Hidden culinary treasures in Japan are not just confined to cities like Tokyo—they can be found in surprising numbers throughout the countryside as well. However, unlike their big city brethren, these rustic establishments are often simply too far off the beaten path to attract the attention they deserve.
One such place is Travel Coffee, located about a 15-minute walk from Torami Station on the Sotobo Line leaving from Chiba Station on the Pacific side of Chiba’s Bousou Peninsula and 5 minutes from the beach. Housed in an all-wood cabin hand-built by the proprietor, Shinbo-san, this coffee shop is reminiscent of a North American country store, featuring US vintage signs, bric-a-brac interior and even an iron wood-burning stove (put to good use in the winter months) with the Grateful Dead and Hank Williams playing off of vinyl in the background. There’s even two immaculately maintained Airstream trailers on the grounds where Shinbo-san (you can call him by his first name, Mitsuo) and his family reside.
But of course the reason to trek all the way out here is not to experience a re-creation of home—it’s for the freshly brewed, home-roasted coffee, a cup of which is some of the best joe you’ll find this side of Tokyo Station. With blends from beans from Central and South America, Africa, Indonesia and Southeast Asia meticulously brewed by hand for maximum flavor and aroma, Travel Coffee is truly a caffeine mecca to which all visitors to this part of Chiba should pilgrimage.