Kayaba Coffee House
Kayaba coffee marks the eastern entrance to the Yanaka neighborhood. With its dashigeta-zukuri eaves encircling the house it is characteristic of traditional machiya style shop houses of the period, and won an award in 1999 for being one of the scenic corners of Taito Ward. Built in 1916, the building was originally a milk bar and sweets shop until it became Kayaba Coffee in 1938. As a coffee shop, it has long been a Yanaka landmark and a place for locals and people from Tokyo University of the Arts to come together, discuss the arts, and relax. Over the years it has seen a long stream of people pass through its doors. Although it briefly closed in 2006, thanks to the support of all those who loved the cafe it reopened in 2009 under the management of the Taito Cultural and Historical Society.
The main building is a two story hip-roofed building measuring 3.6m x 9m with an attached bungalow. The building supports are a 24cm-wide pillar made from a single Japanese zelkova tree and a large beam known as a hitomi-bari Upon becoming Kayaba Coffee in 1938, the building was renovated with a western-style door, lit shop sign, and windows added making it a example of a Showa-era machiya-style cafe. In 2009, Kayaba Coffee was renovated, bringing out its original Taisho-era appearance, but maintaining its Showa- era cafe atmosphere inside. Everything from the brick counter, stools, and tableware are a modern day revitalization of Kayaba’s traditional heyday.
- ◆Shop Renovation Plan
- Yuko Nagayama and Associates
- ◆Preservation Research and Advice
- Graduate School of Conservation, Buildings and Districts StudioTokyo University of the Arts
- ◆Preservation and Restoration Plan,
Building Management & Project
- Taito Cultural and Historical Society, SCAI THE BATHHOUSE
(Shiraishi Contemporary Arts Institute)
- ◆Shop Management
- Gendai Art Inc.
Combining the old and new, Kayaba Coffee is modern but relaxing. The unique atmosphere of the interior is amplified by its old-fashioned cafe furniture, counter, and mirror-finished ceiling.
Part of the adjoining bungalow is used as the Taito Historical and Cultural Society’s office space. During Yanaka’s Geikoten arts and crafts fair, the blackboard wall next to the entrance is used for various exhibitions.
Used for special events, the second floor roughly follows the building’s original design. The transparent acrylic panels set among the tatami flooring allow a view of the shop below, tying the two floors together.
The menu features faithful recreations of food and drink from a past time, with specialties like “Russian Coffee” (a mix of coffee and coco) and its signature egg sandwiches. Also, it serves original items unique to the area such as its thick-cut ham sandwich (in collaboration with Yanaka’s Koshizuka Ham) and Yanaka ginger ale. For more details, please inquire at the cafe.
Add : 6-1-29 Yanaka, Taito-ku Tokyo
TEL : (03)-3823-3545
HP : http://kayaba-coffee.com
Address：6-1-29 Yanaka, Taito-ku Tokyo（Map）