Japan’s food culture has long been developed by cultures introduced from all over the world. Especially, since the Meiji Restoration, we have been very much influenced by and adopted Western culture in all aspects of our lives, including clothing, food, and housing. For example, it could be about ingredients, dishes, cooking methods, and the type of shops that serves them. Today, there are restaurants and bars everywhere in Japan. And they have various types of shops. Coffee shops and cafes, which have appeared in Japan since modern times, are one type of these of shops. There are so many different kinds of coffee shops and cafes in Japan, thanks to the people’s openness to foreign cultures. There are many major coffee shops / cafes chains that you are familiar with because they are often seen overseas, but there are also other unique ones. All of these shops were basically developed from the coffee shops / cafes that appeared after the modern era. The “coffee shops / cafes” culture seems to have caught the interest of people at that time as something a little different from the “Cha-ya (teahouse)” culture that existed before then. In addition to the fact that the foods served were mainly of Western origin, the style of enjoying them and the atmosphere of the place was considered to be a very new and fashionable value. The Western culture that was spreading in Japan at that time seems to have created a new kind of sense of values in many aspects. Well, with such a trend at the time, “coffee shops / cafes” culture also became widely popular among Japanese people. Later, as time passed, the services and concepts that were offered were divided according to the tastes and preferences of Japanese people… As a result, coffee shops / cafes with different kinds of appeals from overseas ones were created. At the same time, however, it seems that a rather unique type of shops has been born…

After walking around the cities and tourist spots you visit, you may want to take a break. When taking such a short break, it is better to visit a place that is unique to the country oe region, such as a coffee shops / cafes. That way, you can enjoy the fun of different cultures even more.

Typical Japanese “Coffee shops and Cafes”

・”Jyun Kissa (Standard coffee shops)”

Coffee shops / cafes for those who simply want to enjoy coffee or tea. In these many shops, the shop owner has a certain level of dedication and skill when it comes to coffee and tea, and they are also particular about the atmosphere of the shop. You can also eat sweets and snacks. There are some dishes that can only be eaten at that particular shop, and many of them have become specialties of the shop. It can be said that these coffee shops / cafes are the most legitimate inheritors of the “coffee shops / cafes” culture that has been introduced from Europe and the United States since the modern era.
※The word “Jyun” means “pure”, “as it is” or “as it should be”.

・Chain coffee shops and cafes

As you know, they are coffee shops / cafes that serve coffee, tea, or other soft drinks, as well as sweets and snacks. These are coffee shops that are operated as a nationwide chain by major companies in Japan and abroad. Therefore, there are a great number of such stores. They are very easy to find and use. The quality of food and drink does not vary from store to store, which is a great feature.

・Animal Cafes

These shops are coffee shops / cafes where animals such as dogs or cats are kept, and where you can view and interact with them. There are also shops where you can interact with rabbits, hamsters, hedgehogs, ferrets, birds such as parrots, parakeets, and owls, and reptiles such as turtles, lizards, and snakes. There are sometimes very peculiar shops that keep spiders, beetles, and other insects that are rarely kept by the general public… But recently, these cafe shops have been decreasing due to various reasons.

・Concept Cafes

These are coffee shops / cafes that emphasize their unique service style based on a certain concept, rather than the foods or drinks they offer. Of course, there are many shops that serve foods and drinks with a certain degree of particularity based on their respective concepts, and many of their specialties have become popular.

・Jazz Cafes

These cafes are unique coffee shops / cafes where jazz records are played as background music. It is the prototype of the concept cafes in Japan, and became a hot topic when it appeared in the 1950s. It seems to have been popular for its stylish and fashionable atmosphere, different from other coffee shops and cafes. Today, the number of such shops is very few and far between.

・Video game Cafes

In the 1970s, arcade video games such as Space Invaders became a worldwide phenomenon. So many coffee shops / cafes appeared, using the gaming machine as a table. Even today, there are some shops that still have these game cabinets from those days. It is still popular among some people because it enables them to enjoy retro games.

・Maid / Butler Cafes

Perhaps these are the most impactful and unique Japanese coffee shops / cafes for people from overseas… Okay, don’t worry. At the time, many Japanese were also surprised. These coffee shops / cafes serve their customers with employees dressed in maid or butler costumes. It’s amazing that the way they serve their customers is also in accordance with these concepts. It seems that there are many other shops where you can enjoy customer service provided by costumed employees based on some kind of theme or concept, so if you are interested, why don’t you check them out?

・Karaoke Cafes / Go-Go-Dance Cafes

These types of cafes were popular in the 1950 ~ 1970s. They were coffee shops and cafes that provided kinds of music entertainment. The customers could enjoy karaoke and go-go dancing at the cafes. These stores also served alcoholic beverages, so to be precise, they were a little different from other coffee shops and cafes.

・Wa Cafes (Japanese style Cafes)

It’s a coffee shops and cafes for people from overseas, that looks of the outside or interior of the shops, the tableware, the clothes of the employees, and the foods and drinks served are mainly “Japanese-style”. There are also “Kominka Cafes (Japanese old house cafes)” that are old houses that have been converted into shops. All of them are popular not only with foreign customers but also with Japanese customers.

・Manga Cafes / Internet Cafes

Although it is obviously not the theme of this article, we would like to introduce them because they have the name of “coffee shops / cafes” in their name. Well, it is definitely one of the main types of coffee shops and cafes in Japan. This is an entertainment facility where you can use services such as watching manga and DVDs and using the Internet. Usually, these shops also offer foods and drinks services.