Japan is known for many things: cars, trendy fashion, and most recently, its coveted award winning Whisky. However, if you ask any coffee aficionado, they will tell you that Japan is home to one of the most extraordinary coffee culture out there.
The Japanese have been on the leading edge of reinventing new methods of extracting coffee through popular hand pour over methods such as the renowned Hario V60 brewing system. In many coffee shops across Japan, you will find its coffee staff spending up to 10 minutes to brew the perfect cup of coffee with this method. Japan is where I had experienced some of the best single origin coffee around the world.
Fortunately for tourists visiting Japan, many of these coffee shops are readily available and accessible along the JR Rail transit system. We started each day by stopping by the Blue Bottle Coffee shop located at the Shinjuku JR Station on the JR East Line. We ordered a few cups of single origin coffee from Ethiopia and some beans to enjoy back home in Canada.
Located at the same Shinjuku JR Station, you will also find the JR East Travel Service Center. This is where you can make reservations for the Shinkansen “Bullet Train” and even choose your seat assignment in advance. I highly recommend doing this in person especially if it is your first time, as they have English speaking staff that can help you to make sure you are picking the right train. The whole process was very easy and super smooth. If you are bringing large luggage with you, I recommend picking seats at the front of the train or at the very back. The reason for this choice is that there is additional space for you to put your luggage.
We highly recommend getting the JR Rail Pass not only to navigate around Tokyo, but especially when you are travelling to different parts of Japan that requires a bullet train. You will save more money in the long run and it is super convenient to get around.
Our first stop in Osaka was at the famous Kuromon Fish Market. To our surprise, the minute we walked in we saw a coffee roaster. We were able to pick our beans and have them roasted fresh in 15 minutes. Coffee does not get any more fresher than this!
Our recommendation when you are visiting Japan is to look at getting the JR Rail Pass to get around the city and definitely check out the coffee culture scene. You will not find a better cup of coffee than in Japan, brewed to perfection.
For this Japan trip, our team used the Japan Rail Pass as our official mode of transportation, which these JR passes were provided by Japan National Tourism Organization (courtesy from the assistance from both Tokyo & Toronto branch locations). However, as always, the opinions expressed in this post are entirely my own.
I would also like to give a special thanks to Air Canada for providing the return Signature Class flights from Toronto, Canada to Tokyo, Japan. Without such hospitality and assistance by Air Canada, this Japan trip would not have been possible.
Japan Rail Pass
Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) – HQ – Tokyo Location
Address: Headquarters 4-4-1 Yotsuya Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo 100-0006, Japan
Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) – Toronto Location
Address: 481 University Ave, Toronto, ON M5G 2E9
Phone: (416) 366-7140
JR East Travel Service Center
Located in: Shinjuku Station
Address: 5 Chome-24-５５ Sendagaya, Shibuya, Tokyo 151-0051, Japan