Is Cafe Mois the most homely cafe in Shimokitazawa?

Blink and you might miss it. Hard to believe that a cafe this quaint is hiding amidst the packed, narrow streets of Shimokitazawa.

Tucked on a quiet, residential street a few steps away from the bustle, the only indication that Mois Cafe is even a cafe at all is a chalked menu scribbled on a blackboard. The exterior is a simple, traditional two-storey Japanese home – just like the one I actually live in.

As soon as I set foot in the genkan, I was tempted to take off my shoes it felt so cosy. I hesitated for a few seconds, finding myself a little disconcerted to be in an actual house, with a direct view of the open kitchen, until a lady led me upstairs.

At the top of a steep, crackling wooden stairwell is a snug room with a few pieces of dark timber furniture and plush chairs. The decor is clean, only a few trinkets decorate the tables and the large windows seem to open directly onto the trees outside. The music is chilled out and the only other sounds, besides the chatter, are the birds chirping and cicadas singing through the thin wooden walls.

Mois Cafe entrance

Little details such as the menu, presented on a CD jacket, make this place so charming. There is a large selection of alcoholic drinks (from Y600) as well as an equally extensive assortment of juices, coffees and teas (from ¥400). Their iced lattes rival the ones found a few steps away in other famous Shimokitazawa establishments and the yuzu soda is so refreshing on a hot day.

Lunch and dinner sets are also served: the place has gained quite a following amongst locals for its organic green curry (from ¥800), which is not to be missed. Sweets and a ‘dessert of the day’ can polish off a meal, or simply act as a light, late-afternoon snack.

Everything about this place is ‘zen’, and it’s the perfect spot to hide for several hours, nose crammed in a book, if you want to escape the real world for a bit- no one could ever find you. Also, this may be the perfect spot for a first date; I’d be quite impressed if someone took me back there. (Vivian Morelli)

Mois Cafe is owned by a company called ‘Renovation Planning’. Every place they own is unique. Check their website for more information:

Mois Cafe, 2-21-26 Kitazawa, Setagaya-ku.

Check out the website, here.

Cafe Mois Map