2016 marks 50 years since the Beatles’ controversial show in Japan, and Maxim coffee has just opened a pop-up café in Harajuku with hand-drip brews dedicated to the band and their concert at the Budokan.

In June 1966, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and George Harrison boarded a plane from London to Tokyo, unaware of the chaos that awaited them in Japan. They were set to perform at the Budokan, an indoor arena which up until that concert had only ever been used for Japanese martial arts events. As a result, the Fab Four were up against death threats by a militant organization who believed they were violating the venue’s traditional purpose and the country’s culture.

When asked during a press conference what they thought of the furore, Lennon quipped: “Better to watch singing than wrestling, anyway.” And, of course, the show went on – and the Budokan was reinvented as a now-famous concert venue.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of this momentous occasion as well as Maxim’s own 10th anniversary, the coffee brand has set up The Sessions Café in Harajuku, serving hand-drip coffee with special brews and cakes created for the pop-up shop. Maxim is all about leisure time, so it’s fitting they’ve chosen to combine music and coffee for the ultimate afternoon break. The soundtrack is “only Beatles” and you can also browse a mini exhibition of black and white photographs (POR) taken by Robert Whitaker, who was renowned for his photos of the band in the mid-60s.


Choose between three main types of coffee: “Yesterday” (a little bitter, inspired by “nostalgia”);  “I feel fine” (fresh and light, inspired by “first love”); and “Something” (mild and sour, made to feel “sexy”). The coffee is ¥500, but opt for a cake set (¥1,450) and you can pair your brew with one of these…


Any guesses as to what they’ve named these cakes? Tell us in the comments below, on our Facebook page or on Twitter. If you guess right, you get a “like”, a “favorite”, and a round of applause from us.


The Sessions Café

The Sessions Café

The Sessions Café is open from 11:30am to 11pm until July 1.
Address: 6-9-11 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku