When it comes to kissaten, Jimbocho has an embarassment of riches. There are easily a dozen venerable kissaten clustered in the warren of small streets and alleyways surrounding Jimbocho station. These streets are lined with equally venerable used bookstores that for generations have guaranteed a daily influx of book lovers and students to the neighborhood.
Kura calls itself a kohii-sya, which translates to “coffee house.” Sya, which is pronounced “sha,” means a house where people gather together for a special purpose. In this case to relax, listen to jazz, read, and enjoy the fresh flowers and the artwork on the walls.
The master, Suzuki-san, when he’s not carefully preparing a cup of paper-drip coffee, will take up his current book himself and sit behind the counter and read.
The coffee menu offers the standard kissaten selections of “blend,” “American,” “Vienna,” etc. The Vienna coffee (¥850) comes with a dollop of freshly whipped cream to add to your coffee at the pace you prefer.
I set the whole ball of cream on top at once so that when I sip, the rich warm coffee passes through the thick layer of cool floating cream.
Kura also offers a selection of “straight” coffees: Brazil, Colombian, Mandheling, Kilimanjaro, and Mocha—each of which costs ¥800 per cup. These prices may seem steep, but if you order a second cup it will only cost ¥300.
Having a second cup is worth it to chill in this quiet, calm spot.
Be sure to try one of the freshly baked “house-made” cakes—cheese, chiffon, or a fruit tart—for an extra ¥300.
Kura: 1-26 Jimbocho, Chiyoda Ward
Yazaki Bldg. 2F, Tel: 03.3291.3323.