You can now get your copy of Time Out Tokyo magazine delivered - we ship internationally too!
If you haven't picked up a copy of our new magazine yet, start here...
Essential boutiques, plus the best book, music and souvenir stores
Discover Japan’s endless diversity with our in-depth guide
April 1, Harajuku
March 31, Harajuku
Our newsletters get the best of Tokyo delivered straight to your inbox.
Open since 1938, from the outside Kabaya looks like the kind of old kissaten (coffee shop) you still find regularly in small towns outside the capital. To the unknowing eye, it appears that it may collapse at any moment, and it's certainly not the kind of place tourists would venture inside without prompting.
The refurbished interior, then, is unexpected. Both the furniture and the young waiting staff favour retro stylings, with a mirrored ceiling giving the initial impression that the shop is much larger than it actually is (it feels tiny again once you've squeezed yourself behind one of the tabels). Barely big enough to wield a camera, the weekend tourist throng makes light work of packing it solidly throughout the day. Try it on a weekday, however, and you'll find it a pleasant stop, perfectly positioned to round off a visit to Scai the Bathhouse.
You won't find anything fascinating on the menu, but the coffee is hot and tasty, and the buttered toast exactly as you'd expect. What more could you ask of an ageing kissaten?
Bill (for one)
Coffee, ¥400 (¥200 refill)
Buttered toast, ¥300