Tokyo is not be the most accessible city when it comes to free wi-fi: public hotspots are few and far between, and sometimes you'll even need a local phone number to sign up. But fear not: we've rounded up our favourite local cafés and coffeeshops offer wi-fi for free. So bring along your laptop, order a latte and get comfy while you enjoy the modern conveniences of these caffeinated Tokyo establishments.
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Tokyo's best wi-fi cafés
Why sit at a normal café when you can lay back on a hammock instead? Located under the JR railway tracks between Okachimachi and Akihabara stations, this unassuming café is one of the many cool tenants inside the 2k520 Aki-Oka Artisan Street complex.
Cafe Asan’s appeal lies in the hammocks hanging along one of the walls – plus there’s free wi-fi, too. Our advice? Don’t get too comfy or you might just end up dozing off, instead of perusing the internet to get some much needed work done. If you’re feeling peckish, the café offers set lunches at ¥700 and its signature soufflé’s hotcakes are a crowd-pleaser.
Originally a coffee subscription service, ABC Coffee has now ventured out into the physical coffeeshop business – with a side of beer. Combining a co-working space with a California-style café, they offer monthly memberships for ¥9,000, including free coffee and other members-only benefits. Non-members can of course pop in as well and just order a cuppa and take advantage of their free wi-fi. Their staples range from regular espresso-based drinks and tea to Californian wine and Nitro Cold Brew (chilled coffee served with a frothy top, courtesy of a nitrogen gas-powered pump).
Located just behind Books Sanseido's main shop in Jinbocho, Paper Back makes for a quiet respite in the heart of Tokyo's old book town. Buy a book from the adjoining Books Tokyodo or bring your own reading material before settling down to enjoy your down time over a coffee. For more peace and quiet, head on up to the second floor, where it's pretty much a no-talking zone and you can really concentrate on your work or reading. The bookstore-café also has free wi-fi.
A self-proclaimed ‘kotatsu café’, Stay Happy in Shimokitazawa is run by a cosmopolitan, English-speaking Japanese couple who travelled the world before opening their comfy base. They’ve got hammocks, communal tables and around half a dozen kotatsu for your snuggling pleasure. Take advantage of their free wi-fi while you dig into their organic dishes made with vegetables that are delivered straight from local farms. Their menu features both Western and Japanese flavours, with classic café fare including omurice, chicken karaage and peperoncino pasta.
The physical outpost of Time Out Tokyo's online empire brings a dash of cosmopolitan class to the Ebisu area – and it's a great hangout, too (if we say so ourselves). Housed on the floor above the acclaimed live-music venue Liquidroom, Time Out Café & Diner offers an ideal spot for lazy lunches, coffee sessions and casual meetings.
Order up some international grub from the open-plan kitchen – specialities include the hearty pastrami sandwich and Yatsugatake Premium Burger – and browse the library of Time Out books and magazines from around the globe. Alternatively, knock back a cappuccino, Chimay beer or cocktail, then check out the latest exhibition in the adjacent Kata gallery. And did we mention we also have free wi-fi? We're nice like that.
Glitch has continued to gain admirers for its communal roaster (which is available for use by other coffeeshops) and relaxed approach to craft coffee, making it an ideal spot for city-dwellers looking to satisfy their caffeine cravings. Settle down at the central table or alongside one of the huge windows and bring your laptop along to connect to their speedy wi-fi.
Lattest is hidden away in the backstreets between Harajuku and Aoyama but draws crowds with its eponymous drink, a single shot espresso combined with a splash of ice cold milk. Local artists regularly exhibit here, but it also makes for a nice space to get down and serious with some work or just catch up on your reading.
Streamer Coffee Company lives up to the hype, especially if you're a fan of the kind of ornate foam squiggles that are the baristas' speciality. With its unfussy décor and long communal table in the centre of the room, the place might remind Western visitors of coffeeshops back home – complete with free wi-fi. Good news is that Streamer is actually a small local chain, so you can find a number of cafés around the city including other locations in Nakameguro, Harajuku and Nihonbashi if you in need of decent coffee and wi-fi.
The Tokyo location of this Norwegian café is nestled off a backstreet corner not far from Yoyogi Park. Open bright and early at 8am on weekdays, the shop serves tea and some remarkably good coffee and switches to bar mode in the evenings, with Japanese and Norwegian craft beers and a menu of cocktails. Free wi-fi is available for all, including those who want to park themselves down for a few hours of work.
Situated along the Meguro River, this stylish five-storey facility houses a restaurant and coffee bar on the ground floor, an event space one floor up and offices from floors three to five. The coffee bar and restaurant works as a great space to sit back and relax, and the free wi-fi makes it an ideal place to get some work done. If the weather is nice, sit outside on their benches to soak up some sun.
This nondescript Ebisu coffee shop is located a few minutes' walk from the station and is the perfect location to grab a coffee on the go. If you have a bit more time, take a seat inside the shop and enjoy a drink while you take advantage of their free wi-fi – just ask the staff for the password. The coffee shop is also open until 12.30am, making it a perfect spot for night owls looking for a place to unwind.
The folks behind Australian apparel brand Deus Ex Machina have their fingers in many pies. To motorcycles, surfboards and records, they can now add this renovated Tokyo outpost with its basement now a lively DJ bar come nightfall.
If you prefer to visit during the day, park yourself on their cosy lounge chairs or at the communal table and take advantage of the free wi-fi. We love the ground floor space that opens out to the street, and there's a retail space up on the top floor.
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