Coffee Valley Ikebukuro

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Name: Coffee Valley

Kind: Café

Location: Ikebukuro, Tokyo @ 35°43’39.67″ N 139°42’47.06″ E

Address: 2-26-3 Minamiikebukuro
Toshima-ku, Tokyo 171-0022

Phone: 03-6907-1173

Email: info@coffeevalley.jp

Free WiFi: Yes

Worth it? A must-see

Rating: ★★★★★

Last updated 6/28/2020

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Coffee Valley, Ikebukuro – A must-see.

Tucked down a little hidden side-street, 2 blocks from Tokyo’s JR Ikebukuro Station is one of the city’s best cafés: Coffee Valley Ikebukuro. This place is a must-see for anyone visiting Tokyo.

Coffee Valley offers gourmet coffees of all kinds, and small snacks such as pastries. It has an exceptional interior with rustic wood + nice lighting. Staff is very friendly. There is seating on the second floor with large windows with lots of light.

The quality of everything here is superb. This is one Tokyo café that is not to be missed. It’s well worth a trip to Ikebukuro just for the café alone, but if you’re in the area sightseeing anyway, you’ll definitely want to stop in.

Directions:

Take the JR Yamanote Line to JR Ikebukuro Station and exit the main east exit to street level. You can also take any of the connecting Metro Subway lines to any of the major stops on the Yamanote Line or Saikyo Line, change at Shinjuku, Shibuya, or Harajuku/Omotosando, and then get the Yamanote Line to Ikebukuro.

After exiting, turn right onto the sidewalk (south):

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JR Ikebukuro Station east exit. Head south as you exit (to your right as you face the exit from the inside, or straight ahead down the sidewalk in this photo).

Proceed 1.8 miles south. You’ll pass the large SEIBU + PARCO depato (department stores) as you go. As of this writing at the 1.8 mile point, you will see a large Starbuck’s in front of you on the corner across the street. Turn left (east) at this light (you’ll see a Komedia’s Coffee on the 2nd floor in the bldg. in front of you). Cross at the light. On the ground floor of this bldg. there will be a Yahoo! and a SoftBank. At this corner there will be a tiny narrow side street on your left. Head down it:

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Look for the tiny side street next to the SoftBank/Yahoo! bldg.

Go a block and the street will curve around to the right. Keep going and cross the next street also. You will see a Caffé Veloce on the corner on the right, and a Yoshinoya on the corner on the left. Enter the next small street straight ahead and Coffee Valley will be just inside on your left. Can’t miss it.

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Abandon all other coffee places, ye who enter here. Coffee Valley is just down the alley ahead on the left.

Footnotes

There is another railway + station in IkebukuroThe SEIBU Railway line which exits just to the south of the JR Ikebukuro Station on the same street.

Town Layout

JR Ikebukuro Station is shown on the left. The JR Ikebukuro Station east exit is just to the left of the small square in the upper center of the map shown above. The main street runs roughly north-south. Coffee Valley is shown at the placemarks in the lower right corner.

Additional Photos

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Main street in east Ikebukuro. The JR Ikebukuro Station is up on the left. You’ll exit here, and head down the street on your left (towards the camera in this photo).

LINKS

Coffee Valley

COFFEE VALLEY – Tokyo [Good Coffee]

JR-EAST Ikebukuro Station

JR Sightseeing Map

JR Yamanote Line for Harajuku, Shibuya, Shinagawa, Tokyo, Akihabara, Ueno & Ikebukuro

SEIBU Ikebukuro Station guide map

Narita to Ikebukuro: The Best Transport Options | Tokyo Cheapo

Google Map

Ikebukuro | The Official Tokyo Travel Guide, GO TOKYO

Essential Tokyo: The Complete Guide to Ikebukuro Station

Ikebukuro Station: The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Cracking This 3D Maze

Ikebukuro Station | Tokyo Creative Travel

Ikebukuro Guide @ The Best Japan

VIDS

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Tokyo International Forum

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Name: Tokyo International Forum

Kind: Venue

Where: Yurakucho, Tokyo 35°40’35.92″ N 139°45’51.03″ E

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Just south of Tokyo Station and just west of Ginza is the Tokyo International Forum – a huge modern venue for all kinds of conferences, performing arts, concerts, talks, trade shows, and other activities.

The Forum was completed in 1997 and is spectacular.

Inside there are elevated walkways, a huge cavernous interior and a few restaurants on the lower level. The Forum’s main tourist attraction is its architecture which is designed to look like a large ship and is ultra-modern.

Outside the Forum are all sorts of great restaurants, shops, and other activities. At the South end of the Forum is a large Bic Camera, and Yurakucho Station – the gateway into Ginza which is just to the east.

To get to the Forum you can either get the JR line to Tokyo Station, exit the west (Maronuchi) side and walk south on the sidewalk, or you can get off at Yurakucho Station and then head north under the train tracks, then west and 1 block north to the Forum. Both are very easy to get to and are accessibile.

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You can also take the Metro Ginza Subway Line to Ginza Station and exit there, then walk a few blocks south to get to the Forum. The Ginza Station exit is just outside the north Maronuchi-side exit at Tokyo Station, roughly at 35°40’55.82″ N 139°45’57.01″ E. You can also get to the Ginza Line inside Tokyo Station but it requires a long hike through various underground corridors and stairs like this:

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©2019 tenmintokyo.com

Ginza Metro subway line. Ginza (G09) is in the middle of the line, Shibuya on the west, and Asakusa on the east. Another alternative is to take the Maronuchi Line and exit at its Tokyo Station (M17) exit onto the surface and then walk south from Tokyo Station to the Forum:

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Maronuchi Line Tokyo Station (M17)

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Yurakucho Station. Tokyo International Forum is straight ahead past the tracks. Bic Camera is on the left next to the Forum.

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The Forum has a huge lighted glass floor on its north side.

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Inside the cavernous Forum.

Restaurants/Coffee/Shops

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In the basement of the Forum is the Cafe Lexcel, an upscale division of Doutour. There is also one in Yokohama.

On the west side of the Forum there is an outdoor patio with a line of excellent restaurants, coffee houses, and shops. Definitely worth checking out.

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There is also a Shake Shack and an 800 Degrees Woodfired Kitchen on the patio promenade.

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©2019 tenmintokyo.com

Brooklyn Roasting Company is not to be missed.

At the very north end of the promenade there is a JR entrance and downstairs is a New York Perfect Cheese:

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©2019 tenmintokyo.com

The JR entrance at the north end. Behind it is a Le Meré Poulard – a very upscale French restaurant. The original one is in France and also has a hotel in it.



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©2019 tenmintokyo.com

There is plenty more to do in the area – don’t be afraid to wander around.

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Yurakucho Station Christmas illuminations.

Bic Camera + Ginza to the East

If you walk south from the Forum + cross the street, first you’ll come to a large Bic Camera on the corner – well worth a stop:


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South end of Bic Camera. Yurakucho Station is on the right.

If you then head east (left) at Yurakucho Station, you’ll come into a small area at the east exit of the station filled with department stores, such as OIOI (pronounced Marui). This is Yurakucho. To get to Ginza, head directly east for 2 blocks. The two areas are right next to each other.

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Underneath Yurakucho Station. Ginza is straight ahead (facing east).

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Yurakucho Station. Ginza is on the other side. The Forum is 2-3 blocks to the left (north). Under the 2 arches on the left you can cut to the other side. The area on the other side is one of the best trainspotting places in Tokyo – you can watch bullet trains come in and out in both directions.

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Ginza east of Yurakucho Station.

Well that’s it for now. Enjoy your trip. There’s loads to do near Tokyo International Forum + the surrounding area.

LINKS

Tokyo International Forum Official

Tokyo International Forum: Marunouchi – Where In Tokyo

JR East

Cafe Lexel

800 Degrees

Ginza-Itchome StationYurakucho Line

Yurakucho Line

VIDS

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Glitch Coffee, Kanda-Jimbocho

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Name: Glitch Coffee

Kind: Café

Location: 35°41’37.16″ N 139°45’40.90″ E

Hours: 8 PM weekdays, 7 PM weekends

Email: brewed@glitchcoffee.com, press@glitchcoffee.com

Site: http://glitchcoffee.com/

Phone: 03-5244-5458

Just 2 blocks northeast of the Imperial Palace, in south Kanda/Jimbocho, in a bldg. without so much as a sign is the very cool Glitch Cofee & Roasters. This is a very hip little hole-in-the-wall coffee shop with some premium varieties of coffee. Well worth a stop-in. To get here, take the Tozai line to Takebashi Station (T08 – 35°41’21.44″ N 139°45’40.89″ E), and walk north on Rt. 301 for a few blocks. You will pass a small street on the left with a 7-11 on the corner. Just down this street to the left happens to be 9 Hours Otemachi – a small modern capsule hotel, which is quite inexpensive.

Tozai Line Takebashi Sta. (T08), Exit 4. Head north from here and stay on the right side of the street.

Inside the somewhat Soviet-feeling Takebashi Sta.

Rt. 301 facing north on the left side of the street. 9 Hours Otemachi is to the left, Glitch Coffee is up on the right 2 blocks. Further up on the left side of the street is a Yamato Transport luggage delivery service.

Inside 9 Hours Otemachi.

You can also get there by getting off at Jimbocho Station (Z07) which is about 10 mins to the northwest if you take the Hanzomon Line instead, although it’s a bit of a longer walk than from Takebashi Sta. The Hanzomon Line also has the advantage of being 1 stop from Otemachi Sta. which shoots you right in near Maronuchi and Tokyo Station. Hanzomon can also take you out to Sky Tree/Oshiagé to the east quickly as well.

If you continue up 301, 2 more blocks on the right is Glitch Coffee. This is just before the main cross-street of Rt. 401, which if you head west (left) leads to Tokyo Dome, and if you turn right (east), leads to the WATERAAS complex, and beyond that, Akihabara.

Glitch Coffee, in south Kanda/Jimbocho – 2 blocks northeast of the Imperial Palace. The shop is on the east side of the street. This is facing southeast towards Tokyo Sta. There is no sign, except on the doors.

9 Hours Otemachi also has a deal with Glitch for a free breakfast every morning you stay there. Glitch has a nice pastry selection as well.

There are also other Glitches in Akasaka and Nagoya.

Of interesting note is the the fact that if you continue north past Glitch, in a block or two you’ll come to Rt. 302 (Yasukuni Dori), which runs east to west. This is a major street which has lots of sporting goods stores. There is a SuperSports Xebio store right across the street, as well as lots of ski + snowboard shops along the street. If you continue east on 302 for several blocks, you’ll come to Rt. 405 (Sotobori Dori), which, if you turn north (left) onto, will take you the WATERRAS complex, which is worth checking out, and which has a very nice Olympic Grocery store + Mister Donut in it. You can enjoy a nice stroll up and down these streets for all kinds of shops and cafés.

Less than a mile east of that is Akihabara.

WATERRAS Complex northeast of Glitch.

As a footnote, Meiji University is nearby and has an excellent museum. John Daub of Only in Japan on YouTube has a video walk from Akihabara to Meiji below.

LINKS

5 MIN WALK FROM JINBOCHO STATION EXIT 7, 2 MIN WALK FROM JINBOCHO STATION EXIT 9

http://glitchcoffee.com/

https://coffeemecca.jp/coffeeshop/210

https://ninehours.co.jp/akasaka/

35°41’21.44″ N 139°45’40.89″ E

https://www.waterras-mall.com/shop/ex/en/#googtrans(en)

VIDS

Hidden Ueno Side Street

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Name: Unknown

Kind: Street

Location: Approx. 35°42’34.55″ N 139°46’16.85″ E

There’s a really nice little side street in Ueno worth checking out.

It’s just to the south of Shinobazu Pond, and it’s easy to get to.

From the south tip of Ueno Park, head south on the west sidewalk and head down a side alley on the right to get onto the sidewalk sourrounding Shinobazu Pond.

Head left (south) around the pond.

As the sidewalk turns around to the south, look for the entrance on the left. There’s a street light on your left. The entrance to the side street is shown on Google Earth below. The top in this case is south:

Turn left out of the pond area, and cross the street. The entrance to the hidden street is straight ahead, and is shown here on the right (you’ll be entering from the left side of the frame). The pond area entrance is shown directly on the left in this photo – just cross the street straight ahead of the pond exit when you come out.

Especially at night, this street is interesting:

If you go 2 blocks south on this street, you’ll end up on the 2nd busiest street on the east side of Ueno Station. There is also a big Don Quijote discount store on that street shown here:

This Don Quijote also has cheap food: $1.78 1 liter mixed vegetable drinks, and $1.78 1 liter UCC Coffee. And some cheap snacks. Can’t go wrong.

As a footnote, if you turn to the right when you come out of the pond area instead of going straight @ the light, you’ll find a lot of good hotels on the south side of the street as you head east – including a women’s-only hostel – the Centurion Ladies’ Hostel, shown here:

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As an interesting historical footnote, Shinobazu Pond was a strategic security point during the Tokugawa Shogunate, and a temple was built there to serve as a north guardpost to help defend the Imperial Palace. The site was also of historical significance in the Boshin War in the mid-1800’s.

LINKS

Ueno Superguide

Ueno

Shinobazu Pond

Don Quijote Ueno

Don Quijote – Japan’s Best Discount Store

DON QUIJOTE – The Most Awesome Discount Store in Japan

Centurion Ladies’ Hostel Ueno Park

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Japan’s Coffee Culture

The Japanese love coffee and cafés at least as much – if not more – than other countries.

Japan is a coffee culture. Cafés are everywhere and coffee vending machines are everywhere.

A few photos of “cohee” culture in Japan:

Junk Cafe Tokyo in Shibuya.

Cafe Legato – also in Shibuya has excellent views of the city.

Sunday Coffee – another staple in Shibuya. To the left is the Jaguar Hair Saloon. Not salon – saloon.

If you go south on Meiji-Dori Ave south of Ikebukero, you will happen upon this non-descript bldg. with the hidden and excellent Rocket Café on the 2nd floor. Well worth a visit.

Komeda’s Coffee east of Ikebukero Station.

A phone map showing both Komeda’ Coffee and Coffee Valley east of Ikebukero Station in west Tokyo.

The Roasted Coffee Laboratory has several locations in Tokyo.

Stockholm Roast in Omotesando. Seating is on the roof.

There are several Mr. Donuts in Ikebukero. This newer one is southwest of JR Ikebukero Station. There is a similar one just a few blocks to the north on the northwest side of the station.

There is also a much older Mr. Donut on a backstreet in Ikebukero to the east of the JR station.

Another typical Japanese cafe.

Another must-see café in Ikebukuro is Coffee Valley east of JR Ikebukero Station and only an 8 min walk southwest from Maruonuchi

A typical Starbucks in Ikebukero. There are half a dozen of them spread out all over the area.

Vending Machine Cohee in Japan

The other side of coffee in Japan are the micro-sized vending machine canned coffees. Brands such as Boss and Wonda (part of Asahi) are very popular. But by western standards, the cans are miniscule. There are some larger canned coffees in conbini stores – including Boss and others, which are a bit more. Some conbinis also sell heated coffee in aluminum cans for around ¥100. Just walk in + buy one – they are heated on the shelves where they sit.

Wonda canned coffee from a vending machine. There are seemingly endless brands + varieties in vending machines in Japan.

BOSS canned vending machine coffee.

Suntory BOSS vending machine in Japan. Coins in, coffee out.

Heated BOSS canned coffee on a conbini store shelf.

Larger Fire brand canned coffee from a vending machine.

McDonald’s (‘MacuDo’s) coffee served in a tiny paper cup in Japan.

There are also machines that serve hot coffee in a paper cup.

If you like milk in your coffee, Meiji brand is quite good from a conbini for around ¥100.

Conbini also sell various brands of slightly larger coffees such as lattes in sealed paper cups with plastic lids + a straw for around ¥100. There are various brands – even Starbucks. There are even matcha-lattes – green tea lattes, which are actually very good.

How to do coffee cheap in Japan

If you’re looking to save $ in Japan, there are ways to get your coffee + save $.

One way is to buy a bag of pre-made coffee in discount or drug stores. Drip-On by Key Coffee is one such brand. The bags are sort of like tea bags in the west – you open a plastic packet, remove the bag, unfold it, place it on a cup, then pour in hot water. A pack of 10-15 of these bags can be bought for around $5 – or about $.50 per cup. While not quite as good as fresh coffee or vending coffee, they are still good, and can save lot of ¥.

You can find little electric boiler pots at discount stores such as Don Quijote for as low as $20. These pots are amazing + can boil an entire pot of water in under 60 seconds. Many hotels have them. The little power button on the handle snaps off as soon as the water boils.

But so far the ultimate cheap way to do coffee in Japan we’ve found is to buy a large paper carton of coffee at one of the discount stores such as Don Quijote for around ¥100 or less. You can add milk, or drink it black. One small carton yields about 2-3 full cups. If you want to be ultra-cheap you can add 1/2 cup of water, then microwave it – and get about 3 cups out of a carton – around $.30/cup. Some vending machines also have 2X-sized plastic bottles of black coffee for around $1.30.

Also see our main post about going to Japan for more food/coffee tips.