My new obsession: Kissaten, kissa for short, an old-world, mom-and-pop coffee shop in Japan, whose golden age was in the 50s and 60s. You go less for the coffee, and more for the atmosphere; filled with dark wood, conversation, doo-wop, jazz, classical music or simply silence. You might also notice a cloud of smoke (they have a loophole where smoking is still legal inside), but don’t let that stop you, because it is a place where you truly can go back in time. The menu is simple, the distinguished Japanese owners often serving pancakes and cinnamon toast, but not just any, the best you’ve ever had in your life. I heard a sad rumor that the kissaten are disappearing due to certain cafe chains, so I made it my mission to visit as many as possible while in Japan, and I hope to visit many more in the future.
Some of my favorites in order of the photos:
Dart Coffee-Osaka (best music selection I’ve heard in any cafe ever!)
Arabiya Coffee-Osaka (great pancakes, great design, great service)
Sabouru- Jimbocho, Tokyo (get the fresh strawberry juice)
Poppins Coffee and Tea- Koenji, Tokyo (get the cinnamon toast)
Live Coffee Kimura-Bunkyo,Tokyo (not technically a kissaten, but a wonderful old-timey cafe with a delightful owner)