Top 20 Relaxing and Stylish Cafes in the Tokyo Area
There is a wide variety of cafes that have opened in Japan lately, but you may find that it's actually quite difficult to find one you can relax in if you're looking for one on your own. This article will introduce cafes carefully chosen specifically for their relaxing atmosphere, including those that are dedicated to serving good coffee and others with particular attention given to the interior, primarily around Shibuya, Ikebukuro, Shinjuku, and Tokyo. Be sure to check these out when you're looking to rest in a cafe in these areas!
Aug 21 2019 (Sep 09 2020)
Five Select Cafes Around Shibuya
1. hello! from GOOD MEALS SHOP
"hello! from GOOD MEALS SHOP" can be found by the "New Open!" sign at the entrance. The front is a takeout space where you can have a chat with the friendly owner and pick up a drink to walk around with.
There is also a little known eat-in space on the second floor to relax in. It is the perfect place to take a break with a nice strawberry parfait, especially during this hot season.
2. COFFEE HOUSE NISHIYA
COFFEE HOUSE NISHIYA is a little known cafe beloved by locals. It's about eight minutes by foot from Shibuya Station. The stylish exterior is reminiscent of a European cafe. On a nice day, you can enjoy a drink in the terrace seating outside.
The cafe's specialties are the outstanding creme caramel and the cafe latte that the owner prepares with love and care. The key behind the creme caramel's flavors is the combination of the caramel and the custard made with plenty of eggs. There is also a great selection of coffees, so why not give one a try?
3. WHITE GLASS COFFEE
The first thing you'll see when you walk into WHITE GLASS COFFEE is the case full of cakes and other treats. There is an abundance of wonderful cakes to choose from. This cafe is particular not only about the food that it serves, but also about the drinks. It tends to have many solo customers, and is perfect for relaxing on your own.
Besides the coffee of the day, you can also get Brazilian and Ethiopian coffee.
Why not try this season's special go-to dish, a wonderful creme caramel with a slightly bitter caramel sauce?
4. cafe 1886 at Bosch
"cafe 1886 at Bosch" has a counter with a stand lamp for each seat. It is a great spot to enjoy time on your own away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Filled with past Bosch products, this cafe has a retro atmosphere and feels like a little hideaway.
A tropical mille-feuille has been introduced as a limited time item for the summer. It is a flaky mille-feuille with plenty of cream and dried pineapples and kiwi as accents. Enjoy the combination of the tartness of the fruits, flaky pie crust, and cream.
Åre is a cafe on the first floor of SHIBUYA CAST facing the back street. It has floor-to-ceiling windows so the breeze can flow through the cafe. It's the perfect place to cool off in when there is a pleasant breeze. The seats are set apart from each other so you can relax comfortably. It is in a convenient location that is easy to get to from Shibuya and Harajuku, so drop by sometime!
The cafe's signature menu item is the creme caramel that is served on a silver stand. It's super Instagrammable with cream and a cherry on top. The creme caramel a la mode, which comes with seasonal fruits, is also recommended. In addition to the desserts, there is a wide selection of food items, such as mackerel sandwich, so you can enjoy a meal for lunch, too.
Five Recommended Cafes Around Ikebukuro
1. COFFEE VALLEY
COFFEE VALLEY is a specialty coffee shop that serves coffees made with beans roasted on site. The coffees can be enjoyed in house or picked up on the way to work or school. There is a roasting machine on the third floor where coffee-related events lead by baristas are held on an irregular basis on weekends and holidays.
At the counter at the back of the first floor, customers can have pour over coffee prepared with the beans of their choice. There are always staff knowledgeable about coffee on site, so if you want to try some different types of coffee, be sure to ask.
2. DOMO CAFE
DOMO CAFE is a cafe that guests at DOMO Hotel can use. The cafe is on the lower ground floor with a stunning mural outside. The cafe serves Taiwanese tea and coffee from the Taiwanese cafe, FikaFika. One of the appeals is the setup that allows guests to see the staff carefully preparing their coffee.
The latest menu item, tapioca pancakes, can be ordered from 11:00 am. There is brown sugar tapioca inside the sponge pancake that is topped with a special black tea cream with tea leaves in it. A foamy hazel nut caffe mocha has been introduced recently. It is a fabulous drink to enjoy the aroma of both the nuts and caffe mocha. The marshmallow on top melts from the temperature of the milk froth, adding to the delicious fragrance.
Ponde Coffee is a cafe famous for bit-size handmade bread with a chewy texture called "ponde". There is an alternating selection of 12 different ponde in store everyday. There are some novel flavors, such as chocolate mint, and they can be enjoyed with coffee and seasonal drinks.
Their latest menu item is the iced lemonade, which is perfect for the hot season. It is a light and refreshing lemonade with a gentle sweetness. The seasonal juice, Chinese citron and honey, is also worth a try.
4. Racines FARM to PARK
Racines FARM to PARK is a cafe you can enjoy casually. The interior has a light and airy feel with floor-to-ceiling windows right up to the second-floor ceiling by the loft space. There is also a terrace and grassy area nearby, so you can enjoy the feeling of being on a picnic. This is a great cafe to visit with children and family.
There is a brunch menu, including sandwiches, during lunchtime at the weekend. There is a wide selection of craft beers, so beer lovers can enjoy their beer with lunch. The cafe can be booked for parties and after-wedding get-togethers with advance reservation.
5. Cafe SOROR
Cafe SOROR is a cafe with a facade designed in wood tones where you can get a sense of nature. When you enter the cafe, you place your order first and then are taken to your seat. This cafe has a handmade feel to it, with each cake in the showcase accompanied by hand written descriptions.
Each cake comes with a cookie branded with the cafe's name and has a very cute appearance. The cafe latte comes with heart-shaped latte art. The plates and cups are adorable, too!
Five Select Cafes in the Shinjuku Area
1. 4/4 seasons coffee
When you enter "4/4 seasons coffee", you will see its original coffee roasting machine. There are breads and pound cakes in the showcase, and the chef's original banana cake also appears from time to time. They can be enjoyed on site or taken out with drinks.
The cheesecake with Oreos and the creme caramel are classic menu items here. Both of them are definitely worth a try.
2. salo cafe
Enter "salo cafe" and you'll see many comfortable sofas to relax in. The cafe is filled with greenery and is popular with parents with kids. Lunchtime extends to 4:00 in the afternoon, so you can visit even if you go for a late lunch.
The Strawberry and White Chocolate Tart with a wonderful thick crust is highly recommended. It has strawberries and strawberry ice cream on top, making it irresistible for strawberry lovers. There is also strawberry short cake and gateau chocolat, offering plenty of strawberry sweets to enjoy.
3. cafe AALIYA
"cafe AALIYA" in the basement of the Shinjuku 3-chome area is the place to go to for delicious french toast. The cafe is located at the bottom of the stairs by a neon sign. The interior has a calm and comfortable feel with many tables, so why not visit with your family or friends?
Each french toast comes with whipped cream. There is a selection of seven different whipped creams, including the plain one. If you have a sweet tooth, you may want to try the caramel or maple sauce!
4. cafe WALL
"cafe WALL" is a comfortable cafe filled with indoor plants. The lights are low so you can fully relax here. A candle is lit on each table in the evenings, creating a romantic mood throughout the cafe. This is a great cafe to go to with that special someone.
This Gluttonous 3-Snack Plate is popular this season. It includes a cherry blossom and strawberry vacherin, cherry and white chocolate mousse, and a scone, all of which are fantastic. It is highly recommended for anyone with a sweet tooth.
The interior of Ramble is filled with furniture and lighting reminiscent of coffee shops of the past. It is a great place to visit if you like cafes with a retro atmosphere tucked away from the busy streets. It's a cafe that young and old alike can enjoy, making it great for gatherings for just about anyone.
A classic item at Ramble is the cream melon soda. The bright red cherry and the green of the soda produces a nostalgic, old-time atmosphere for the Japanese.
Five Select Cafes Around Tokyo Station
1. Marunouchi Happ. Stand & Gallery
Marunouchi Happ. Stand & Gallery is a cafe located in an area facing Naka-dori in Marunouchi. There is a grassy area nearby so it's the perfect place to pick up some coffee relax over the weekend. There is a wide variety of books available as well, so you can enjoy reading a book with your coffee.
The cafe offers an original menu including toast, white bread, coffee, and craft beers, all selected or made with consideration to the source and production process. The morning coffee set that is available until 11:00 am on weekdays includes a toast of chewy white bread and the house blend coffee.
Cafe1894 is a museum/cafe bar with a classical decor in a space that was used as a bank office in the Mitsubishi Ichigokan Bldg. that was built in 1894. It is near the Marunouchi Exit of Tokyo Station and is a quiet cafe perfect for business meetings. It is next to Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum, so you can easily make your way over for a museum visit after relaxing at the cafe.
Many of the menu items are very delicate and beautiful. The Cafe 1894 Garden Plate Lunch (with herbal tea) in the picture is the signature dish. The herbal teas are served in special cups and saucers you'd expect to be used in afternoon tea, so the sophistication of the cafe comes through in both the food and the tableware they are served in.
3. The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf has counter seating, tables, and sofas, so you can choose your seat depending on the occasion. The cafe was started abroad and it has a system where you pay first then look for a seat. There's a full takeout menu, and the interior is also such that you can relax and stay for as long as you like.
The recommended menu item is the toast with a poached egg and crispy bacon on top. The cafe is open from early in the morning, so you can stop by for breakfast before work. The popular drink is the Ultimate Mocha Ice Blended. Enjoy the sweetness of the whipped cream and the bitterness of the mocha.
4. Hidemi Sugino
When you stand outside of Hidemi Sugino, you'll see the beautiful wedding cakes on display. Once you step inside, you'll be greeted by a wide selection of cakes in the show case. The cakes are primarily for take out, but you can also enjoy your purchased cake in the cafe area on site.
This shop is distinguished by the wide selection of cakes it has to offer. Some of the cakes are made with cream or mousse, such as the Amethyst, with a butter cream of green apple and sweet and sour black currant, and the Claret, which has a lovely black currant mousse. The cafe started off in Osaka and Kobe, and this location in Nihonbashi 1-chome is the only place in Tokyo where you can get these cakes!
5. Marunouchi CAFE KAI
Marunouchi CAFE KAI is a cafe on the first floor of KITTE in Tokyo Station that was opened as a result of a collaboration between Tully's Coffee and the Japanese tea maker, Itoen. The interior has a calm and comfortable feel to it, and there is a fair number of seating. With jazz playing in the background, it is a great place to relax and feel rejuvenated from your daily life.
Among the desserts made with matcha green tea, which Itoen is famous for, the kakigori shaved ice made with matcha is highly recommended. It comes with shiratama (rice flour dumpling), sweet azuki bean paste, and matcha on top, and is a fantastic way to indulge in a Japanese dessert. There is also a pancake and coffee set in the morning, so be sure to stop by!
Why Not Visit a Relaxing Cafe?
Relaxing cafes in the city are great places to go to when you want to forget the bustlle and hustle of everyday life in the city. Cafes with a calming atmosphere all have special points that they are particular about, so be sure to take note of these points when you're choosing a place to kick back and relax!
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Translated and republished with permission from: SPIRA (formerly known as Relux Magazine)
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The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.