Cheapo Coffee: Motoya

Greg Lane

As I’m not very interested in the brand stores that line Omotesando, I couldn’t help noticing the little coffee truck parked just off the main drag on a side street next to the Benetton shop.

This is one of four Motoya vans (I was only able to map 3) in Tokyo.  Additionally, they seem to have some kind of collaboration with Natural Lawson and a few other companies to have mini-stores inside larger stores.  Given the 2 minutes training the convenience store or book shop worker has probably had, I’d hazard a guess that the coffee from the vans is a cut above that from the others.

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The espresso is pretty good – definitely far above the Starbucks/Tully’s industrial type coffee flavoured drinks. The value of course is excellent.  A shot of espresso will set you back only 200yen, a Caffe Latte 280yen and a Cappuccino 290yen.  These are kind of small sizes though, so you might want to go for the larger size for an extra 40yen. Just around the corner at Cafe Anniversaire, they’re charging 1,000yen for essentially the same thing.

Motoya Coffee in Omotesando
The tiny van contains a full size espresso machine, the barista as well as all the cups and equipment.

As you can see from the picture at the top of this post, there is a shaded seating area in the parking spot next to the van.  They even have a selection of fashion magazines like those you’ll find at any other cafe in the area.  The minus for me – which is actually one of their main selling points – is that they are smoker friendly.

This particular van does a very good trade before 9 in the morning as local office and retail workers queue for a take away to ease their start to the day.

The other cool thing about Motoya, is that it’s a franchise.  So there’s a good chance you’ll be buying your coffee from the owner/operator.


View Motoya Express Locations in a larger map

Name:Motoya Express
Locations: (vans only)Daikanyama (in front of the station in the Tokyu Car Park)
Omotesando (Shibuya Benetton Megastore)
Azabu (National Supermarket – currently closed for redevelopment so don’t know if this one has moved)
Nihonbashi (Mitsui Fudosan Honkan Building)
Web: [Site in Japanese – seems a little out of date/inaccurate also]

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