Cafe culture in Japan is expansive as it is unique. All throughout Japan there are cafes that extend from the exciting Monster Cafe’s to the relaxing Key Coffee cafe found in your local town. It’s hard to walk down the street and not run into Doutor, Tully’s, and the ever-growing Starbucks. It should come as no surprise that Kamakura shares the same love of coffee as the rest of Japan. In my countless times in Kamakura, I always find a new cafe, but the three I have laid out here are not only unique in product but also delicious. So take a break, have a cup, and enjoy!
Dandelion Chocolate Kamakura
- 12-32 Onarimachi, Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture 248-0012
- Open Daily 8:00am – 7:30pm
I have to start off this new cafe I am enamored with. If I am transferring or getting off at Kamakura Station, then I assure you I will be going to this cafe around the corner. I’m an American, and grew up with S’mores over a campfire. Dandelion Chocolate has reinvented the S’more and pairs both hot and iced chocolate to go with it. When you walk in to the wooden, industrial design cafe, it is remnant of hipster vibe. The staff was not only helpful with the language barrier, but excited to let you taste their unique chocolates. Watch them fire up the torch and warm up the oversized marshmallows and artisanal chocolate right in front of you!
- 1-5 Yukinoshita, Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture 248-0005
- Open Daily 11:00am – 6:00pm (closing may vary)
This cafe is best described as a little hole in the wall. In total, there are less than 15 seats in the entirety of the cafe, and it’s tucked down an alley off of Komachi by a garden. Inside the chairs are mismatched and the decor is all hand drawn art. The food is wonderful, but the menu for food seems to change often. One thing is for certain, the latte art is beautiful. The artist does all of the designs by hand, but make sure to tell him you want a design when you order. I asked for a recreation of my dog, and he clearly did Kuma justice.
- https://www.art-nekomachi.com/ (For store)
- 1-6-2 Yukinoshita, Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture 248-0005
- Open Daily 10:30am – 5:30pm
It is extremely difficult to discuss cafes in Japan without mentioning at least one Cat Cafe. Nekomachi is unique to the run-of-the-mill cat cafes in Japan, and the sign makes it very easy to find. Up one floor and you have the store of cat-related gifts, and up another you have the cafe itself. Instead of the usual bengal cat you see in Harajuku and Yokohama, this cat cafe has a mix of breeds. Long hair, short hair, Scottish Fold, and one Munchkin. The drinks are better than most cat cafes, but the food is pretty average. In this cafe, you can purchase a small treat for the cats, and once they hear the crackling of the wrapper, they will jump on your lap to say hello. From there, you will have a friend to love and give pets for the rest of your stay.
This list only covers my favorite three of the many cafes that surround Kamakura and Zushi. Take the risk when you are in Japan if you like coffee, and step into a cafe with a handwritten sign. The worst thing that could happen is that you get a plain coffee. The best thing that could happen is spending an afternoon with a soft Scottish Fold cat that just wants to be scratched.
From Shinagawa Station take the Yokosuka JR Line towards Zushi to Kamakura Station. 720 yen.