Nihonbashi-Ningyocho: Coffee Takaku

The Nihonbashi-Ningyocho area has to be our favorite place to stay. This district is busy during the week with the hustle and bustle of business people flurrying to and from work while weekends are quiet and peaceful with families strolling around with their children. By day, an area well-communicated with main subway lines. By night, a popular destination for middle-aged kaishain (会社員- business person) to blow off some steam and to grab a pint (or two) with coworkers before heading home.
But if you don't feel like knocking one back and letting out a good ぷしゅ〜 (Pshuuu - an onomatopoeic sound for sighing) like our good friend Wakako-san, you can go to one of many cafés in the area. Our favorite spot is Coffee Takaku.
Medium roast coffee is delicious

We frequent this place whenever we go to Tokyo as we usually stay in a hotel in the area. The café is small, like most mom-and-pop shops of Japan, but it's not crowded and the tables are well-spaced apart. If anything, the general vibe is cozy. The staff is usually no more than the cook and one waitstaff. They offer menus in Japanese and English, and they are more than accommodating if they see you are a foreigner. If you know a little Japanese and want to practice, this is the best place to do so. Otherwise, you can just point at what you'd like on the menu (and don't forget to smile and say arigatou). Each time we went, the waitress was very patient and nice to us when we tried speaking in Japanese to her.
Aside from the quick conversation when ordering and the clinks and clacks of spoons stirring in tea cups, the whole place was a comfortable sort of quiet. Even people in groups who were having idle chit-chat kept noise to a minimum. There are even signs at each table that request that no phone calls are taken when inside the café.
Brick toast: So simple, so delicious

What I like about this coffee shop is their attention to detail. Each beverage and dessert is served in a different tea cup and on a different plate, respectively. Some designs are cute and some are beautiful. Serving with unique tableware truly adds an elegant element to the mix. The sight really enhances the flavor. Not only are the beverages delicious, but the desserts are as well. We highly recommend getting the brick toast with either tea or coffee, then taking a minute to relax and savor the moment.
A beautiful tea cup. One of many.

If you're in town long enough to visit Nihonbashi-Ningyocho, and you can go somewhere other than Starbucks, Coffee Takaku is a great place to wind down in metropolitan Tokyo.
Cafe Takaku directions

How to get there: From Ningyocho Station Exit A2 (according to Google Maps), turn right and cross the street towards the Fruits Sukuya store. Coffee Takaku is located right after the fruit store. Ningyocho Station is on the Asakusa and Hibiya lines.
Price: Very good for the quality!

Kristin Lagman