Tokyo’s vibrant and youthful Shibuya district is the beating heart of the city, packed with countless bars, restaurants, shops, and entertainment facilities. It’s also home to a wide variety of cafes that are at the forefront of Japan’s coffee culture, serving up innovative food and drink with their own distinctive twist. In this video, Japan by Food’s host Shizuka Anderson visits three very different cafes in Shibuya – ranging from a contemporary specialist in 3D latte art to a vegan CBD cafe and a traditional Japanese kissaten – on a quest to experience the best coffee in Tokyo. Take a look to find out what makes the Shibuya coffee scene so special!
Here are three cafes in Shibuya for three very different coffee experiences!
2. HealthyTOKYO CBD Shop & Cafe
3. Satei Hato (Chatei Hato)
The first stop on Shizuka’s tour is Reissue in Harajuku, which opened in 2015 and is one of the more famous Tokyo cafes thanks to its phenomenal 3D latte art. The owner is credited with inventing the concept of latte art after being inspired by the foam on hot chocolate, and soon found plenty of fans on social media.
As well as 3D art sculpted out of foam, they can also create 2D artwork in chocolate syrup on top of your drink of choice. What’s most impressive is that, in addition to choosing from a selection of images such as Pikachu and Totoro, you can bring in a picture of anything you like and they’ll create a latte art version of it for you!
Shizuka opts for a sweet vanilla latte with a 3D image of her dog, plus a honey latte with a 2D caricature of her own face – check out the video to see just how amazing they look and taste!
Next up is HealthyTOKYO CBD Shop & Cafe Harajuku, which is located down a peaceful side street just a short walk away. It’s one of the more unique cafes in Tokyo because it not only has an all-vegan and mostly gluten-free menu but it also specializes in CBD (cannabidiol) products, which are made using CBD from organically-grown industrial hemp.
Shizuka tries a range of items here, including a spicy ginger ale infused with yuzu CBD oil, a melt-in-the-mouth lasagna made with rice-based pasta, the vegan cheesecake, and a creamy latte with mint CBD oil which goes perfectly with the decadently rich chocolate cake.
The highlight however is the top grade, organic matcha latte infused with yuzu CBD oil – be sure to head to this cafe in Shibuya for the perfect relaxing pick-me-up on a cold day!
The last spot on Shizuka’s itinerary is Satei Hato (Chatei Hato), a 30-year-old establishment that wonderfully preserves the atmosphere of a traditional Japanese kissaten (coffee shop). The coffee master personally chooses a cup to match each guest, and after being in business for so long they have perfected their menu, offering what might just be the best coffee in Shibuya!
Shizuka samples a delicious slice of homemade maple chiffon cake that is light, fluffy, and pairs perfectly with the cafe’s classic hand-drip coffee. Satei Hato also has a no WiFi policy to encourage guests to savor the coffee and the ambiance. Combined with the elegant surroundings, this enables you to really get a feel for the history of coffee culture in Japan.
Prefer green tea to coffee? Take part in a Virtual Teatime with Japanese Green Tea Expert in Japan! This online session will introduce you to the wonderful world of green tea, from its health benefits and significance in Japanese culture to methods for brewing the perfect cup. Your English-speaking tea expert will teach you about the many different types of tea, as well as some interesting pairings to try – including delicious tea cocktails!