1. Ogawa Coffee Laboratory
    Photo: Ogawa CoffeeOgawa Coffee Laboratory
  2. Switch Coffee Tokyo K5
    Photo: ©K5Switch Coffee Tokyo at K5
  3. Connel Coffee
    Photo: Kisa ToyoshimaConnel Coffee

12 most beautiful cafés and coffee shops in Tokyo

From modern tea houses to sleek coffee shops, these stunning Tokyo cafés are the perfect place to linger over your latte

Kaila Imada
Written by
Kaila Imada
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Tokyo has a thriving café scene with trendy coffee roasters and tea shops constantly popping up around the city. Plus, the city’s cafés are often housed in gorgeous spaces – some of which are designed by top architects and designers – that make them worth a visit just for the sleek interiors alone.

So the next time you’re on the hunt for caffeine, swap your Starbucks run for one of these beautiful cafés in the capital.

RECOMMENDED: The best wagashi shops and cafés in Tokyo

Tokyo's stylish cafés

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  • Cafés
  • Omotesando

This chic café is inside Gyre, the Omotesando shopping centre designed by renowned architectural firm MVRDV. Situated right off of Cat Street, you couldn’t ask for a more convenient and accessible location. While Gyre is filled with luxury fashion boutiques including Chanel, Delvaux and Comme des Garçons, the fourth floor is dedicated to Gyre Food, with the floor divided into a café, gourmet grocer and two restaurants. 

Uni takes up a good half of the space and is defined by a stunning seating area made up of wooden cubes in varying heights. The space was designed by Atelier Tsuyoshi Tane Architects and is inspired by soil, with the floor and walls covered in different types of earth. The surrounding greenery adds to the natural space and gives the café a forest-like feel. Its Zen atmosphere makes it the perfect retreat from the hustle and bustle of the streets below.

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  • Cafés
  • Harajuku

This sleek coffee joint in the heart of Harajuku oozes Japanese minimalism and is exactly where we’d want to enjoy our daily cup of joe. Although situated on a basement level, the space feels light and airy all thanks to the smart design of Tokyo-based architecture firm Keiji Ashizawa Design. 

Dotcom Space is quite a large café by Tokyo standards, and uses the space well by incorporating a long communal table, a simple barista bar, and even a separate private back room for events and workshops. Don’t miss the tranquil courtyard which brings in plenty of natural light and fresh air when the doors are completely open.

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  • Akasaka

Design firm Nendo took the reins of this minimalist coffee shop inside the Sogetsu Kaikan building – designed by renowned architect Kenzo Tange back in the 1970s. Located on the second floor, the space features glass ceilings and jaw-dropping glass windows looking out onto a lush green forest on one side and a stone garden by Isamu Noguchi on the other. Both views bring a bit of zen to the café. 

Warm cherry wood planks cover both the floors and coffee counters, while simple furnishings finish off the space. The café is also an ideal place for remote work, with power outlets at the large table as well as free wifi. Additional seating is available one floor up with expansive windows and counter seats looking out onto the greenery of the Akasaka Palace grounds.

  • Restaurants
  • Tea rooms
  • Sangenjaya

This minimalist tea parlour in residential Sangenjaya is the perfect respite from the hustle and bustle of the city. Although packed into a small space, the café sure knows how to wow its visitors, with the highlight being the sleek wooden tea counter where you can sit right up front and watch the action. 

The modern aesthetic here goes beyond the interior. Saryo also showcases the traditions of Japanese tea with its uniquely designed hand drippers used to make each cup of tea. The modern tools put another refreshing spin on these age-old tea traditions.

Tokyo Sakyo is only open on Saturdays for the meantime. Visit their website for more information.

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  • Sakura-Shinmachi

Kyoto’s long-established coffee roasters Ogawa Coffee have finally set up shop in the capital with a flagship coffee laboratory in residential Setagaya. The spacious café was designed by interior design firm Yusuke Seki Studio and is full of muted tones, with the focal point being the wrap-around counter encircling the barista space.

Thanks to the large floor-to-ceiling windows at the front of the shop, the café offers generous natural lighting which works well with the textured plywood counter and white washi paper accents. To add a touch of Kyoto, the floor also features old stones from the old capital's tramways.

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  • Cafés
  • Harajuku

This light and airy café space behind the bustling streets of Omotesando and Harajuku is a mashup of two Tokyo institutions: Coffee Wrights and Higuma Doughnuts. Brought together by Chab Design, the sunken café space offers plenty of seating with indoor benches and tables, as well as outdoor benches along the expansive floor-to-ceiling windows. Concrete walls and simple plywood make up most of the interior, giving the space a down-to-earth and approachable vibe.

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  • Harajuku

Sarutahiko is reinvented by the Suppose Design Office with a spacious café tucked on the second floor of the new Harajuku Station building, which opened in 2020. There’s no shortage of seating inside this roomy café which looks over one of Tokyo’s busiest neighbourhoods and is fitted with cosy couches, communal tables and counter seating.

Although a predominately modern space, there are traditional Japanese touches too, from the wooden shoji panels dividing seating areas to the bonsai tree near the entrance. Perhaps the most stunning interior piece in the coffee shop is the massive central wooden table, seemingly cut from just one tree. The table also features handy outlets for those looking to get a bit of work done.

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  • Cafés
  • Kayabacho

Situated to the left of the entrance to the hip K5 building, Switch Coffee feels like you’ve stepped into a green nursery, complete with a handful of small tables, free wi-fi and excellent coffee. The coffee shop shares their space with restaurant Caveman in the revamped former bank building from the 1920s. Choose from single-origin drip coffee, espresso, latte, cappuccino or an iced coffee with tonic water – an uncanny but surprisingly refreshing combination.

This location is the third for Switch Coffee (find them also in Meguro and Yoyogi-Hachiman), who source their beans directly from selected farmers around the world. Masahiro Onishi opened the first location in 2013 after turning his passion into his day job and training in the famous coffee scene of Melbourne, Australia.

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  • Yanaka
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Situated on a charming street in Tokyo’s old school Yanaka neighbourhood, this kissaten was revamped in 2009 with the help of nearby art gallery Scai the Bathhouse and the Taito Cultural and Historical Society. Yuko Nagayama & Associates shared their architectural expertise to create a space that maintained the charm of the old kissaten while adding a mid-century modern touch.

The café is the perfect place to admire traditional Japanese architecture up close – it’s inside a traditional machiya-style house. The café's interior is accented by old-fashioned furniture and countertops with a mirrored roof that make it feel a lot more spacious. The second floor features traditional tatami-style seating with large tables and modern light fixtures. 

  • Restaurants
  • Tea rooms
  • Aoyama

You’ll find this tea sanctuary is on the fifth floor of the glitzy Spiral Building, an Omotesando landmark designed by architect Fumihiko Maki. The tea shop itself is designed by Simplicity founder Shinichiro Ogata, who’s also behind the café Higashiya Ginza

The small but mighty space boasts a tea roasting room where Sakurai’s own hojicha (roasted green tea) is made, a compact shop area offering seasonal teas, and a modern teahouse space which offers stunning views of the capital. The tea bar, accented with bright copper, seats a comfortable eight. Sakurai is all about giving you a multi-sensory tea experience, and looking at this shop is certainly a feast for the eyes.

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  • Shibuya

A revamped urban park in central Tokyo, Kitaya Park is now home to a stunning new Blue Bottle café complete with a second-floor balcony overlooking the park. The modern café features brown volcanic tiles created by Amsterdam-based designer Dzek, which line the interior walls and barista bar. 

There’s also plenty of seating with minimalist chairs and benches exclusively designed for Blue Bottle by Japanese architect Keiji Ashizawa. Grab a seat inside or opt for a spot out at the terrace, where events and public workshops are often held.

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  • Akasaka

Famed Japanese confectionery store Toraya has outlets all across the country, but none are as stunning as the massive Tokyo flagship in Akasaka. Situated across the street from the lush Akasaka Palace grounds, the two-storey café was refurbished in 2018 by architect Hiroshi Naito. 

The large wood and glass structure is topped with a black lacquer roof and the interior of the café lined with warm hinoki cypress wood for a traditional yet modern touch. Don't miss the basement gallery, where you'll be able to see how Toraya reproduces its intricate wagashi patterns.

More great Tokyo cafés

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