This Hidden Neighborhood in Tokyo Is Perfect for Laid-Back Travelers
Enjoy the slow life at cafes and stores around the hidden Kiyosumi-Shirakawa area.
The Kiyosumi-Shirawakawa neighborhood is one of the more hidden places in central Tokyo. It is slower-paced and doesn’t have plenty of crowds one would expect in a metropolitan city. Mainly a residential area, Kiyosumi-Shirakawa also has several shops with a unique theme. A lot of cafes, trinkets stores, and other sundries stores can be found in the area.
Here, we showcase some stores where you can enjoy a quick bite and maybe a cup of coffee as you walk around this peaceful neighborhood.
Brigela Brioche con Gelato (Kiyosumi-Shirakawa Branch)
The cute and chic exterior of the shop.
Brigela combines the words Brioche+Gelato. Brioche is a lightly fermented bread with a lot of butter and eggs added with milk instead of water. Gelato originated in Italy, and this combination originated in the Sicilian region of Italy. The concept was introduced to Japan since 2015.
Not only are they Instagram-worthy, but they are really tasty and freshly-made as well!
There are 10 standard flavors of Gelato to choose from such as Caramel Nut, Milk, Pistachio, Hazelnut, but then there are flavors that are unique such as Ramune (a Japanese drink that is similar to a bubblegum flavor), and those that use seasonal ingredients.
You can eat inside the stylish restaurant, or outside and watch the people that line up for this treat while you savor yours.
Eat gelato sandwiched in a warm brioche bun (there are smaller sizes as well!) or simply by itself. During the warm months, Italians usually eat these for breakfast—and there is no reason why you shouldn’t do the same!
Brigela Brioche con Gelato is located on the 1st floor GodVille Building, 2-1-6 Miyoshi Koto-Ku, Tokyo 135-0022 and is open from 10:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.(schedules may vary.) It is a 6-minute walk from Kiyosumi-Shirakawa Station. You may contact them at +81-3-5809-8436.
ARiSE Coffee Roasters
The shop is very small and nondescript, but there is actually a gigantic coffee roaster inside.
Cap off those sweets with coffee brewed from house-made roasted coffee beans from ARiSE Coffee Roasters. This shop not only sells roasted beans (one of which is sourced from the Philippines’ Davao province) but they also offer drip coffee to sip on the small bench inside the shop or outside. The atmosphere in the shop is filled with Thai accents, such as Northeastern Thailand’s songs and Thai language stickers.
This made us curious and we asked the owner about it. He said, “I especially like Northeast countryside of Thailand, so I like to listen to local song of northeast part. In fact, we also sometimes join pop-up events in Thailand.” How cool is that?
ARiSE Coffee Roasters is located at 1-13-8, Hirano, Koto District, Tokyo and is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. except Mondays and Japanese holidays. It is a 6-minute walk from Kiyosumi-Shirakawa Station. You may contact them at +81-3-3643-3601.
The 50-year-old building gives no indication as to what lies within.
The Fukudaso Café building was built 50 years ago. At first, it was an apartment and warehouse, and over time it got this really cool retro vibe without looking broken down. It may not look it, but there is a science equipment store inside this building! There is also a wine shop, a body care salon, with this retro cafe on the first floor.
There is also a rental space which is used for movie shoots, workshops, events, meetings and exhibits.
Fukudaso Café is also multipurpose café with the aim of providing a special place and time for everyone.
When we went there, an advertisement announcing a fortune-telling event will be held in the area, so who knows what you may find once you visit!
Fukudaso Cafe is located at 1-9-7, Hirano, Koto District, Tokyo and is open on Monday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday from 1 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. They are closed (or are holding events) on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. It is a 5-minute walk from Kiyosumi-Shirakawa Station.
The first thing you notice is the lion statue outside.
PORTMANS CAFÉ was opened in 2011 under the concept of “a place where people and goods are created and connected.” This building was built 30 years ago. The owner and several staff have self-renovated the first floor of this building that only took six months to complete. There is an ‘80s antique style atmosphere which is conducive to chilling and relaxing in the shop. There are ready-to-serve food and drinks also. Sometimes, there is a flower deco or relaxation salon event held here for a fee.
The sofa-style seating are so comfortable!
PORTMANS CAFÉ is located at 101 Diapalace, 2-9-14, Kiyosumi, Koto District, Tokyo and is open from Tuesday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. They are closed on Sundays, Mondays, and Japanese holidays. It is a 5-minute walk from Kiyosumi-Shirakawa Station. You may contact them at +81-3-3641-1050.
If you are one of those who enjoy the slow pace of life, walking around and taking photos, and trying a unique foodie experience, we definitely recommend the Kiyosumi-Shirakawa neighborhood! See you there?
(4 June 2019)