Tokyo Cafes and the Unfortunate Wi-Fi Situation

In the past few years, Tokyo has stepped up its cafe game into over drive. There are tens and hundreds of slow roasted-direct trade-single origin-microbrewery (insert whatever fancy term) coffee shops with barista-baristo-brew master-cultivator-sommelier (insert whatever fancy title) peppered around the city.

Some are hidden away deep in the outskirts of Tokyo. Others have a teeny three person counter cubby hole in the middle of trendy cities. Some are chains (like Blue Bottle), others are strictly independent or pop-ups. Just Google ‘coffee shops Tokyo’ to see how overwhelming it really is.

I’m far from a coffee snob but I do love my coffee shops. Shops, as in the ambiance and food. Outlets are also a huge factor because I work out of coffee shops a lot.



What a lot of people don’t tell you is that the Wi-Fi situation in Japan is unfortunate. Actually, unfortunate is putting it lightly. It blows. Since veryone is already connected (internet penetration rate is ridiculously high and everyone has internet on their phones) Wi-Fi is practically non-existent.

Even mega chains like Starbucks or McDonald’s that have free Wi-Fi requires an account in order to hop on. How can one create an account if they can’t get online?! …this chicken and egg problem is something the Japanese haven’t thought of, because for us, everyone has internet automatically on their phones.

That said, here is a round-up of cafés that have free Wi-Fi I frequent — most are super close to my neighborhood so this list is a bit biased hahaha


Wired Cafe Franchise
There are 12 Wireds in Tokyo and I’ve been to almost all of them (I was addicted to their taco rice for a while). They’re also generous with the outlet situation — a lot of cafes will give a silent side-eye if you plug in to recharge.

My favorite one is in Shibuya that looks down onto Shibuya Crossing (the photo above taken by me). The Wi-Fi is unstable and only some of the seats have outlets. They have good food, alcohol and open late. Website is here 

Copy and paste this into Google Maps for directions↓

cafe-croix_1-655x491Cafe Croix
It’s right by the station, has outlets and semi-stable Wi-Fi. Done and done.

Copy and paste this into Google Maps for directions↓



mame1Cafe Mamehico

They have the most beautiful tables , outlets and it’s still undiscovered so there are always seats. Sold!

Copy and paste this into Google Maps for directions↓


originalFreeman Cafe
Right by the station. Some of the outlets are accessible. They have super stable and quick Wi-Fi, which is always a plus. Their food is pretty decent too.
Copy and paste this into Google Maps for directions↓
東京都渋谷区渋谷1-16-14 メトロプラザ 2F

091111_photo_shop2Timeout Cafe

The space is massive and there are always seats. They also have a website in English (all of these places don’t haha)

Copy and paste this into Google Maps for directions↓


original-1Paperback Cafe

This one takes a little bit of effort from Central Tokyo (well not really but I have to switch trains… I live in such a convenient area, there is absolutely no reason for me to go out of the way to travel, when I can just roll out of bed and stumble into one of the many cafes near me). But Jimbocho is a great little neighborhood. It’s known as the town of used books, there are over a 100 used book stores clustered… and some of these book stores have ancient books from centuries ago. Also, the famed Jimbocho Den is here!

Paperback Cafe has three floors and extremely power outlet friendly.

Copy and paste this into Google Maps for directions↓

And if all else fails, there’s always good ‘ole Starbucks. Sign up for a free account to access the Wi-Fi here.

Last up is one of my favorite local places. There’s no Wi-Fi and plugs but the ambiance is great, delicious food and reasonably priced alcohol. It’s one of the most popular cafe / bistro type places and those who know, know.

Analog Cafe — if it’s packed, you can walk up the street a tad and go to their sister cafe.
Copy and paste this into Google Maps for directions↓

You’re welcome.


One thought on “Tokyo Cafes and the Unfortunate Wi-Fi Situation

  1. Unfortunate Wi-Fi situation? Really? I think it is the best thing in Tokyo. In the last few years the population of gaijins living in Tokyo has increased so much that is overwhelming, and almost all of them are cheap people who doesn’t want to pay for an office or a shared space and then they look for a cafe with free wifi, drink one cup of coffee and stay all day long there drinking water and glued to their computers and wifi, hey it is a cafe not an office!! After some weeks when they realise that to live in Japan is way so different from their countries they start complaining about so many things in Japanese culture (specially people from USA). Solution is easy, if they don’t like what we have here, then they can just go back to their countries instead of complaining about a city and a society that is not theirs.


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