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The archetypical kissaten (traditional coffee shop) would probably be a cozy neighborhood joint with faded ’60s decor, one of those vintage pink pay phones that only take ¥10 coins and a couple of elderly customers smoking furiously as they squint over their newspapers.

If you look in the right places, though, you’ll find a few opulent relics scattered around the capital that have strived to be something more — something truly fabulous. These parlors of pomp may have taken inspiration from the storied coffee houses of Vienna and Budapest, but the pleasures they evoke are distinctively Japanese.

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