A cup of coffee beside a container ground coffee and coffee beans.
How Coffee Shop Culture Developed In Japan
The first European coffee shop in Japan was introduced by a student name Eikei Tei. Tei studied in Europe and wanted to bring the idea of the French café back to his home country.
However, even though his idea was good, in the late 1800s, Japan was not ready for a coffee shop, as tea was still the hot beverage of choice for the masses.
It wasn't until the 1920s that the idea of a "kissaten" came about, a word that translates to "tea-drinking shop." Over time, coffee became the drink of choice in kissatens.
However, just as coffee began growing in popularity, World War II broke out, and one of the first things the government did was ban coffee imports.
Thankfully, the ban didn't last long. The war ended in 1945, and the coffee import ban was lifted five years later, allowing the kissaten to make its second comeback.
Kissatens remained popular until the late 1980s, and at the height of their popularity, Japan had more than 150,000 different privately-owned kissaten shops all over the country.