No, no, there is no mistake with the photos accompanying this article.
My partner and I wanted to have a nice coffee paired with dessert at the Canal Cafe, a place we had enjoyed ten years ago on a date where he had taken what he says is his best photo of me right by the river. Canal Cafe is a waterfront cafe and restaurant that dates back to over a hundred years ago when it started as a boathouse. So we strolled down the steps, towards the stand where customers order right on the deck. At first, we couldn't figure out how much things cost because the prices weren't clearly written. My father-in-law wisely said of such places: "If you have to ask the price, you don't belong there." That's us. When you are young and dating, you don't care about the cost and simply live in the moment. Now, as parents of two small children, coffee and sweets that's half your grocery budget for the week does not make sense.
So, we went across the street to Starbucks Kagurazaka Shita where you could get a cup of coffee with real milk (not those fake tub creamers) for ¥290. Looking for a place to sit, we went up to the second floor and discovered the terrace, which we had all to ourselves. It felt like our own private nook, at no extra cost. From the terrace, we could enjoy a view of the river, the boats bobbing in the water, and the JR trains rushing by -- the same view we would have enjoyed at Canal Cafe, albeit a bit further, and the broader terrace view includes the Canal Cafe itself and the neighboring Canal Cafe Boutique desserts. Additionally on the other side of the terrace, we could watch the foot traffic on Kagurazaka Street as we slowly sipped our coffee.
We concluded that we derived as much satisfaction at the terrace as we would have on the deck without having to spend as much. And in the end, it's who you're with that makes anything you have taste wonderful.
Starbucks Kagurazaka Shita is a short walk from Exit B2a of Iidabashi Station served by the Tokyo Metro Yurakucho, Namboku and Tozai Lines as well as the Toei Oedo Line. It can also be accessed from the West Exit of Iidabashi Station of the JR Chuo-Sobu Line.
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For Sherilyn Siy, Asia is home. Born in Hong Kong, Sherilyn spent time in the Philippines, China, and now lives in Japan. She speaks English, Filipino, Chinese (or putonghua), and Hokkien, her family's local dialect. Running is one of her favorite ways to explore Japan. She proudly finished the 2015 Tokyo Marathon -- her first ever full marathon -- in 4 hours and 37 minutes. She was absolutely psyched when she got selected again to run the new Tokyo Marathon route in 2018. She hopes to complete other races in Japan.