by Luc Gougeon
UCC or Ueshima Coffee Company is a household name for any coffee drinkers in Japan. The brand is omnipresent and I was super happy to visit their coffee museum which is located in Kobe. It’s also where I drank one of the rarest coffee in the world, just keep reading.
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I found Ten to Ten or in Japanese てん to てん on the very popular Tabelog website where it earned the first place in the lunch/café section for the year 2013. Tabelog is a very popular site in Japan and when you make it to first place, you can expect a horde of foodies to come down to your place.
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The legendary King Tacos has a new address in Kin Town. I visited the original King Tacos about 2 years ago and the new shop is great. The new shop is hundred meter away.
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We braved the wind and the rain to get to Habu Shokudou which is located right inside to the main gate of Naha harbour. This place is not on the regular tourist trail, but make the hike, you won’t regret it. I also suggest you go there on an empty stomach, you might even consider skipping a couple of meals before you visit Habu Shokudou. You will see why really soon.
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When you land on Ishigaki Island in Okinawa, it has this weird last frontier kind of feeling, yet I was surprised to see a Starbucks Coffee shop at the airport. This is where it’s stop, there is only one Starbucks on the island.
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Mahou Coffee is colorful café located in Ginowan, just outside of Naha City. I am not sure how easily this coffee shop can be reached without a car, but it was well worth the drive. From the outside, Mahou looks like a regular boxy Okinawa home.
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The car navigation was telling me to turn left but I was starting to have strong doubts. I knew that Tofu no Higa was a small restaurant, but I could not imagine it was in the middle of a field just outside the center of Ishigaki city.
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I visited Takumi Ramen right after my Japanese teacher recommended it to me: I just love it when people share their coup-de-coeur. Apparently, this place is very famous, but I will let you judge by yourself. For the Okayama folks, Takumi Ramen can also easily be found since it’s right on the second floor of Okayama Station.
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When I first saw a picture of the Tokyo Tea Room in a book about old Okayama coffee shops, I knew I would eventually find my way there. This very unique shop is located on Akura Dori not too far from the amazing Fa Niente restaurant and I am pretty sure I walked in front of it many times and never stopped because of the UCC coffee sign. Ueshima Coffee company produces some good coffee, but it’s never my first choice. Something else took me here, just keep up reading…
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When I got to Tweet Rocka, which is only a short walk from the historical center of Kurashiki, I asked my wife:
-Are you sure this is a coffee shop?
-Yes, look at the sign, it says Coffee.
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Toushinden Yakiniku is located on route 30 not too far from route 2, if you are familiar with Okayama, this is the road that goes to Tamano. It most definitely not centrally located, but it is worth the bike ride, the bus ride, the walk or anything that will get you there. It was so good, I would probably go on a pogo stick if I had to.
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Kanazawa City in Ishikawa Prefecture is my kind of city, not too big, not too small and packed with old streets. Kanazawa wasn’t bombed during the second world war, so it has that old Japanese city feel.
After being caught in the rain during a visit to the famous Kenrokuen garden, we found refuge at Tachibana Coffee.
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