Coffee Western Kitayama


Restaurants & Cafés


One of the most eccentric little places we've come across, Coffee Western Kitayama gives the impression that they'd much rather have no customers at all. We arrived there to find the front door locked and bolted, despite the open sign, and just as we were about to give up we caught the owner's eye as he scouted us from within. Once we'd convinced him that we spoke reasonable Japanese, that we'd only stay for one cup of coffee, and that we wouldn't take any photographs, we were allowed to take a seat.

Was it worth the trouble? In a word, yes. The interior is a shrine to an imaginary coffee world, done out like a western saloon but one that specializes in Joe rather than drink. Bags of beans are strewn about like sacks if gunpowder, and two or three of the twelve seats we counted are pressed up against an old barrelhouse piano. The owner went straight to work behind a tall counter, high enough that we couldn't see what he was preparing, but with amazing smells emanating from his secretive work station. The result was a blend of coffee rich in tastes; smooth at first but with a strong citrus kick in the rear. If you can get through the door, it's well worth a shot.


1-5-1 Kamiya, Taito-ku

Transport Ueno Station (Ginza, Hibiya lines)

Telephone 03 3844 2822

Open Tue-Thu, 11.30am-7pm; weekends 11.30am-6pm / closed Mondays

Admission From ¥850


Please note: All information is correct at the time of writing but is subject to change without notice.

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