One would expect matcha and soba noodles from the ancient capital of Kamakura, but in the last couple of years, it has also developed a coffee scene that rivals Tokyo. You’ll not only find good coffee shops in and around the station, but also be able to sip excellent brew near hilly temple areas or down by the beach. Some, like Verve, you might already know from its Shinjuku Station store, but most of these Kamakura coffee shops are small businesses run by locals such as Calender Coffee and Alpha Betti Coffee.

We visited them all, had a chat with the baristas and made this little Kamakura coffee guide for coffee lovers. Because life is too short to drink bad coffee, especially if you’re traveling.


The hefty price of ¥1,500 feels like a steal after witnessing all that goes into the magical cup of coffee served at the Ignis coffee stand. The coffee at Ignis is at the intersection of gourmet, art and science. This is reflected in the design, as it is reminiscent of a perfume shop, a science lab and some Michelin-star omakase course restaurant where you trust the master behind the counter. The jars of coffee, that resemble pill bottles, are filled with only the rarest and most unique coffee beans imported from around the world. Some have been fermented in whiskey barrels, others have been rubbing shoulders with coconuts in Guatemala. Every bottle has a story, and the barista will gladly tell it.

Once you choose the beans, he grinds them and extracts the best pour-over brew I’ve tasted. In addition to the beans, there is also a brand-new patented coffee tool created in a collaboration between world barista champion Sasa Sestic and the Zurich University of Applied Science. This titanium-coated sphere has been proven to retain fragrance compounds that otherwise evaporate. The coffee is served in beautiful pottery for matcha or in cocktail glasses in the case of milk brews.

This new minimalist coffee shop in Kamakura is the second location. The first one is in a converted sushi restaurant in the Yanaka Ginza area.

Cafe Hola 27

Roasting, selling and serving coffee beans exclusively from Honduras, Cafe Hola 27 and its laser focus makes it a specialty store among specialty stores. (Similarly, Geshary Coffee in Ginza comes to mind.) Hola, read as the Spanish word for “hello,” opened in November 2022 in a stylish space near Kamakura Station.

There’s a micro roastery on the premises and a tasting counter where you can try all the brews, quaintly corked in little magic potion-resembling vials. You can choose the beans based on their characteristics, whether you’re buying them for home or ordering a drink in-store. Typically, there are different beans on offer for espresso coffee drinks and drip coffee drinks. It’s hard to go wrong with any drink at Hola. The espresso has a wonderfully strong and complex flavor permeating all espresso-based drinks. The drip coffee is served in beautiful Japanese-style pottery, while espresso drinks are served in classic cups and saucers. You can sip your coffee inside or on the terrace. Don’t miss the gelato, which has a real authentic Italian flavor.

Coffee Talks

A tiny coffee shop within walking distance of Kamakura Station, Coffee Talks lives up to its name through its friendly owner who is up for a chat, a joke, sharing recommendations for other coffee shops and all that while exercising his English language skills. With only one table, he also encourages patrons to make a new friend whenever possible. Or just take your coffee to go if you’d rather explore Kamakura. He also plays chilled-out music in the background, making the little place even more welcoming. Coffee drinks cover all the crowd-pleasers, from lattes to ice coffees, with a charcoal latte thrown in the mix that Instagrammers love. Plant-based milk options are available too.


Verve is the reliable coffee option in Kamakura with a welcoming, spacious interior. Here you can lounge a bit or do remote work if needed as it has outlets and free Wi-Fi. The Californian brand stocks excellent beans in its Kamakura, Kita-Kamakura and Tokyo locations (namely, Shinjuku, Roppongi and, most recently, Ebisu). There’s a wide range of drinks, from espressos and proper macchiatos (small, with just a splash of milk) to lattes and big Americanos. Alternatively, there’s also matcha and cascara (coffee cherry) tea. You can grab something sweet like banana bread and waffles, or something savory from the panini and sandwich selection.

Verve’s cozy atmosphere and popular location (it’s on the main street leading to Tsurugaoka Hachimangu, the principal Shinto shrine in Kamakura) means it’s incredibly popular. Maybe too popular. Due to both locals and visitors frequenting the coffee shop, one needs to be on the lookout for a seat. The staff are also very strict about everyone ordering something if they want a seat in the space.

SJO Coffee

From the popular Verve, follow me to the extremely hidden SJO coffee, a dark jazzy semi-underground space in a concrete Brutalist building. The SJO doesn’t stand for anything, according to the flat-cap-wearing laconic barista and owner who seems to have materialized straight out of the Peaky Blinders TV show.

The atmosphere of this coffee shop makes it a fun visit, as you sit on velvet chairs in darkness even though it’s noon. The L-shaped space adds more mystery and privacy, as it’s hard to see the other customers. Of course, coffee is freshly ground and brewed, and you can choose the roasting degree as beans are roasted in-house. Menu adjustments can be made too, as we ordered off-menu macchiatos made with darker, pleasantly nutty espresso. It’s certainly a place to get good coffee too, in addition to its unique interior filled with jazz sounds.


More or less halfway between Kamakura Station and Zaimokuza Beach — around 12 minutes on foot from both — Calender coffee is a great find. It’s one of the only shops on a residential street that the owner compared to East Tokyo’s Shitamachi vibe. Just one narrow counter and a few bar stools, it’s also reminiscent of Golden Gai’s micro bars, with the owner and the barista happily conversing with guests. It’s a welcoming place that will make you feel like a local in just one visit. They showed us their ceramics collection from local artists and served us a wonderfully creamy and fluffy cappuccino.

The shop’s tiny, yet it seems to pull out trick after trick, like a magician’s top hat. The barista roasts beans right there on the counter, in a micro-roastery machine. There’s also a variety of coffee drinks and gourmet hot dogs.

Alpha Betti Cafe

This coffee shop is located away from the Kamakura crowds, closer to Hokokuji Temple, also known as “the bamboo forest temple.” It’s a bit of a secret (as much as secrets can exist in the age of the internet), offering a cozy, tranquil atmosphere. Colorful from the door frame down to the pink espresso machine and multicolored coffee cups, Alpha Betti Cafe is able to lift your spirits even before you try the coffee.

Of course, the family-owned decade-old coffee shop does not disappoint when it comes to coffee. It has the most extensive menu, with four brewing methods on offer: espresso, drip, French press and Aeropress. Coffee lovers can order the comparison set of a latte and an espresso, so they can taste the different expressions of the coffee beans roasted in-house. On a hot day, try the espresso tonic to feel refreshed. The coffee here is excellent in any shape or form.

This coffee shop also offers a range of food and sweets, as well as alcohol, so there’s something for every mood. The lovely owners even sell souvenirs and postcards made by local artists and promote art exhibitions, supporting the local community.

Honorable Mentions

Kamakura is brimming with great coffee options, so we’d be remiss not to leave you with a few honorable mentions.

Chocolate Bank (pictured above) is the biggest surprise, as it mainly focuses on chocolate, but offers an espresso cacao that is a pleasantly bitter delight.

Gen is a classic Japanese kissaten with dark roast drip and a lot of vintage charm. The cups are particularly enjoyable. It feels as if you’ve been allowed to try drinking from every vessel in a pottery and ceramic museum.

Finally, Tane Roastery Coffee is a small coffee stand just a few steps from the east exit of Kamakura Station. It serves great specialty coffee and is extremely convenient for a quick takeaway on your way to exploring Kamakura.