5 Trendy Cafes to Visit – Work, Rest, and Make Friends! | Guidable - Your Guide to a Sustainable, Wellbeing-centred Life in Japan
cafe menu with coffee ingredients placed on the counter and the wall

5 Trendy Cafes to Visit – Work, Rest, and Make Friends!

By Adi Rumale Mar 24, 2023

Some of the best memories are made in cafes. As a student, you rush to a cafe to find a sense of calm before an exam. It’s where time slows down and focus is optimal. Cafes are places where you have the deepest discussions with friends, where you read and write, and where new love begins. 

Cafes: Your Favorite Beverage Served in a Delightful Environment 

Coffee – the first thing you drink when you wake up as sunshine fills your room or the five minutes of stillness you manage to fit into your busy schedule. The drink that boosts your energy minutes before a deadline. The beverage that helps you gather yourself as you prepare to begin work. With a friend, alone, or with a lover, coffee encourages a deeper connection with yourself and with others. Whether you are a coffee connoisseur or an average coffee lover, we have some cafe recommendations for you! 

1. Route Books 

image of plants and books on the window sill in a sunlit room

Photo Credit: Canva.com 

Located near Ueno Station, Route Books is a plant and book lover’s paradise. This cafe is green throughout, it has all species of plants you could possibly think of: succulents, hanging, and tropical plants. As the cafes’s name suggests, books are displayed all around. Route Books is serene yet lively at the same time. It is twenty minutes away from Ueno Park. Gigs for Japanese musicians are also arranged from time to time. They offer guitar lessons, pottery classes, and other workshops. 

Route Books Website

Directions to Route Books 

2. Hoshino Coffee 

Less known than Starbucks and Dotour, Hoshino Coffee is the perfect mixture of a traditional Japanese cafe and a western twist: yellow lights, plants by windows, brown diner seats, and a reasonably priced menu. The cafe offers light desserts and snacks to go with your coffee. If you prefer small crowds and a sequestered corner to have your coffee in, this is where you can buy your coffee. 

Hoshino Coffee Website

Hoshino Coffee Locations

3. Blue Bottle 

image of black coffee and coffee beans

Photo Credit: Canva.com 

Blue Bottle cafes are “artful and engaging spaces” to sip coffee and contemplate life in. The cafe has a minimalistic design and exclusive merchandise: tote bags, portable coffee bottles, and a blog for their growing community of coffee lovers. They are passionate about their coffee – from its creation to its consumption. Blue Bottle is known for its takeout coffee in Tokyo. They even have carefully curated playlists for you to enjoy your coffee with. With scrumptious desserts, immaculate decor, and seasonal brews, visiting Blue Bottle is a must! 

Blue Bottle Website

Blue Bottle Locations

4. Aoi Coffee

cafes are good looking in interior and exterior

Photo Credit: Alex Gray/ Guidable Japan 

Five minutes from Senzoku Ike station on the Ikegami Line, Aoi Coffee is a charming local cafe that regulars enjoy for the excellent coffee and friendly staff. This place is a good mix of minimalistic design and greenery. Creatives often gather here. Regularly buying your coffee here will give you opportunities to network and become a part of a tight-knit community. The cafe regularly hosts events such as pop-up markets and weekly yoga classes. We recommend getting a coffee takeaway and walking to Senzoku Ike pond, just seven minutes away. 

Aoi Coffee Instagram

Directions to Aoi Coffee

5. Switch Coffee Tokyo 

Located in Meguro, Yoyogi, and Nihonbashi, Switch Coffee is another indoor green escape. Green brings with it a natural sense of calm. Psychology suggests “perceiving green leads to less mood disturbance and less perceived exertion.” If nature is not easily accessible, if your lifestyle does not permit a walk in the park, this cafe is the solution to your problem. Switch Coffee is lavish and is recognised for its rare handpicked selection of coffee beans and open wifi. 

Switch Coffee Website

6. Cafes in Tokyo: Converse, Create, and Connect

Cafes store a city’s secrets. You do not truly know a city until you have been to its cafes. Yellow lights can be more comforting than you know. A great place to take pictures, talk, and meet new people. Places to produce and absorb art in. Places to get your work done and unwind. Each cafe in Tokyo offers an extraordinary experience. While you are here, make sure to take advantage of these. 

Related articles: 

Where Should I Get Coffee? 10 Coffee Shops Popular in Japan

Featured Photo Credit: Canva.com