Omotesando is an area that is famous for high-end fashion. Some of the world’s most iconic fashion names have their Japanese location here. From Coach to Vuitton they’ve got you covered. Harajuku is an area known for its wild and absurd clothing styles. Rainbow colored victorian clothing and wearable stuffed animals find themselves at home here. The two areas both share a section of Tokyo called Jingumae. Here, between the Shibuya, Omotesando, Harajuku, and Jingumae train stations you’ll find some more of Tokyo’s best and most interesting specialty coffee shops.
About 10 minutes northwest of Ometesando Station, off of Route 418 is home to Ratio. Ratio Coffee & Cycle is one of Onibus Coffee’s locations. Located in a business section of the city you’ll find it to be a little more quiet than a lot of the other coffee bars in the area. You’ll also find that it’s undeniably cool. For a cycling and coffee geek like myself I can’t think of a neater shop than a bicycle store and espresso bar combination. Onibus is known for being consistent and quality driven. Here you can grab an espresso or a pour over and relax among the bicycle spokes and helmets. Usually they have both their “Step” espresso blend and a single origin coffee available for espresso as well as a few other choices for filter coffee.
Straight down the road from Ratio is Talk and Come Again, a fascinating and cramped little shop. The owner and barista, Natalie, is always there and always smiling. If you could bottle quirkiness and apply it to a cafe, this might be the result. Here you can get a decent latte or americano. The espresso here is a pretty heavily concentrated ristretto style and has a good amount of character on its own. People working in the local shops and offices frequent this cafe and help add to its warmth.
Deus Ex Machina is a few narrow, winding streets away to the south west. Deus itself is an interesting shop, being not only an espresso bar, but also a clothing shop and motorcycle customizer. They serve well-prepared espresso and stunning lattes here. You can also grab a decent lunch or a drink of something a bit stronger, if you prefer. The interior is rough, featuring a lot of poured concrete and course woods. It’s a really cool place to kick back with a cup of joe. On a sunny day the outside seating, if you can grab a spot, is great.
The road to the next stop takes you through street fashion territory and spits you out in high-fashion-land. You’ll be able to see a lot of Harajuku flair as you walk. Little shops with quirky and outrageous clothes line the streets as well as interesting buildings and eateries. Soon you’ll come to Sarutahiko Coffee. Sarutahiko is one of Tokyo’s rapidly expanding specialty coffee shops. They opened an interesting espresso bar in Omotesando, a shared space coffee shop, travel company, and book store. It’s a nice spot to grab a drink to go as you explore the Omotesando and Harajuku areas. Down a flight of stairs there’s a spacious seating area and travel book store where you can retreat from the fashion hungry mobs and collect yourself. The staff seems to take coffee serious enough, and they offer multiple roasts, blends, and origins for their coffee beans. There’s something available for every palette. It’s located next to a Starbucks, but I know you’ll make the right choice.
Once you’re done with your drink you can head to Omotesando Street where you’ll be just minutes away from Omotesando Station. That’s right, we went in one big circle. If you are heading to Shibuya it’s only a 30 minute walk away. If you’re still jonesing for more caffeine, following Coffee Walk #1.2 in reverse will bring you to several more great shops towards Shibuya. Coffee Walk #2 is also nearby. Have fun!
Coffee & Cycle is located at: 3-1-26 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Talk and Come Again is located at: 2-12-3 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Deus ex Machina is located at: 3-29-5 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Sarutahiko Coffee Omotesando is located at: 4-3-3 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo