The Great Coffee Tour: Fuglen

by afatpurplefig


It’s appropriate that Fuglen comes last, since it was the only cafe we visited twice, and the second visit was on our final day in Tokyo. I almost thought that meant it deserved winner status, but when I suggested as such, Mary and I ummed and ahhed for too long to just declare it outright.

The reason we came back twice? This. Norwegian Brown Cheese on Toast, the only food item on the menu. We LOVED it. It was not unlike eating a top-quality version of plastic cheese (Kraft singles). Delicious.


That said, there was an awful lot else to like about Fuglen. It is the sister store of a long-established branch in Oslo, and the vintage furniture design is warm and welcoming. Like the couch you’re sitting on? It might be for sale. Both stores have furniture outlets nearby; a 300sqm storage space with over 4000 items in Oslo, and the more modest sister store, ‘Norwegian Icons’, in Tokyo, situated around the corner from the cafe.


And while Norwegian and Japanese styles may seem strange bedfellows, they actually make a pretty cracking combo. Fuglen existed at the outer edges of warm and cool, all at once.

They sell stickers and coffee beans here (that kind that people are actually buying), and a whole heap of iced Americanos, and the place has a real I-bring-my-laptop-and-hang-out-for-awhile feel to it. It’s busy, but calm and friendly, and the communal dining table brings a sense of family-kitchen warmth to the room.

I liked the artworks. This one had been repurposed, but I couldn’t pin down its original role. It was full of coins.


We wanted to visit Fuglen, after reading it was ‘possibly the most talked about cafe in Japan‘, and ten minutes from Shibuya station. I can testify that it was a much longer walk than that, and we did it in the rain, however, despite arriving wet, we still declared it a highlight.

The fact that we visited again, just because, says it all.

Right at the top, this one.