By Erika Clark
The Nishimura Coffee in Harborland is one of thirteen storefronts operating in Japan, but its origins lie in Kobe. What makes this coffee house different from any other in Japan? The Nishimura coffee house has historical significance.
The original store began in 1948 and was run by a woman named Kiyoko Kawase. According to its web page, it was the only store that served coffee made form real coffee beans while other stores used soybeans as a substitute. Although it began with a small store with all but three tables, struggling to survive Japan’s post World War II economy, the Nishimura Coffee soon became famous for being the first to serve blended black coffee. Its ability to provide customers with quality coffee and satisfactory service has kept them in operation till this day.
The store in Harborland is somewhere I had always wanted to go. It is located within Umie, the newly remodeled shopping center. You will find it at the end of Canal Garden before entering Mosaic. There is a little bridge suspended above water leading to the shop's entrance; the water is clear and the smell of coffee surrounds you as you approach the entrance. Once you have entered the store, you are greeted by waitresses with pleasant smiles. Past the front counter there are old coffee machines giving the store a rustic feel. It is a very comfortable dining environment with piano music playing in the background. Sit outside where there is an open terrace and watch the hurried shoppers go by.
If you are hungry the store serves a variety of sandwiches with salad, but their desserts are very delicious as well. I ordered a cake and coffee set; there were several cakes you could choose from but this particular arrangement seemed to be calling my name. The set was slightly pricey, but the presentation was exquisite, and the cake tasted refined. The perfect place to stop by for a shopping break or with a date, a friend, or family. Relaxing at a place with such historical significance and a staff dedicated to serving great coffee and you just can’t go wrong!
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Hello, My name is Erika and I am a Japanese American currently studying in Long Beach State University. CA. I was born and raised in Kobe Japan untill I was 15 and am fluent in both English and Japanese. I find that Japan has so much to offer and hope to share my experiences with you as I explore and discover new favorite spots! Thank you for reading :)