Somehow during the course of my six days in Tokyo, I ended up going on a pretty expansive coffee shop tour of the city. There’s ten coffee shops total in this post — and those are just the ones I liked, which means I visited more than TEN in a six-day timeframe. I know, I know that’s a lot of caffeine to consume — yet I did so happily considering there’s no shortage of cool cafes to hang at in this modern and design-friendly city. Whether you’re a digital nomad looking for an inspiring environment to work from or just want to explore Tokyo’s coffee culture on your next visit, make sure you hit up some of my favorites from the list below!
Little Nap Coffee Stand, Shibuya
This miniature sized coffee shop was one of my favorites that I stumbled upon during my time in Tokyo. There’s not a ton of space inside to set up camp, so you’ll find locals hanging with friends on the stools and benches out front, which gives this place a cool community feel. If you’re in for a sweet treat with a hit of caffeine, order up the caffe con gelato – so delish.
Kaisu Hostel, Akasaka
This modern surf hostel is not only a gathering spot for the travelers that stay there – it’s also a hangout for the locals. The calming décor and eclectic soundtrack (some days are Brazilian jazz, some are vintage show tunes) make it a fun and relaxing atmosphere to be productive or socialize depending on your mood.
Onibus Coffee, Meguro
I knew I was going to love this place as soon as I walked up to hear Bob Marley’s soothing reggae beats on repeat. It’s just a few minutes walk from the Naka-Meguro station and feels more like an island coffee hut rather than one plopped in the center of Tokyo’s bustling commuter route. After you order, make sure to head up the back stairs to check out the fun upper deck where more seating awaits.
Nomu Cafe, Nishi-Azabu
Situated just Northeast of the Roppongi design district, it would make sense that this spot is all about chic minimalism. I loved the wooden exterior — and the clean black accents make this cafe feel more like a place you’d order up vino rather than your daily caffeine fix. Nomu is set within a quiet neighborhood, so if you’re in need of a place to sit and focus, this locale should fit the bill nicely.
Niko and Coffee, Shibuya
Set within one of my favorite concept shops in the Shibuya district, Niko and Coffee is part coffee purveyor, part bookstore, with Japanese reads and magazines on hand to peruse while you sip your cup of jo. My favorite part is the store that surrounds the cafe section — it’s basically an expertly curated selection of everything you could ever want from clothing, jewelry and accessories to furniture and even plants. It was hard not to take it all home with me.
Streamer Coffee, Shibuya
Started by Hiroshi Sawada (aka Japan’s first ever latte art champion), Streamer Coffee is a Tokyo staple. There’s a definite skater vibe at Streamers when it comes to decor, but you’ll find all different types enjoying their coffee here. If you plan to make this your workspace for a day, just make sure you’re OK with a little hip hop in the background, as that seemed to be the music of choice.
The perfect pit stop after you’ve checked out the nearby Meiji Shrine, LifeSon feels like a secret neighborhood go-to where locals meet for brainstorm sessions or to catch up with friends. Head here to feel like you’re getting off the beaten track.
Aoyama Flower Market Teahouse, Akasaka
If you prefer tea over coffee, don’t miss the Aoyama Flower Market Teahouse, which as the name suggests is attached to a beautiful flower market just a short walk from Akasaka Station. Sitting here feels like dining inside a greenhouse, so if you place a high premium on atmosphere or are a sucker for florals you’re guaranteed to fall in love with this spot.
Starbucks at Shibuya Crossing
I wouldn’t normally include a Starbucks on this list, but location is everything. This is hands down the best place to get a birds eye view of the famous Shibuya Crossing, where crowds like you’ve never seen before refill the crosswalk from every direction over and over again like a constant replay. Head up to the second floor and try to snag a chair by the window for the best view – it may take a little while for a seat to open up, but you can still get some great photos by standing nearby.
About Life, Shibuya
Just a few blocks from Shibuya Crossing, About Life is the perfect coffee stand to hit up for your caffeine fix after you’ve survived the famous Tokyo scramble. Its petite size means there’s no sitting room, but I loved that customers were still sticking around to hang out in the alleyway and socialize rather than taking their coffee to go.
This adorable little coffee stand attached to the Lourmarin Market & Gallery was one I stumbled upon randomly while exploring the Daikan-Yama neighborhood. For a moment you’ll feel transported to a back street in France and completely forget you’re in Tokyo at all. I wouldn’t make this a destination in itself, but check this place out if you’re planning on doing some shopping in Daikan-Yama for the day.