Koffee in Tokyo

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In Tokyo around the Omotesando area, behind all the fancy big streets, there are tons of tiny winding alleyways with shops and homes. My sister and I spent quite some time wandering these small streets on our one day in Tokyo. It didn’t seem at all like we were in a big bustling city; the streets were quiet and stores small. In one alleyway, we found Omotesando Koffee, easily missed unless you find the small sign beside the little doorway covered in plants.

Inside we entered a courtyard, which led to a small open traditional room. A man stood behind the simple counter, taking orders and brewing coffee. Every single aspect was well designed, from the layout of the shop to the handling of the payment. While I was ordering I noticed a Japanese man in a business suit hunched over his notebook with an espresso to his side. He folded the shop’s business card (which was printed on a coffee filter) neatly into his journal and scribbled a few phrases in Japanese. I paid and, after murmuring thank you several times (really the only phrase I know in Japanese), I joined my sister in the adjoining small courtyard outside.

While we sipped our coffees, a man who seemed like a regular parked his bike outside (unlocked) and walked into the store. He enjoyed his coffee while chatting with the barista in Japanese. After a few minutes of friendly animated discussion, he biked away, continuing down the alleyway.

There are so many reasons why I love Tokyo and this coffee shop. A few have to do with the unlocked bikes, the elegant spaces, and the politeness and intentionality of every single transaction. And there’s something different about the coffee too.

First photo by Lauren. Second photo of Lauren by me.

1 comment :

Unknown said...

Tokyo sounds lovely, and I can't say I've ever had a huge desire to travel there, but maybe I should rethink that. I love the detail of the unlocked bike. Funny how something so small says so much about an environment.