Visiting one of Japan traditional coffee shops, known as kissaten, is a unique way to start to the day.

For breakfast, many kissaten offer a "morning service," which includes coffee and a small meal — often with toast, some meat, an egg and a salad. Western food is served, but with a twist: the toast is extra thick, and salads are sometimes prepared with either boiled spaghetti or canned fruit. But it's not all wonderful; the air inside kissaten is often thick with cigarette smoke.

Japan's first kissaten, Kahiichakan, opened in 1888 in Ueno, but coffee culture didn't pick up until after the turn of the century. Originally the so-called morning service included coffee with a small serving of peanuts or a hard boiled egg. As Japan modernized and industrialized — and as more people took office jobs in the cities — it evolved into a light breakfast that was ideal for workers on their morning commute.