Cafe Obscura in Sangenjaya

A peaceful cafe in Sancha neighborhood

By Peter Lin    - 2 min read

Cafe Obscura is a peaceful modern cafe located in the Sangenjaya neighborhood of Setagaya, Tokyo. This is a specialty coffee roaster that has built up a following in the Sangenjaya neighborhood since 2009 with three stores and a roastery in the area. The atmosphere and service is similar to that of a traditional kissaten, (Coffee shop), with its attention to detail and deliberateness, but the decor is more modern. Coffee can be enjoyed using a siphon technique. A changing selection of single origin coffees and two versions of blend coffee are available.

There are a number of types of coffee including Rwandan, Ethiopian, Kenyan, Nicaraguan, Guatemalan, Indonesian, Mexican and Brazilian. The beans are roasted at a nearby site called the Obscura Factory. Espresso drinks and pour-overs are available at another store, the Obscura Coffee Mart. Light food is also available including sandwiches, a delicious pizza toast, toast with strawberry jam, tiramisu, and a chiffon cake. Coffee can be enjoyed hot or iced.

The setting is a place where customers can sit and relax. There are bookshelves full of design and art books for browsing. Drip coffee and coffee beans can be purchased to go, as well as hot or iced coffee to take out. Cafe Obscura is open daily from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. but closed every 3rd Wednesday of the month. The nearest station is Sangenjaya Station and it is about a 5 minute walk from the station to the cafe, passing by a number of shops and restaurants on the way. There are three Obscura locations in Tokyo: the Obscura Coffee Mart, Cafe Obscura Sangenjaya, and the Obscura Laboratory. There is also a branch in Hiroshima. Cafe Obscura has the most seating and space, whereas the other stores have mainly counters with limited seating, but the same excellent coffee and modern design.

Getting there

Cafe Obscura is about a 5 minute walk from Sangenjaya station on either the Den-entoshi line or the Setagaya line.

More info

Find out more about Sangenjaya.

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Peter Lin

Peter Lin @peter.lin

I first visited Japan in 2001 and since then have returned many times. With the efficiency and reliability of its transportation, the graciousness of the people, and the dedication to quality in food and service, Japan has been my standard for modern travel convenience. Every return has reminded me of the remarkable depth and diversity of the country with no two trips being alike, despite retracing steps through familiar neighborhoods. The constant dynamism of the urban centers combined with the emphasis on tradition, sense of aesthetics, and attention to detail make it one of the most exciting places to visit and an inexhaustible land for novel experiences, modern and ancient.

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