Coffee in Japan

When you think of Japan and hot beverages, green tea will most likely cross your mind. However, coffee is a popular choice amongst the Japanese, with many preferring the bitter beverage to their staple green tea. Like the rest of the world, Japan's coffee culture is improving with many western-inspired coffee houses popping up throughout the country, and while coffee is seemingly new, Japan is taking it in its stride.

When was coffee introduced in Japan?

Coffee was originally taken as a medicine, but when the Dutch started trading with the Japanese during the Edo period in the 17th – 19th centuries, they began to gift coffee to citizens in Nagasaki. In 1888, Japan's first dedicated coffee shop was opened, and the rest, they say, is history.

Today there are coffee houses throughout every city, with specialist coffee being a favourite among many.

Best coffee shops in Tokyo

When travelling to Tokyo, you'll be spoilt for choice. There are many coffee houses to choose from, and if you are a fan of Starbucks, you can even head there for your daily caffeine hit. However, you should look for a genuine Japanese-inspired coffee house for you to enjoy the bitter aromas.

For a coffee break in Tokyo, try the following coffee shops:

  • Little Nap Coffee Stand, for a great atmosphere and incredible single-origin drip coffee.
  • Lattest Omotesando, for incredible coffee off the beaten track.
  • L'Occitane Café, for great coffee and great views of Shibuya Crossing.
  • Steamer Coffee Company, for one of the most popular coffee houses in Tokyo.
  • Suzu Café, for incredible coffee and adorable latte art that's sure to impress.

Don't be afraid to go into any good looking coffee houses along the way. Japan's love for coffee is continuing to grow, so be sure to try as much as possible.

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