It's not a coffee shop, it's a kissaten

Good morning everyone,

Didn't it feel downright warm yesterday? I was practically sweating on my way home, which is better than freezing. It's going to remain warm for the next few days, so that's nice. However, the warm weather will be accompanied by rain for today, tomorrow, and into Saturday before clearing up for Sunday. Highs all week will be over 10C.

To experience the charms of a really fantastic Japanese style coffee house, Kissaten, I urge you to seek out one of the two Teranishi locations in the city center. The morning set is unlike any continental breakfast you have ever had before- signature blend coffee made from beans roasted on premises and giant wedges of homemade buttered toast leave you full yet wanting more!

teranishi coffee shop

If you enjoy toast sliced as thick as a good book and cup of coffee while being surrounded by old-world charm, you will love Japanese Kissaten. When I first came to Japan in the 90’s, these were the only places to get coffee but in recent times, they seem to have lost favor as the big coffee giants dominate the main shopping areas.

Morning Set - ¥800 with drink
Morning Set – ¥800 with drink

Kissaten were introduced to Japan in the Meiji-era (1868-1912) to serve tea, coffee and light meals to busy businesspeople. They became staples for the Japanese version of the continental breakfast- toast, egg, salad and coffee. Of course the Kissaten version of a continental breakfast is called the “morning set” and it is very uniquely impressive.

Teranishi does not disappoint, the morning set is a basket filled with giant wedges of buttered toast, smothered with a variety of jams next to a mountain size heap of cabbage salad topped with a boiled egg and roll of sliced ham garnish. It is served with a blend coffee. Teranishi’s blend coffee is a combination of 3 different roasted coffees, it is full-bodied and delicious served in a signature Teranishi coffee mug. There are also juices available if you prefer, the banana juice we tried was served in a giant goblet and was so delicious. The bread used here is great and is made without preservatives, sugar or oils. The bread is a popular take-home item and is sold by the loaf, but be warned it will not fit in a normal sized toaster- we had to use our oven! Prices are very reasonable, a morning set costs 800 yen. Coffee is roasted on the premises and can be bought to take home as well as the bread.

Teranishi Coffee Mug

There is seating for more than 20, but as there are only 6 tables and counter seating, you should be prepared to wait for a table if you arrive at a busy time. The staff were very friendly and accommodating- we felt very welcome. There are two coffee master staff working hard making coffees, drinks and food in a few small ovens and devices behind the counter while a friendly wait staff takes orders and delivers food and drinks. The menu is only in Japanese and the staff do not speak English. Besides the morning set, there are omelets, sandwiches and other bread accompanied dishes to choose from.

The shop decor is very charming and most of the other clientele were quietly reading the shop’s selection of magazines and newspapers. There were ashtrays on every table but luckily as the small shop was full of families with young children, no one lit up while we were there. If you need to go, there is a funky and sparkling clean Japanese style toilet in the back of the shop.

 

  • Open Monday to Saturday 7:30-19:00 (Closed Sundays)
  • Cash only
  • Japanese (katakana) menu
  • No English speaking staff
  • Coffee and fresh bread for sale to take home

We went to the main shop (near Fuji grand department store) 6-15 Takara-machi, Naka-ku , but there's also a 2nd shop (near the main post office)  1-3-15 Kokutai-ji-cho Phoenix Building 1F.

If you're wondering how Japanese people drank coffee before Starbucks invaded Japan, this is it.

Have a great day!


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