As we have already established, Dan loves coffee. So, one sunny weekend at the start of the glorious spring season in Japan, we took to Kokura to have a little coffee tour.
We started out taking a 1 hour trek through suburbs, past factories, down back allies, to find coffee shop number one. It sat near the university in a little student district. Blessed with a huge coffee roaster, but little space, we enjoyed our first coffee based tipple. Paired with a homemade shortbread biscuit, it was more than satisfactory.
Next up, a train ride and then the monorail took us to our previously visited Canada Coffee. It is the suburbs of Kokura, so not very convenient for city dwellers. Still, the ride is easy and the cheap fresh brewed coffee (including decaf) is worth it! They also do amazing toasties, totally understanding that I don’t eat meat, and so gifted me extra cheese. Yaaas! Excellent choice for number two.
We finished off the tour with a visit to a coffee shop in a clothes shop. This is actually pretty common in Japan. Dan downed his third coffee of the day, whereas I sampled a coffee alternative, beer. Here we experienced the coolest cups of the day and a really nice guy serving us, who wowed us with his English. In fact, throughout the whole day we were greeted with people trying to speak English to us, as we tried to speak Japanese to them. It was very refreshing and pretty good fun!
So, another tour of the best coffee shops in our almost local area is done. It is much more than coffee though…it is exploring, tasting, speaking, and relaxing. The coffee is the excuse, as really it is all about that experience.