Just behind the hubbub of Machida's main drag and crowded shopping alleys lurks Scarab (スカラベ). This unassuming storefront holds a two-story space packed with well-scuffed character.
Downstairs, you can find earnest-looking clothing and shoes for the discerning urban homesteader, with an emphasis on linen, wool, hemp, and organic cotton. Indigo-dyed and printed cloth and t-shirts are piled next to wooly socks, cool-kid brimmed hats, and a few baskets of yarn and notions. Brands they carry include Eel, Duckfeet, El Naturalista, and Tatami.
Glass cases display spectacles, shaving accouterments, and things like scissors and household tools. A few other islands feature beautifully printed Japanese hand towels, beads, and vintage glassware.
But the café—Fukuya Coffee—is my favorite. A small bar stands at the front of the shop with a short chalked menu on the wall, with about half a dozen varieties of coffee to choose from. Each type details the origin and character of the brew, with notes about depth, flavor, acidity, etc. A bare handful of other beverages is listed, including an organic Darjeeling tea, cinnamon chai, house-made ginger ale, and a few other beers and soft drinks. A cookie can be added to your beverage order for 50 yen.
After placing an order at the bar, café patrons climb up to the second floor to the lounge area, which is outfitted to look like your best friend's extremely well-appointed and chill garage. Slightly beat up retro furniture provides a place to kick back and enjoy one of the magazines or comic books that are strewn strategically around the space. Old radios (of exactly the type you'd expect to find at the back of the garage) broadcast classic reggae and jazz, and the music seems to be chosen by a true aficionado instead of a sound executive putting together the optimum mix to encourage you to shop and drink more.
Each cup of coffee is made to order using the flannel-drip method; that is, a pour-over method through an individual cloth coffee filter. The drinks are artfully presented in ceramic cups with wooden spoons and brown sugar lumps. This is a cup that's meant to be savored!
The cafe has only been open for a few months (and the shop a few months before that), and they expect to add a few more menu items like cake in the coming months.