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Tokyo Cafe Walker

… and frequent visits to his favorite cafes.

That line is part of the profile blurb I’ve had on my site for quite a while now, and it really was true. During my first few years in Tokyo, I would cut out articles or reviews (photos with info) on cafes and bars that I found interesting — often from the weekly Metropolis magazine (which back then was called Tokyo Classified) — and paste them in a Muji notebook. I’d always have that notebook — which ended up forming two volumes — in my bag, and so whenever I was out and about and in the mood for a cafe stop, I’d consult it and try to find a new place to check out.

I miss those days.

I’m not quite sure why I don’t do that anymore. Probably a mix of being much busier and working full-time hours in an office — a far cry from the shorter work days I had while teaching English, or when I was working primarily as a freelance writer. I’m sure having a dog contributes to this as well — I’d rather spend time in and around my neighborhood (which has limited outdoor cafe options) with my pooch when I have free time than wandering the city in search of cool new spots.

But I still enjoy a good cafe, and it’s still a joy to be introduced to a new one, or to discover it myself.

I bet you it would also be much easier to keep digital “clippings” of places that I find on websites and the like. And there are now plenty of really nice cafe guides — I even have a few — that are basically properly edited versions of those old notebooks I kept.

I think I need to find more excuses to go out for coffee.

By Jean Snow

Senior Manager, Esports at Ubisoft. Before that, half a life spent in Tokyo.