Having Coffee with a Monk: The Temple-Themed Tera Cafe in Daikanyama - Vikingess Voyages

Monday, June 25, 2018

Having Coffee with a Monk: The Temple-Themed Tera Cafe in Daikanyama

A Buddhist altar inside the Tera Cafe
Photo: Anette

Right on Tokyo's posh Komazawa Street between Daikanyama and Ebisu district you can find Tera Cafe, a cafe/restaurant that is themed after a Buddhist temple, or tera (寺) in Japanese. At first glance, this might seem like a regular cafe, but you'll soon notice that there's more to it than meets the eye. This chic temple-themed cafe seems to be the place to go for instance if you want to combine a healthy meal with a consultation session with a Buddhist monk.

The cafe mixes modern design with the style of a traditional temple, and with the calm atmosphere inside the cafe, you can certainly be able to spend some relaxing time here. If you're lucky you might just run into one of their Buddhist monks too. At the cafe, they offer classes in various lifestyle-related courses such as ikebana, which you can join if you know Japanese (They might have lessons taught in English too, but I couldn't find any relevant information on their HP).
As fewer and fewer people go for visits to temples it is getting difficult for religious figures to make a living. With this in mind, the cafe was created by the head priest at Shingyoji Temple, who instead of trying to increase the number of people visiting temples wanted to bring the temple to the people.
At the Tera Cafe, they serve different healthy lunch plates at around 1,000-2,000 yen a plate. With loads of healthy options, you'll not be disappointed! Below are some of the dishes you can find on their menu: 
Another interesting thing about this temple-themed cafe is that it turns into a bar in the evening and that they also serve alcoholic beverages here. In fact, Japan is quite a liberal country when it comes to alcohol, and unlike other religions, the Japanese Buddhism/Shintoism is very open-minded too (Did you, for instance, know that the god of business and good fortune, Ebisu, also has his own beer brand? I mean, wow!).
A variety of the alcohol offered at Tera Cafe
If you're looking to get a mild introduction to Japanese Buddhism a visit to the Tera Cafe might be a good option for you. A drink or two with a monk can perhaps bring you a new perspective on religion not only in Japan but perhaps also in general? Either way, the Tera Cafe offers a unique dining experience you wouldn't be able to get elsewhere, and even if you're not lucky enough to meet a monk you will still be able to enjoy a healthy and reasonably priced meal here.
Tera Cafe Ice cream for dessert 

Thank you for reading! Please feel free to leave any comments or questions below
- Anette

 ◆Basic Info

  • Tera Cafe (寺カフェ)
    Tokyo, Shibuya, Ebisunishi, 1 Chome−33−15 EN代官山ビル 1F
    • Access:
    • ●2 min walk from Daikanyama Station (代官山駅)
    Opening Hours:

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About Anette
Anette came to Japan as an exchange student in 2010, met the love of her life and got stuck. From her base in Tokyo she writes about her experiences as a full-time worker in Tokyo and about her travels in Japan and abroad. She's a free-spirited adventurer who enjoys both the great outdoors and her urban lifestyle.

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About Me

Adventures ofAnette

A modern day shield-maiden who loves to explore the unbeaten paths of the world. From her base in Tokyo, Anette takes on both rural and urban challenges, and goes by the motto "No challenge too big, no adventure too small"!
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