Settling in a comfy chair with a nice cup of tea or coffee and a tasty snack (or two) at a cafe either by yourself or with some friends can be bliss. But what may be a problem if you’re in even a half-way large city is choosing which cafe to go to, as there seems to be a cafe on every street corner nowadays.

Well, we certainly have one interesting cafe that we can recommend to our readers, the Kasoyo in the Mejiro area of Tokyo, which one of our reporters from Pouch visited following the recommendation of a friend who also is very fond of cafes. A recap of what made the experience so enjoyable follows below:

Our reporter says there were 3 main factors that made the cafe very attractive.

1. The setting of the cafe in a traditional Japanese house rich in history
The cafe is located in an old renovated Japanese-style house built during the Taisho period (1912 to 1926) that can be found in the middle of a quiet Tokyo residential area, so the building itself is unique to look at, as we now see less and less traditional-style houses in Japan. It’s almost like a little hideaway from the bustle of city life, and the atmosphere is completely relaxing. From the moment you set foot on the premises, you can feel yourself starting to calm down and unwind.

Going further into the cafe grounds, you’ll see the Japanese-style house surrounded by beautiful flowers and greens. First time visitors may actually be surprised that such a tranquil-looking place exists in the middle of Tokyo. The cafe certainly offers a delightful taste of the “good old Japan”, which is a rarity in present-day Tokyo.

2. Excellent Japanese Sweets and Green Tea (Matcha)
What’s the point of a cafe without tasty treats and nice tea or coffee, right? Naturally, our reporter had to try the most popular item on the menu, the anmitsu, a Japanese dessert consisting of clear agar jelly with red bean paste and syrup, usually served together with several different types of cut fruits, and some matcha, the traditional (and somewhat bitter) Japanese green tea. According to our reporter, both the dessert and tea were excellent, but the anmitsu in particular was delectable, with the rich sweetness of the red bean paste and the brown-sugar based syrup combining delightfully with the light texture of the agar jelly. But it gets even better when you follow all of that sweetness with a sip of the bitter green tea, creating a “miniature heaven of flavors” in your mouth.

What’s more, you can even feast your eyes at the same time with a beautiful view of the garden visible from inside the cafe; the sight is bound to make everything taste even better. If the words of our reporter are to be trusted, “You’ll simply be grateful that you’re alive and eating an absolutely delicious dessert in such pleasant surroundings.”

3. Enjoy a brush with the culture of Kimono
Now, this is something that really sets this cafe apart from others — you can actually buy kimonos here. The cafe owner actually runs a family owned kimono shop in Gunma Prefecture and sells kimonos here at Kasoyo as well. They even offer kimono dressing classes regularly at the cafe, making it a truly delightful establishment for kimono lovers. (By the way, wearing a kimono is quite a complex process involving many pieces of undergarments, cloth and ribbons, and since we’re all wearing t-shirts and jeans now, the average Japanese woman today would not be able to wear a kimono by herself without taking lessons.)

So, it’s not surprising that when our reporter was at the cafe, there were many customers having a very good time speaking enthusiastically with the owner about kimonos. In fact, many such customers find other kimono aficionados right here at this shop, while looking at the beautiful kimonos on display and discussing preferences in colors and designs over some very tasty tea and sweets.

If you like Japanese sweets and kimonos, and better yet, to enjoy them in a relaxing, old-fashioned Japanese setting, Kasoyo is a must-try. It’s sure to be an experience that soothes your soul and captivates both your eyes and taste buds!

Shop Details for Kasoyo:
Business Hours: 11:30 – 18:30
Closed: Mondays, Tuesdays, Holidays, Cafe closed also on Wednesdays
Tel: 03-3565-3265 (+81-3-3565-3265 internationally)
(Number of tables are limited, so you may want to call ahead to check availability)
URL: (Japanese)

Original article and photos by: Panta

▼The JR Mejiro station nearby

▼It really is in the middle of a residential area

▼The Kasosyo Cafe sign

▼Venture deeper into the premises…

▼…and you’ll see the Japanese-style house

▼Some pictures of the interior

▼The anmitsu and green tea set the reporter ordered, priced at 1,000 yen ($12.50)

▼The anmitsu was absolutely delicious!

▼The green tea goes superbly well with the anmitsu

▼You can enjoy a view of the beautiful garden at the same time

▼Customers can buy kimonos and other related accessories at the cafe

▼A customer actually buying a kimono

▼The cafe gives you a taste of not just delicious sweets but traditional Japan as well

▼We hope you have a chance to visit the cafe and sample the tea and sweets!

[ Read in Japanese ]