LawnA classic kissaten.

LawnA classic kissaten.

The kissaten is Japan’s answer to an American diner. The essential elements are coffee, stick-to-your-ribs food and a genial, homey atmosphere. Lawn in Yotsuya is a classic kissaten, the kind of place to smoke cigarettes and scribble in a notebook. There are no laptops in sight.

Hiroaki Ogura, the owner, has been serving up orders for a half century. “We opened in Showa 29—that’s 1954,” he says. “I took over the shop 10 years later, so I’ve been doing this for over 50 years.”

Ogura is busy as he speaks, pouring coffee from a red enamel kettle with one hand, and melting butter in a pan with the other. The Beatles play on the stereo and cigarette smoke hangs in the air over the red vinyl booths. The kitchen is tiny, with a two-burner stove and just enough space for one che...

ISSUE 52

Take a look inside

The full version of this story is only available for subscribers

Want to enjoy full access? Subscribe Now

Subscribe Discover unlimited access to Kinfolk

  • Four print issues of Kinfolk magazine per year, delivered to your door, with twelve-months’ access to the entire Kinfolk.com archive and all web exclusives.

  • Receive twelve-months of all access to the entire Kinfolk.com archive and all web exclusives.

Learn More

Already a Subscriber? Login

Your cart is empty

Your Cart (0)