Sake Gumi

Since moving away from my beloved town of Shimokitazawa, I make every excuse to cruise by the neighborhood just to check out the latest shop openings. As it is only a 10-min bike ride away from my current residence, I go there to run my Muji errands and to meet up for coffee with colleagues. My most recent discovery was Bear Pond Espresso, on Ichibangai Street. Accross the street from Hara Donuts, this coffee bar reminds me of Blue Bottle Coffee in the Bay Area.


Bear Pond Espresso is furnished sparsely with wood tables and high stools, and has simple and solid menu. They offer the standards (espresso, cappuccino, latte, macchiato, etc.) at very reasonable prices. I ordered an Iced Coffee which cost me 270 yen. Compare that to a drink at most coffee houses that set you back 500 yen or more. The presentation also compliments their "no bull-shit" style offerings, as the drinks come in reusable mugs and jars. Our Iced Coffees came in classic jam jars.

Next time you are on the West Side, get off at Shimokitazawa-station for some donuts and hand dripped coffee.



2-36-12 Kitazawa, Setagaya-ku
Tokyo, Japan
T: 03-5454-2486
Column: Tokyo JUNKtion


  • Bear Pond is a once in a lifetime experience, for sure they are rude, but the whole thing is on the next level! Also read to understand before you go!

    Anthony on

  • This is exactly what I love about Japan. The anal attention to detail… (while completely igoring the context, but that's another discussion).
    Simple ideas, but ideas that make a difference. AND the lack of fear of being different or laughed out of gym class. Could you imagine a cafe in NYC serving lattes in old jam jars? I could not. Fact is 99% of the world's cafes look the same and serve the same.
    Y:A:W:N! If no one takes a chance and does things differently, how is everyone else supposed to be inspired, be creative and to come up with anything? That is why Tokyo is an inspiration – especially in the details which is what we should bring back with us when we leave the city and head back to our boring nation of daysleepers.
    Thank you, Tokyo JUNKtion.

    Anders on

  • It's so crazy how this looks like a cafe in NYC or Portland or something! It definitely has that rustic, we-roast-our-own-coffee feel to it.

    kayoko on

  • Anders – I'll take you here when you visit in September. So many places to explore!

    yoko on

  • As a Sydneysider I, of course, have high standards when it comes to my coffee. I will have to visit this place when I come to Tokyo in November.

    Anonymous on

  • They're selling my hand-painted medals there now too…

    rob clemenz @ on

Leave a comment

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published