Coffee culture in Japan is unique and a world unto itself. From surprisingly delicious canned coffee from a neighbourhood vending machine to limited-time pop-up cafes, if you’re a lover of coffee Japan has you covered. And for those who love latte art, the Reissue Cafe in Harajuku is a must-visit experience.
While I’ve cut back on the amount of coffee I’ve been consuming this past year (green tea and hojicha are my poison), I still enjoying finding new places to experience the wonders of coffee. I’ve had plenty of friends (and Explorers) visit Reissue in Harajuku, but I’ve never made the time to visit until the other day.
Reissue is one of a few specialised coffee shops in Tokyo with a unique twist: latte art. In short, you order a latte, show a photo to the talented staff and they create a masterpiece from that image.
Is Reissue worth it? How was the coffee? Most importantly, how do you find it? Don’t you worry, in this review, I’ll tell you exactly what you need to know.
Reissue Cafe in Harajuku
The first thing you’ll want to do is to find the place, naturally. Reissue is in the youthful area of Harajuku in Tokyo. Get to the end of the famous Takeshita Dori shopping street (you’ll see a huge New Balance Shop across the street). Cross the street and turn left. You’ll then see a building named “Moshi Moshi Box,” and there you’ll walk down the right side of that building. Continue down until you see it on your left.
- Address: 3 Chome-25-7 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0001
- Address (Japanese): 東京都 渋谷区 神宮前 3-25-7 丹治ビル ２Ｆ
The building is hard to miss and you’ll notice it’s a small and quaint spot. Walk up the stairs and you’re greeted by lovely staff. Once you take your seat (there’s not too many), you’ll feel as if you’re in an old friends house with memories strung about the wall in a warm and cozy environment.
We went on a Saturday afternoon and had visions of a line out the door, but that wasn’t the case. While there were a few people already there, it was far from packed. This is a nice change from the large coffee chains.
Brilliant Latte Art
The main draw is, of course, the awesome artwork you are able to put on your latte. You’ll choose from the drinks that have a “star” beside their name (these are the only drinks that they’re able to put the art on). It’s an extra ¥400 ($3 USD) to add 3D or 2D art to your latte.
The talented staff is able to create almost anything on your latte. Simply show them a photo and they’ll work their magic. Cartoon characters, a portrait (such as your family pet), or anything you can think of. If you aren’t sure what you’d like, there’s a book you can choose 3D characters from. I pulled up an image of Chip ‘n’ Dale from Google Images and showed it to the staff.
It does take a bit of time for these works of art, so give yourself at least 45-minutes to fully enjoy everything. The wait is well worth it. The art that we chose was Brown (a character from the Japanese messaging app Line), and Chip ‘n’ Dale. You can guess which one was mine.
The Reissue cafe also offers a small food menu, but we never had the chance to try it out. A few people around us specifically came for the food (never got coffee), so that mean it must be good. Also, it’s worth mentioning they have toilets near the back.
Is the Reissue Cafe it Worth it?
The coffee is better than what you’d find at a place such as McDonald’s, Tully’s, and other coffee chains in Japan. I thought the cafe latte was great (I got the Honey Latte) and is good value for the price we paid (¥600 or $5 USD).
The art itself is brilliant and absolutely worth the extra cost. The attention to detail and talent put into these creations put a smile on my face and made my day. Just be mindful that you’ll have a hard time drinking your coffee as the art is just too cute to stick a spoon through.
If you’re in Harajuku, then put the Reissue cafe on your list of things to do in Tokyo.
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