The Tokyo fashion scene is vibrant, innovative and constantly shifting, and now the coffee scene is catching up. (See DCN’s recent coverage of the Seven of the Best Coffee Shops in Tokyo Right Now). In some splendid cases these two scenes meet, with high-end coffee stands becoming increasingly popular in high-fashion retail stores.
Here is a look at four of Tokyo’s hippest lifestyle shops that have jolted their in-store energy with a coffee kick:
Already well known in Paris for their trend-setting and catchy remix compilations, 2013 saw Maison Kitsune finally bring their coffee-meets-fashion approach to Omotesando. With an outdoor bamboo seating arrangement and a small indoor counter, customers can enjoy some hip beats, sip a latte, and stare longingly at the swanky brand-name sweaters in the store.
In the heart of Daikanyama lies Bonjour Records, a mish-mash of music, fashion, and books. Conveniently placed Discmans (retro!) allow for CD sampling before purchase, and there’s a corner dedicated to off-the-wall art/fashion/design books. While the Bonjour Brown Water doesn’t get more complicated than a cafe au lait, there are occasional limited run of their Geisha coffees, and consumers are willing to pay: 100 grams runs a little over 2,000 yen, or approximately $20 USD per 3 ounces.
Shinjuku branch map link
A short walk from Daikanyama’s T-Site is Saturdays Surf NYC, a refreshingly simple and open space offering a curated line of surfing gear, as well as SSNYC’s inimitable, ready-to-wear fashion line. On the coffee side of things, it’s worth noting that the resident barista is none other than the 2012 winner of the Japan Barista Championship, Takayuki Ishitani. The space invites shoppers to sip a latte, soak up the sun on the wood-deck balcony, and take a leisurely stroll through T-Site to show-off their new purchases.
Hidden away on the outskirts of Daikanyama is Number, a smooth blend of vintage apparel and Italian Bon Dolfi coffee. The relaxed vibe lends itself brilliantly to window-shopping, and seasonal coffee offerings keep it interesting on the drinks front. The best time to go is when the weather is nice and the glass shutters are open.
Originally from Australia, Hengtee Lim has been busy scouring the Tokyo food and coffee scene since he decided to call it home in 2012. On any given weekend, you can find him seeking out specialty coffee shops, roasters and good eats. Follow him at htreport.tumblr.com, and on Twitter at @hent03.