10 Best Traditional “Kissaten” Coffee Shops in Tokyo

Food & Drinks in Tokyo

Kissaten are traditional Japanese-style coffee shops (also sometimes described as tearooms) that you can find throughout Japan. They are quite similar to cafes, as they generally serve coffee and a variety of sweets including cake and parfaits among other things. The history of Kissaten traces back to the beginning of the 20th century, and it has developed into a part of Japanese culture over the years. You may be thinking, what is it like to go to a Kissaten and where should I go for my first Kissaten experience? Well to answer your questions, we have prepared a helpful list of 10 of the best Kissaten coffee shops in Tokyo!    

1. Coffee Shop Galant (Ueno)

Coffee Shop Galant is a classic Japanese-style coffee shop which is located within walking distance from Ueno Station on the Yamanote Line. This shop has been around for over 40 years and offers a real Kissaten experience with a nostalgic yet refreshing atmosphere. The inside of the shop is thoughtfully decorated with antique furniture and lighting that includes comfortable couches and a huge chandelier which dates back to the Showa period (1926 – 1989). They have a large drink menu as well as smaller meals such as sandwiches, curry and rice, omelets and rice (known as Omuraisu in Japanese), and tempting cakes and fruit parfaits. They also have a breakfast menu that is available from 8am until 2pm which comes with toast, a small salad, yogurt and a cup of their delicious coffee!  

Hours: 8am – 11pm 

Location: Coffee Shop Galant

2. Kayaba Coffee (Yanaka)

Kayaba Coffee is a lovely coffee shop nestled in the Yanaka area. The Yanaka area gives you a real taste of a Shitamachi, referring to a nostalgic neighborhood that is home to traditional shops and cafes usually with a long history dating back to the Showa period. Kayaba Coffee opened way back in 1938. While the original building is still well-preserved, the inside of the shop is a combination of classic and modern style design, which attracts numerous new customers regardless of age.

You can try their mouth watering strawberry shaved ice that is only served during the summer in a traditional Japanese Tatami room on the 2nd floor. They also have a great egg salad sandwich in which they use thick, yet fluffy bread that goes perfectly with their coffee. It is a great spot to sit and relax after shopping in the Yanaka area!       

Toshihiro Gamo, (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0), via flickr

Hours: 8am – 5:30pm (weekdays), 9am – 6:30pm (weekends & holidays)

Location: Kayaba Coffee

3. Kazuma Coffee Shop (Ginza)

Only a couple minute walk from JR Ginza station, Kazuma Coffee Shop Namikidori is a very classic cafe. The inside of the shop is beautifully furnished with antique tables, high-brand coffee cups, impressive paintings and couches which all create a luxurious and pleasant atmosphere. Try their Kazuma Blend Set which comes with freshly roasted coffee and your choice of cake. The cake menu has cheese cake, Mont Blanc (rick chestnut cake), chiffon cake, and caramel cake among others. They have three locations in the Ginza area, each of which provide the same quality services but with different and unique atmospheres! 

Hours: 11:30am – 10pm (weekdays), 11:30am – 11pm (weekends & holidays)

Location: Kazuma Coffee Shop

4. Chatei Hatou (Shibuya)

Chatei Hatou is a hidden gem in the heart of Shibuya that will provide you with an exceptional Kissaten experience. It is located just about a 5 minute walk from JR Shibuya station. Since it opened in 1989, the shop has gained many loyal customers with its remarkable coffee and variety of sweets. Coffee is served with a lovely tea cup which is chosen by the barista from an endless array of tea cups displayed behind the counter. The inside of the shop is filled with retro furniture and a number of different carefully roasted coffee beans, making it a peaceful spot if you need a break from Shibuya’s busy streets. Try their baked cheese cake or chiffon cake that goes great with their coffee!      

책읽는달팽, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Hours: 11am – 11:30pm 

Location: Chatei Hatou

5. Royal Coffee (Asakusa)

Royal Coffee is a retro classic cafe that has a history of over 50 years. It is conveniently located in the heart of the Asakusa area, which is home to world-famous tourist attractions such as Senso-ji Temple and Kaminari-mon Gate. The Cafe is about a 5 minute walk from both Senso-ji Temple and Asakusa Station on the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line. They serve flavorful coffee made from fresh coffee beans which are professionally roasted in-house. They also have a morning menu option that includes thick toast, yogurt and a small salad. Be sure not to miss out on their delicious corned beef, egg salad, and asparagus toasted sandwiches!    

Hours: 8am – 8pm 

Location: Royal Coffee Shop

6. Poem MANO A MANO Coffee (Koenji)

The Koenji area is a peaceful neighborhood that is perfect for taking a relaxing stroll on a nice day. Poem MANO A MANO Coffee is a cozy cafe which originally opened in 1973. In 2020, it reopened as a franchise chain of Coffee House Poem Group which boasts over 20 locations nationwide. It is only a couple minute walk from Koenji station, and is within walking distance of Hikawa Shrine which is dedicated to the god of weather. Their yellow and brown sign on the red brick building is hard to miss. They have a take-out drink menu that includes iced coffee as well as cold brew coffee that will cool you down on a hot summer day. One of the most popular items on their sweets menu is their pudding, with a rich texture and whipped cream and a cherry to top it off.           

Hours: 10am – 8pm 

Location: Poem MANO A MANO Coffee

7. Gion (Asagaya)

Gion is a unique retro cafe nestled in the Asagaya area of Suginami. It only takes a few minutes from JR Asagaya station to get to the classy café which is more than 40 years old. The inside of the small cafe is filled with antique decorations as well as comfortable seats, one of which used to be an outdoor swing. Napolitan is their most popular dish but they also have a tasty melon soda float that comes with two ice cream toppings. Their hours are convenient as they are open from early in the morning until after midnight everyday!      

Hours: 8:30am – 2am (Monday – Saturday), 9am – 2am (Sundays)

Location: Gion

8. Yuria Pemuperu (Kichijoji)

Yuria Pemuperu is a lovely kissaten located in Kichijoji, a peaceful area home to a wide range of fashionable shops and cafes. Although the history of the cafe is relatively long and the menu is quite traditional, this small cafe is always packed with young customers who are fascinated with the retro vibe and atmosphere. The inside of the shop has western-style antique furniture and beautiful flowers to make you feel right at home. They have amazing colorful floats that come with a giant rich vanilla ice cream scoop on top. The flavors of their floats change depending on the season. Their drink menu includes coffee, tea, fresh fruit juice and soda. Don’t forget to check out their variety of cakes and seasonal fruit tarts too, which go great with their flavorful coffee!             

Hours: 11:30am – midnight 

Location: Yuria Pemuperu

9. Coffee Seibu (Shinjuku)

Needless to say, Shinjuku is one of the biggest restaurant and cafe districts in all of Tokyo. Coffee Seibu is a classic cafe located right by JR Shinjuku station. It has been around for more than 55 years and really gives you the traditional Kissaten feel. They occupy the second and third floor of the building, and the second floor is exclusively available for non-smokers. Their giant fruit parfait has a variety of seasonal fruits and whipped cream, making it a popular item among the young crowd. If you are in the mood for trying something traditional, order their lunch combo menu that comes with a main dish, small salad and drink for just ¥1,100 to ¥1,300!      

Hours: 7:30am – 11:30pm 

Location: Coffee Seibu

10. Housekibako (Chitose Karasuyama)

Housekibako is a small retro cafe located in the Karasuyama area of Setagaya-ku. Housekibako means “jewelry box” in Japanese, which precisely describes the charming atmosphere and well-decorated interior of the shop. They offer 6 kinds of colorful floats throughout the year that differ from season to season. Some of the most popular flavors are peach, melon, strawberry and grape. They also sell handmade accessories and original merchandise made by local artists. However, please be aware that they currently have a reservation-only policy due to Covid-19.     

Hours: 12pm – 5pm (Thursday – Sunday)  *reservation required

Location: Housekibako

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If you are a bit tired of going to the same old Western-style chain coffee shops, it can be a refreshing and fun experience checking out a traditional Japanese Kissaten. You will feel the Japanese Kissaten culture not only through the classic food and drink, but also through the heartwarming interactions with the locals and regulars. Kissaten are a great place to relax, spend some time on your own reading a book, listening to music, or just unwinding on a comfortable couch over a delicious cup of coffee! We hope you found a traditional coffee shop in Tokyo that you might want to visit!  

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Miho Shimizu is a Japanese freelance writer settled in Shizuoka with her husband and two rabbits. Fascinated with traveling at the age of 18, she has spent most of her long holidays exploring incredible spots around Japan. Also love to listen to music, draw, and read novels over a cup of green tea.

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