For the past few months, the Kiyosumi Shirakawa district in East Tokyo has been attracting independent baristas from around the globe – turning the former sleepy residential enclave into a mecca for seekers of quality caffeine.
From California expats to locals expanding on the ‘tearoom’ culture, the canal-filled neighbourhood is finding a new persona and a New Zealand watering hole has just placed itself firmly at the core of its revitalisation.
Spearheaded by Japanese coffee maestro Teru Harase and his Auckland-based wife, Kim, iki café has been fully set up as a cultural purveyor of the New Zealand café culture. Allpress coffee is available here; they offer a Kiwi-style picnic service, a pop-up art gallery, New Zealand cuisine events and the pet-loving owners even offer New Zealand-made dog biscuits.
“It’s been a real adventure. After 23 years together, Teru and I have finally created a business that blends both of our cultures. Through iki we can bring the people of Japan and New Zealand that much closer together.”