The five-story pagoda of Hokanji Temple has crowned the skyline of eastern Kyoto for more than a millennium — give or take the few times when it burned down and was reconstructed. Just down the lane from the current incarnation (constructed in 1440) sits a rather newer landmark, % Arabica, which has become one of the most buzzed-about coffee shops in the city since its opening in 2014.

Anyone searching for a viable Japanese rival to the branding clout of California's Blue Bottle Coffee should look here. In the shop's sleek, minimalist interior, it feels like everything within sight — from paper cups and trashcans to a high-end valve amplifier behind the counter — has been embossed with the store's logo.

The coffee is a major draw too, of course. Head barista Junichi Yamaguchi won first prize at the Coffee Fest Latte Art World Championship in Tokyo last year, and conjures intricate foam designs with casual grace. Meanwhile, customers looking to buy beans can choose from over two dozen varieties — including some from % Arabica's own farm in Hawaii — then have them roasted to order on the spot.