Let me introduce a cherished breakfast experience in Tokyo.
First things first, if you have never been to Yanaka district, just get off the train and go exploring. It is one of those rare gems in a city like Tokyo, an area steeped in history and endowed with countless historic temples; it never seems to garner the same kind of attention like the ‘old-Japan’ seeking tourist hot spot that is Asakusa. But this is what makes it great. Yanaka is Edo. You don’t even need a map, just take a walk down any side street and you are bound to come across a temple with some kind of historic importance. Basically, Yanaka is that wonderful of a topic that it deserves a post all of its own, for another time.
Within the midst of all that history stands the Cafe - Kayaba Coffee.
Kayaba coffee is a fusion of ancient and modern. This traditional coffee house has been running for over 70 years. The building itself is a worth-seeing spot as it was built during the World War I in the so-called “old downtown” of Tokyo. The coffee house has survived the earthquakes and the air raids during the War and exterior remained unchanged to this day. However, the true charm of this cafe is its ability to adapt to modern times. The original owner has closed the place in 2006 but it has been brought to life once more in 2009 with the help of non-profit organisations and the people behind the nearby art gallery SCAI THE BATHHOUSE. While Kayaba coffee house has been renovated, you can feel the retro spirit all over the place, from the original sign post, tatami mats, chairs and coffee cups that have been used for decades. The warm atmosphere will make you feel at home.
The house specialty is the old-school tamago sando (egg sandwich), with a thick omelet inside. A faithful recreation of the original menu, it’s the most popular item on the menu. Seasoned simply with salt and pepper, the combination of the omelet with homemade bread made with locally sourced flour is simply divine. When you bite it, you feel the soft texture and it melts on your tongue.
The drinks are similarly good. The “Russian” is another favorite, just like the egg dishes. It’s a mixture of half hot chocolate and half coffee. It has sweetness, a depth of flavor and the delicious aroma and after taste of coffee.
我最喜欢Kayaba Coffee的招牌鸡蛋厚烧三明治了，透着一股浓浓的昭和怀旧风情。看似简单的厚片吐司， 软嫩的去边吐司中间夹着厚厚的鸡蛋烧，炒蛋中加入黑胡椒增添香味，不管是口感会味觉都是一大享受，令人会不禁想要一口接着一口。
From the red leather sofas to the bright yellow signboard that says "Coffee 珈琲", nothing has quite changed from the good old days.
Steeped in history but mixed with a nostalgic, historic and modern Japanese atmosphere. A menu that combines carefully preserved classic and trendy, modern favourites. In the ever-changing cityscape of Tokyo, this is the kind of breakfast that is worth cherishing.
I recommend anyone visiting Tokyo, or perhaps even those who have lived in Japan for a long while, just to take walk down one of Yanaka’s old streets, soak up the history, and on the way home stop by Kayaba to wind down with warm cup of coffee, and maybe even an egg sandwich on the side. You will not be disappointed.
一位很友善的侍应生和我聊天述说Kayaba Coffee原来是在当地人的努力下，后来复活的一家曾经经营了几十年的咖啡店。Kayaba Coffee是1938 年创立的 。以前经营的奶奶去世后，咖啡店就关了。社区里为了持续这家店，特意从别的地方请了年轻的店长，在保留了建筑主体，又在内部进行了翻修之后才重新开业，费尽心血总算是延续了这个店。
坐在 Kayaba Coffee，好像因为窗子遮挡了外面的天气，我可以在咖啡室中尽情地发著回到70年前古旧年华的白日梦。实际坐在里头，可以真的感受到他并非外表或是装潢复古。若要一睹旧东京没有霓虹灯和摩天大楼的模样，就去谷中区那些狭窄蜿蜒的街道里寻宝。