Tower Records Cafe

Probably my favorite store in Japan- Tower Records.  If you don’t live in Japan you’d probably think, “What, Tower Records still exists?”  Oh yeah, and it’s huge in Japan.  There are actually two major competing CD stores.  And on the second floor of the several-story-tall Shibuya branch is a book store and cafe.  I was curious about it for a while considering how often I go to Tower Records (not too much lately but at least once a month my first year or two working in Japan), and I think I looked at it once and thought it looked expensive.  I think every once in a while they have a theme menu, featuring characters like Snoopy, and I happened to look in on a day when they had that menu out and there was a line.  But we checked it out on a weekday night, and there was a normal menu with normal prices, and enough open tables.  It’s a very comfortable place with comfy seating and feels very open.  It’s not somewhere like a coffee shop where you can plug in a laptop and stay all day, although when it’s not super crowded, at least when we went it looked like there were some people that were chilling there for a while, studying or reading magazines from a stand in the middle of the cafe.  They had typical cafe-restaurant food-  a few nice appetizers for 500, a few big salads, pizza, pasta, Japanese curry, etc around 1000.  At first glance you might think such food is not worth the price, but what we ate was actually pretty good.  Nothing special but it was all done well.  There were drinks and desserts too a little more expensive than your typical cafe, which we did not try.  Not the first stop for a tourist to Japan, but if you’re ever at Tower Records go for it.

Hours:  10:00-23:00
Location:  Shibuya Tower Records (map), others