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tomarkot Mar 10th, 2010 05:46 AM

Coffee Availability in Tokyo/Kyoto
Being coffee drinkers, we're wondering if there are coffee shops, i.e. Starbucks or the like, in Tokyo and Kyoto? Any outside chance that our hotels, esp. Hilton Tokyo, would have coffee makers in the room? Is coffee available in many restaurants? Thanks for any info.

MichaelBKK Mar 10th, 2010 05:53 AM

Have you done any research? Don't let that tea ceremony image fool you, the Japanese are coffee-mad. They have the highest per-capita coffee consumption in Asia. You wouldn't have ever heard of Blue Mountain, Kona Coffee, Toraja or Sumatra Mandheling if it weren't for the Japanese. They were drinking lots of coffee before Starbucks showed up, and Japan was the first country outside the US where Starbucks opened. Will you be able to find coffee in Japan? Don't be silly.

WillJame Mar 10th, 2010 06:10 AM

Coffee makers in the room? No, but a hot pot of water will be there. If you're particular, and don't want instant, pack a one- or two-cup Melitta-style plastic cone and a good grind of coffee.
The coffee available in coffee shops such as Starbucks will be as good as anywhere; but you should take the opportunity to experience an individually brewed cup in a Japanese restaurant, often as part of an afternoon "setto" with a pastry. Or with a sandwich at breakfast. BTW, you'll usually pay all over again for a refill if it is offered.
If you like a large cup of coffee in the morning, Starbucks may be your best bet. Sometimes the Japanese cup of coffee is more like a demitasse.

dreaming Mar 10th, 2010 08:50 AM

There's also a range of coffee - hot/cold with and without milk/sugar - available in the vending machines, which you'll find all over the place in both Tokyo and Kyoto...

tomarkot Mar 10th, 2010 02:34 PM

Thanks to all for info. We may bring some Starbucks Via packets due to the info regarding the possibility of hot water in the room. Glad that the Japanese are coffee drinkers!

mrwunrfl Mar 10th, 2010 10:05 PM

You can be confident that there will be a hot pot in any hotel room. At the Hilton it will probably be filled with hot water when you get there, as WillJame mentioned.

I would expect that you could get a coffee brewer at the Hilton, though it may not be standard in the room. The suites at that hotel have kitchenettes, so they do have coffee makers on the property. It is a 4* international hotel, after all. You could call 800-hiltons, if you are in the use. Or send an e-mail to [email protected] You certainly won't be the first guest with this request.

mrwunrfl Mar 10th, 2010 10:06 PM

I always stop at the Doutor coffee shops.

Paul1950 Mar 11th, 2010 10:30 AM

And they have a variety of coffee shops that feature just about every method of brewing coffee known to humanity--some I'd never seen or heard of before. We went into a nice looking coffee shop in Kyoto, and it looked like a chemistry lab. Water and brewed coffee flowing through all sorts of glass tubes and flasks, etc. It was very good, as was the ice cream we had in the same place.

glaciermeadows Mar 18th, 2010 12:31 PM

Great and plenty of coffee in Tokyo and Kyoto. I was there last week. I never hit a Starbucks and I'm from Seattle. Here I rarely drink at Starbucks.

kappa1 Mar 19th, 2010 05:27 AM

> Will you be able to find coffee in Japan? Don't be silly.

Exactly. Not a problem.

I remember the days where a cup of coffee costed 400yen and up at an ordinary coffee shop. A friend of mine took me once to a special one where the cheapest coffee was 800 yen, nice coffee served at your table in expensive looking china. That's almost 30 years ago. Then came above mentioned Doutor chain. They had coffee from 180yen then (now more like 210yen).

I came back from Japan last night after my 3-week stay mostly in Tokyo. Last week I met up with an Italian friend who had arrived in Japan for the first time. I took him to 2 Veloce coffee shops during our visit of the city, one near his hotel in Shinjuku. I warned him not to expect European/Italian coffee. He was not disappointed or at least he said the coffee was fine. As far as I know they have the cheapest coffee at 170yen (they call the standard type " blend") for size M and the cup is mug type and large for me.

Both Doutor and Veloce are self service place. I prefer Veloce partly because usually their seats are spaceous. I know some both in Kyoto (karasuma shijo - very central) and Tokyo that are huge with 2 levels. A funny thing about Veloce : My Italian friend said veloce means rapid but you cannot call a coffee shop veloce. Oh well. He said would go back to Veloce later even alone. He had a room only plan at his hotel and being an Italian he didn't need a big breakfast. Just a cup of coffee and some bread or sandwich. Many kinds are availble at these shops.

And as someone said above, don't expect a free refill. Also at the shops where you are served at your table (vs self service), expect to pay twice as much than self service ones.

About Starbucks, I was with another (American) frined the week before by Ueno Station - Tokyo. He needed to use his notebook and we went into the Starbucks in the station for WIFI. Well there was no WIFI. They told him to go to another shop downstairs called something like Wire or Wired Coffee Shop. So we learned not all the Starbucks shops has WIFI. He was able to use his notebook the day before at a Starbucks in Shinjuku.

emd3 Mar 19th, 2010 09:39 AM

I had a hot pot french press kind of deal in my hotel room in Tokyo at the Westin Ebisu and the Westin in Kyoto. It had coffee filter things to insert. And I am pretty sure I had a similar set up at the Okura hotel in Kyoto (if the room didn't have coffee I'd remember that, as I can not do anything without a cup of coffee in the a.m.). And I went to Starbucks in at least two subway stations in Tokyo. Don't worry.

highcommander Mar 24th, 2010 04:20 PM

Maybe I am being a bit "oneminded" but everything I have read about Japanese coffee is that it is reallllly bad tasting if you are use to blends sold in America. When I go there next year I am going to make sure to bring some of my favorite instant blend just in case :)

loverhol Mar 24th, 2010 08:33 PM

We've visited Japan several times and always found the coffee both easily available and terrific. I can't imagine preferring instant to fresh-brewed!!

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