Coffee. Without it, modern life may very well not be possible. Japan has long embraced caffeinated bean juice and offers an almost overwhelming number of options for the person on the go. So what options do foreign residents have at their fingertips?
The most widely available options greet residents at the ubiquitous convenience stores: Canned coffee, to-go cups, and convenience store cups. Canned coffee often grabs the eye of new residents in Japan, and they are almost always delighted when the flavor ends up being much better than the price tag would imply.
The to-go cups also offer a quick drink for anyone (though the drinks are almost always guaranteed sweet). However, these can add up and become quite the monthly expense.
However, none of the on-the-go choices can beat out the convenience store coffee machines for those thinking only of price per cup. A mere 100 yen can give you a cup that tastes pretty good. It is hard to recommend anything else in a caffeine-deprived pinch where time limits other options.
However, what about when there is some time? What choices outside of Doutors, Tully’s, or the omnipresent Starbucks are there? Sure, Starbucks can do a great job and seemingly appears on every other street corner or in the depths of every shopping mall, but is there anyone else out there?
Fortunately, people in Hiroshima have great choices inside the city for those days when a nice cup of coffee is in order. Shimaji coffee roasters (Instagram here) is a cafe that specializes in brewing lightly roasted coffee (浅煎りコーヒー, asa-iri kōhī) and is located about a 6-minute walk from Hiroshima station.
The cafe itself is a bit on the smaller side (only six seats available) and only allows customers to spend up to an hour in the cafe due to Coronavirus provision.
Customers can enjoy coffee along with snacks in a relaxed atmosphere. Being near Hiroshima station makes this a great chance to unwind before or after a big day shopping and being out.
The next coffee shop, Obscura Coffee Roasters, is located in Fukuromachi, about a 7-minute walk from the Atomic Bomb Dome, or in Hondoori, only 2 minutes away from the Hiroshima Parco department store. Obscura, a popular downtown coffee shop, discusses its love for coffee in both English and Japanese on its website. The shop website also talks about the steps it takes to create sustainable coffee trades for drinkers who are interested in such practices from their local cafes.
While these beans may not grow stalks to castles in the sky, coffee aficionados take great care when choosing beans for brewing at home. Mount Coffee in Nishi-ku fits the needs of anyone looking to purchase coffee beans. You can buy blends at the shop or even sign up for their “Drip on the World Trip,” where you can pay either a single upfront or a monthly fee to have different coffees from around the world shipped to your house.
There is also a coffee stand if you wish to taste Mount Coffee for yourself (directions provided on the website link above).
Did you go out and grab a cup? Do you brew your own at home? Or do you have your own secret spot in Hiroshima? Let us know in the comments below!
Address (JP): 〒732-0824 広島県広島市南区的場町1-6-8
Address (EN): 〒732-0824 Hiroshima City, Minami-ward, Matoba-cho 1-6-8
Open from 11:00 to 18:00, closed on Tuesdays.
Address (JP): 〒730-0036 広島県広島市中区袋町3－28
Address (EN): 〒730-0036 Hiroshima City, Naka-ku, Fukuromachi 3-28
Open from 9:00 to 20:00.
Address (JP): 〒733-0821 広島市西区庚午北2-20-13 1F
Address (EN): 〒733-0821 Hiroshima City, Nishi-Ku, Kōgokita 2-20-13 1F
Open from 10:00 to 18:00, closed on Sundays and Mondays.