!
Next on our list of fantastic Japanese coffee shops is Excelsior Caffe, which is actually a coffee chain established by Doutor coffee in 1999. The coffee chain is based on an Italian theme, which is why you can find coffee flavors that are relative to Italian coffee shops. Nevertheless, the exquisite coffee beans sourced by Doutor are also used here, so you can always get your favorite coffee at Excelsior Caffe.
There are different types of coffee that you can savor at Excelsior, such as espresso, regular coffee, soy latte, caffe latte, maple and almond flavored coffee, and much more. Plus, you can also find iced coffee, Perrier fruit drinks, and desserts as well. Last but not least, their Panini is also one of the best in Japan.
Excelsior’s coffee houses are designed to be spacious and widely spaced so that people don’t feel crammed in. Moreover, they also have free Wi-Fi, so you can get your work done, wait for a friend, chat, and do much more while you are there. The laid-back atmosphere, along with their bright décor and comfortable seating booths has made many tourists compare it with Starbucks, and their coffee also matches the exceptional quality that you find at the popular American coffee chain.
The Café with a View, and Great Coffee
The next stop on your journey should be Café de Crie, which was established in 1994 and has spread all over the country in the past two decades. They are known for their Café au Lait, as well as the caramel whipped milk coffee that they serve. You can also enjoy their smoothies, desserts, cold coffee, milkshakes, and much more.
Café de Crie has a special gourmet coffee, which is made using the rich flavors of exquisite hand-picked coffee beans. They serve different flavors of coffee, so you can try a new one every time you go there. You can find coffee options with and without soy, which you can see on their menu.
If you are hungry after sightseeing, just step into Café de Crie and explore their extensive menu, which includes savories like sandwiches, hot dogs, Danish, pasta, salads, and so much more. A coffee and snack will refuel you for the remainder of your sightseeing journey for the day.
Step into Ueshima Coffee House, where you will not only enjoy the coffee, but also the ambiance. Opened in 1993, this coffee house believes in creating a comfortable space where people can sit and have a good time with their friends or family, which is an integral part of Japanese culture.
Ueshima also sources their beans from their farms in Jamaica and Hawaii and uses a unique freezing method to seal their taste and freshness. This ensures that you get the complete and rich taste of coffee beans in your cup. They also use single and double-flannel drip methods to make their coffees even more delicious, and you can also find tea, sandwiches, and breakfast options at Ueshima Coffee House.
A Traditional Japanese Coffee House, True to its Roots
No trip to Japan can culminate without a visit to Kohikan, a 50-year old coffee house that still holds true to its traditions, as well as its passion for pure and delicious coffee. This coffee chain has stores all over the country, as well as a few stores internationally. It has more than 500 stores all over the world, which is not a small feat.
Coffee lovers always flock to Kohikan to try out their delicious coffee, which is made from different types of roasting methods. Their coffee is made from charcoal-roasted beans, ripened beans, and also shade-dried beans, each adding its own distinct flavor to your cup. Of course, there is also the Kohikan signature coffee blend, which many tourists admire.
No matter how bitter or sweet you like your coffee, you can find a wide variety of options at Kohikan, so that you don’t have to compromise on your favorite type or blend of coffee.
A Coffee House That Feels Just Like Home
Komeda Kohiten claims to be your “living room in the city” – a space where you can simply walk in and make yourself comfortable, whenever you want. Originally started in Nagoya, they are known for their exquisite hospitality, as well as their delicious coffee that is prepared by using the Komeda original blend. No matter which flavor you desire, you will always get a coffee that suits your taste and tantalizes your taste buds.
Komeda’s morning menu and coffee are famous all over Japan, and they have a decent influx of daily customers that consists of locals and tourists alike. Komeda also prepares their own bread, which is used in their desserts and savories. You simply can’t have a cup of coffee without trying out their sandwiches and desserts.
A Coffee House With Its Own Coffee Blend
If you are living in Kyoto, you can start off the morning with Inoda Coffee, which is something that most Japanese people do every day. Established in 1940, Inoda is one of the oldest coffee houses in Japan, and it has a delightful selection of original blended coffee that is loved by hundreds of thousands of customers every day.
Although Inoda Coffee is also a coffee chain, it has the old-school Japanese coffee house look that gives you a feel of the old Japan. It doesn’t have as many branches as the other coffee shops, but you can easily spot one all over Kyoto, Hiroshima, Hokkaido, and Kanagawa.
Delicious Coffee, Divine Desserts, and Ravishing Breakfast Options
Speaking of coffee chains that don’t like chains, another wonderful option for flavorful coffee in Japan is Hoshino Coffee, which is not only popular for its flavorful and aromatic coffee, but also for its homely atmosphere and delightful ambiance that draws people to one of its coffee shops. Even though it is a popular chain all over Japan, it maintains each and every store like it is a small family-owned store, which is one of the best things about it.
Moving on to other great things, you can find a huge menu at Hoshino Coffee, which consists of hot and cold coffee, tea, and other beverages as well. In addition, their soufflé pancakes have a reputation of their own. Apart from this, you can find omelets, sandwiches, katsu curry, and a wide range of delectable desserts.
Hoshino’s coffee is popular because of the special hand-drip pouring technique that they have mastered, and no matter which of their branches you walk into, you will find the same quality coffee everywhere.
A Fantastic Starbucks Franchise With a View
Even if you have visited a hundred Starbucks locations in the world, there is no one that comes even close to the Starbucks Coffee Toyama Kansui Park Store, which is located in Toyama City, Japan. It is located within the Fugan Unga Kansui Park, which borders the Fugan Canal. Imagine drinking your coffee while sitting on the canal’s shore.
You can find all your favorite Starbucks flavors, as well as desserts and snacks, at this store. On any given day, you can find a store full of customers of all ages, as well as cute little pets. You can also have a look at the bird sanctuary located at the park as you sip your coffee.
And with this, we conclude our blog on the best coffee houses in Japan that every coffee-loving visitor should try out. If you have visited any one of the coffee houses, make sure to hit all of the rest as well. If you haven’t gone to any of them, then you are in for a wonderful treat!
This post was first published in 2021 but it was updated in 2023 just for you.
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