I once read that the only rival Starbucks faced entering Japan was Komeda Coffee. And Komeda’s approach is obviously far different from that of Starbucks, so essentially, Starbucks had no real competitor in Japan.

Starbucks is sophisticated and stylish; Komeda Coffee maintains the spirit of the old-fashioned neighborhood tea room. The waitresses are older part-timers in lovely “kappogi” (traditional kitchen aprons). These days we say, “beautifully behind the times.” Komeda Coffee targets everyone: men and women, young and old and has over 800 stores around Japan.

In the morning your order comes with free toast and a boiled egg, quite unique for a coffee shop. It also prepares its own snacks and sweets, which are delicious. Komeda Coffee is casually serving up the best of old-style Japanese culture. I’d like all our foreign visitors to stop by this truly Japanese coffee and tea shop.

Komeda Coffee’s homepage is here.