Upon spotting this charming old house on Yanaka's Kototoi-dori, most passers-by probably wouldn't guess that it's been home to a café for well over 70 years. Constructed in 1916, the building hosted the Kayaba coffee shop from 1938 until the death of the original proprietor in 2006. Beloved by both locals and visitors, the community icon made a strong comeback in 2009, when a local not-for-profit group teamed up with the folks behind nearby gallery Scai the Bathhouse and reopened Kayaba – with the original exterior and signage intact.
Inside, you'll find a fusion of the time-honoured kissaten tradition and the modern craft coffee ethos – no AeroPressing, just honestly good joe, best combined with a pick off the wonderfully retro food menu. Try the egg sandwich for a quick bite, or the weekly lunch for a more substantial option. Kayaba is one of those places where you can lose track of time and just drift away into daydreams, no matter what's going on outside the weather-bitten windows.