A Kagoshima Cafe To Suit Every Need
Take your pick of Kagoshima coffee spots with our insider guide | © Seongmi Hong / Unsplash
Whether you’re a Kagoshima resident seeking a place to relax with a book, or a tourist looking for a caffeine fix to fuel your exploration for the day, Kagoshima has you covered with these cafes.
Despite not being a particularly cosmopolitan city, Kagoshima is crammed full of excellent coffee shops. While you can get a perfectly decent coffee and slice of cake at any of the Japanese or international chain stores (such as Seattle’s Best Coffee, Starbucks, Tully’s Coffee, Doutor, and Mister Donut), there are some quirky and charismatic independent cafes across the prefecture that coffee lovers should also check out. Whether you’re looking for the perfect cup of coffee, a place with panache, somewhere to relax with a book or a just a bite to eat, Kagoshima has a coffee shop to suit your needs.
The is the best cafe for coffee connoisseurs. Established in 1979, Trombone is one of Kagoshima’s oldest coffee houses. The baristas here use coffee siphons to bring out the flavour of home-roasted beans, with Kilimanjaro, Italian blend and other house flavours on offer. Prices aren’t cheap at around ¥500 (£3.80) for a coffee, ¥600 (£4.55) for a milkshake and ¥800 (£6.05) for a slice of berry shortcake, but worth it if you’re craving a good cup of coffee. In the hot summer months, look out for their shaved ice kakigori (dessert) which is the perfect remedy to humid weather.
Café Yamashiro is the best cafe for art lovers on a budget. This funky little cafe has walls covered in postcard-sized sketches by local artists, some of which are for sale. A compact coffee bar with an equally compact menu, there are only a few lunch options here. Coffee costs ¥380 to ¥500 (£2.90 to £3.80), or try a cup of rose or vanilla tea for ¥450 (£3.40). The delicious baked cheesecake and drink set is ¥750 (£5.70). This isn’t the kind of cafe where you can relax for hours, but if you want a quick caffeine hit at a non-chain store in the middle of town, Yamashiro is a good choice.
Cafe, Japanese, $$$
This is the best cafe for healthy treats. Yama Farm has been growing organic produce since the 1970s, and their “farm cafeteria” Morikazo near Kagoshima City Hall promotes homegrown produce in a relaxed atmosphere. Come to this airy cafe to buy beautifully packaged organic vegetables, or try one of their cakes, which are easy on the eye and also taste amazing. Indulge in a chocolate scone with your tea or coffee, or take home some of their raisin loaf to toast for breakfast.
Cafe, Coffee, $$$
Junkokudo is the best cafe for jazz lovers. Jazz is extremely popular in Japan, and bustling jazz bars are found in most big cities. Junkokudo is Kagoshima’s only jazz cafe, located in Haruyama Town. You can choose from hundreds of records to put on the record player while you drink your coffee. Coffee is good value at ¥380 to ¥400 (£2.90 to £3), and the cake set is only ¥600 (£4.55). Only open on the weekends (early afternoon until the evening), this is one to seek out if you are a jazz fan.
Lu-Ca Library Café
Lu-Ca Library Café is the best cafe for relaxing with a book. Located on the second floor of the Kagoshima City Library, this is a great place to rest and relax with books and waffles. Though it’s perhaps not so quiet if you visit during a busier time of day – the kids’ set deal makes it popular with families. Blended coffee is only ¥300 (£2.25), and waffles (with toppings such as seasonal fruit, matcha and black honey, ham and avocado) cost around ¥700 (£5.30). They also hold events and exhibitions for local artists – check the website for details of what’s upcoming.
Tabby Coffee is the best cafe for those on the go. If you drink coffee like the Italians do (knocking back your espresso before the waiter gets your change) then Tabby Coffee is the coffee stand for you. Drink your coffee at the bar or get it to takeaway, along with one of their delicious cookies for ¥100 (£0.75) or a scone for ¥170 (£1.30). Despite the fast turnover, Tabby Coffee uses top quality beans in a variety of flavours. Coffee will set you back between ¥400 (£2.90) and ¥450 (£3.40). If you have feline allergies, don’t worry, this isn’t a cat cafe – instead it’s populated by dozens of little cat statues to keep you company.
Coffee Marche Italia
Cafe, Italian, $$$
Coffee Marche Italia is the best cafe for getting work done. The foliage-flanked entrance leads you into a bright and lofty coffee shop, complete with mismatched furniture and junk shop vibes with its eclectic array of decorations. This is a cafe that has it all – professionally roasted coffee beans, free wifi for catching up on work or surfing the web, and sumptuous treats made from homegrown produce. Pizza, bread and pasta are top choices for lunch, and a basic blend coffee is ¥350 (£2.65), though there are other choices too (caramel macchiato for ¥430 (£3.25), latte for ¥470 (£3.55), or treat yourself to a coffee float at ¥590 (£4.45). For a quick lunch, the panini soup set (¥650 (£4.90) is a top choice, or if you’d rather something sweet, the cake set is also ¥650 (£4.90).
These recommendations were updated on May 29, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.