Tokyo’s Top Five Wifi Cafes
Sometimes working at home is just way too distracting. Maybe you need to go for a jog first, or clean the kitchen? If you're like me, anything at home is more important than work, so read on if you do best with a good coffee and the background buzz of a cafe in action.
Tokyo has a great range of cafes, but many don’t offer free wireless internet access, and finding it can be hard. So, for the benefit of those with a computer in hand, a deadline on the horizon and an urgent need for caffeine, here are five spots in the capital with free wifi. Whether you’re frantically hitting the books or a freelancer in need of laptop time out of the house, let this be a starting point for getting things done.
1. Freeman Cafe, Shibuya
If you’re in Shibuya, looking for free wifi or perhaps are in battery emergency, head to Freeman Cafe. With wooden tables and some sofa seating, it’s a spacious place with lots of natural light, divided into smoking and non-smoking areas with a rack of magazines and photo collections. Electricity is available at the window seats and some people use the venue for business negotiations, so the staff won’t mind if you stay for a long time. There is a nice sized menu with tea and coffee, as well as various sandwiches and bites. Go early in the morning when it’s not so busy and smoky.
Address: 2F Metro Plaza, 1-16-14 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku
Open: Daily, 10 a.m.–11 p.m. (last order 10 p.m.)
2. Hiki Cafe, Shibuya
This place, surrounded by greenery, serves a range of light meals with fresh ingredients from farms in the Kanagawa area. The interior is generally woody with ethnic cushions, and Hiki is said to refer to the name of a dragon child that comes from myths around Okinawa and Southeast Asia. With a warm and relaxed atmosphere, it’s far from all the neon, hustle and bustle of Shibuya and great for those who want to work away from the crowds. There’s a wide range of drinks including cocktails in the evening and a couple of terrace seats.
Address: 1F Nabata Bldg, 36-19 Udagawacho, Shibuya-ku
Open: Daily, 11 a.m.–11:30 p.m. (last food orders: 10:30 p.m., last drink orders: 11 p.m.)
3. Coin Space, Shibuya
Coin Space is a multipurpose area that allows you to bring in your own food and drink and stay for as long as you like. Vending machines are available (basic coffee costs just ¥50) and users can help themselves to water from the water servers free of charge. As well as free wifi, Coin Space lends power outlets and chargers for phones, laptops and tablet computers. When you arrive you’ll receive a ticket with a number at the reception desk. To pay, simply return this ticket to the cashier when you leave. There are no registration procedures, and if you’re planning a meeting, take advantage of the private meeting rooms.
Address: 6F Haimanten Shibuya Bldg, 23-5 Udagawacho, Shibuya-ku
Open: Daily, 8 a.m.–10 p.m.
4. Bears’ Coffee, Omotesando
Bears’ Coffee first opened in 1983 in Hilo on Hawaii’s Big Island, and came to Japan in 2014. Tucked away on a side street off Aoyama Dori, the interior is bright and friendly with a Hawaiian theme and fun atmosphere. There’s a range of coffee, waffles and pancakes with whipped cream, as well as four different kinds of salad for those who prefer a healthier option. The friendly and chatty staff endeavours to make your visit as comfortable as possible. Ask them for the wifi password and you’ll be connected straight away. The tables are wooden and spacious, great for spreading out paperwork.
Address: 3-10-15 Kita Aoyama, Minato-ku
Open: Thu–Tue, 9 a.m.–8 p.m. (Closed Wed, last food and drink orders 7:30 p.m.)
5. Cafe Hoff, Hatsudai
Close to Hatsudai, Hatagaya and Yoyogi Uehara stations, Cafe Hoff is a New York style restaurant and bar with a stylish wooden interior, impressively high ceiling, a great combination of tastes and a lunch and dinner menu that changes regularly, from eggs Benedict to hamburgers to a range of pasta dishes. There is a quaint little terrace out back, some counter seats, sofas and cushions, and you can connect to the wifi immediately—the staff will give you the password and move the tables closer together for you if you need to spread work out. Weekdays are the best times to visit, as it can get fairly busy on weekends.
Address: 2-11-11 Hatsudai, Shibuya-ku
Open: Daily, 11 a.m.–2 a.m.
Keep in Mind
Charge your computer: Make sure your computer is fully charged before you go, as not all the cafes have outlets.
Smoking: In Japan, smoking in cafes is still quite mainstream, and you may encounter it in some of these cafes.
Avoid peak hours: Mornings are best for a more relaxed experience.