Introducing Japan’s recommended shisha bars, shisha cafes and their culture

Shisha is said to have originated in the Islamic Middle East, but the culture has also spread widely to Southeast Asia. In Japan, shisha culture is deeply popular among young people, and is an indispensable part of downtown areas. One of the best parts of a shisha bar/shisha cafe is that you can not only enjoy shisha, but also enjoy drinks, food, the bar, and the scenery together.

In this article, we will introduce special shisha bars and cafes that can only be found in Japan.

■What is Japanese shisha culture?

In recent years, the presence of shisha has become commonplace in Japan, especially in downtown areas. When you hear shisha, you may think of stylish, fashionable, and youth culture. However, its roots go back more than hundreds of years.

When we think of tobacco, paper cigarettes come to mind, and before that, shisha was a popular smoking method. The reason behind the growing popularity of shisha in Japan is thought to be the tightening of regulations on cigarettes, just like in the rest of the world.

It is believed that this regulation has led to the spread of electronic cigarettes and the spread of smoking methods and places that replace paper cigarettes, such as shisha. Furthermore, shisha has fewer health hazards than electronic cigarettes, and comes in a wide variety of flavors, which is probably why it is loved by people of all ages and genders.

Characteristics of different flavors Unique flavors that can be enjoyed in Japan

Shisha is said to have originated in Middle East Asia (India and Dubai). In the Middle East, people mainly prefer rich and strong flavors. In Dubai, shisha is said to exist on cafe terraces, as an after-meal snack, and as a dessert.

AL FAKHER is a shisha brand based in Dubai that offers 100% organic flavors using premium leaves grown in Virginia. Even in Japan, shisha can be enjoyed at shisha bars and cafes, and there are many flavors such as sweet fruit flavors, cafe flavors, and chocolate flavors. The relaxing effects of shisha are also attracting attention, so flavors that give you a more relaxing effect are becoming more popular in Japan.

What is the unique way Japanese shisha is made?

There are many places in Japan where you can enjoy shisha, and you can enjoy a variety of original shisha depending on the culture and area of ​​Japan. The most common shisha model in Japan is the tall pipe from the Middle East called the Egyptian. The total length of the pipe is nearly 1m, so it is not recommended for those who want to enjoy shisha at home as it takes up a lot of space.

On the other hand, shisha manufacturers in Russia and Canada are selling compact, box-shaped shisha, and there are many models that can be easily enjoyed at home. In Japan, shisha is rarely sold in popular cafes or bars, so you can enjoy the atmosphere and original concept of a shisha specialty store.

■Recommended shisha for inbound tourists in Tokyo

Shisha is enjoyed all over the world, but in Japan it is particularly popular in the form of shisha bars and cafes. Centered around the downtown area, there are date spots, co-working spaces, and facilities where you can enjoy entertainment such as karaoke and darts at the same time.

This time, we will be introducing shisha bars and cafes that are popular in Japan, focusing on areas that are especially popular for inbound tourists in downtown Tokyo, so please use them as a reference.

Shinjuku area

Shisha Cafe SHISHA CAFE NORTH VILLAGE is located 3 minutes walk from Shinjuku East Exit. The interior is dark and covered with leather sofas, allowing you to enjoy shisha in a homely atmosphere. Although it is located in the center of Shinjuku, you can relax and take your mind away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Even though it looks a bit sinister and rustic, it is a tasteful and comfortable space.

Shisha Times is a shisha cafe that operates as a cafe during the day and serves shisha from 10pm to 5pm. You will be able to enjoy a luxurious space that completely dispels the image of a daytime coffee shop. You are free to bring your own food, and the facility is equipped with batteries and Wi-Fi, making it a friendly service for travelers.

Shibuya area

THE SHISHA HOUSE in Shibuya has an overwhelming variety of shisha and flavors. You can enjoy different types of shisha from the ones you usually enjoy, such as the Honey Sai Mini made in Russia and the Oduman made in Turkey. Various flavors are available depending on the season and store, and we especially recommend the iced shisha, which offers a cooling sensation in addition to the cool flavors.

SOMA, located a 7-minute walk from Shibuya, is a store with the concept that people from all over the world can interact through shisha. A distinctive feature of this cafe is that it is the first shisha cafe in Japan to use Alfa Fuka, a high-quality Russian-made pipe. This cafe has a chic atmosphere where you can relax.

Ginza area

Ginza Shisha, located in Ginza 7-chome, has a compact interior with 4 counter seats and 2 table seats. Enjoy the atmosphere of a hidden urban bar tucked away in Ginza. In addition to shisha, you can enjoy an extraordinary atmosphere with staff dressed in Japanese clothing.

At Pop Inn Ginza, located a 2-minute walk from Ginza Station, you can enjoy not only shisha but also the profound atmosphere and music at the same time. You can also enjoy homemade lemon sour and craft beer, and along with shisha, you can enjoy a relaxing space for adults in Ginza. It also has famous DJs and darts, so be sure to visit if you’re out drinking in Ginza.

Akihabara area

AKIBA Smokers, located a 7-minute walk from Akihabara, is the world’s first store where you can enjoy maid and shisha cafes. The concept is Taisho Roman-themed maid costumes and interior decoration, and there is a wide variety of shisha products for a wide range of people, from beginners to experts.

C-stand, located halfway between Akihabara and Suehirocho, is a shisha cafe with a calm space that is completely different from the anime and maid culture of Akihabara. The warm and gentle atmosphere of the store, which is based on brown, will make you feel very relaxed.

Roppongi area

Shisha Yajin is a shisha cafe with a dark atmosphere and a Western-style storefront. You can enjoy shisha in a relaxing and calm space in our spacious restaurant. Recommended for those who want to escape from the glamorous streets of Roppongi and relax.

B-side is a shisha bar that requires reservations, and is a calm bar with a light bulb-colored atmosphere centered around Russian-made shisha pipes. In addition to the shisha, the variety of drinks is also attracting attention. Among them, there are over 40 types of whiskey, and you can also enjoy alcohol that goes well with shisha. Recommended if you want to spend a quiet moment in the center of Roppongi.

■Summary of shisha and shisha cafes in Japan

This time, we introduced the history of shisha and Japan’s unique shisha bars and shisha cafes. In Southeast Asia, shisha was found in cafes and other restaurants as a way to create an atmosphere that blends into everyday life. On the other hand, in Japan, it is positioned as a tool for relaxing in a calm space. Please feel the difference between shisha in your home country and Japan.


Q. Are there any entry restrictions for shisha bars and shisha cafes?
In Japan, people over 20 years old can smoke, so there is an age restriction of 20 years or older.

Q. Can I order anything other than alcohol at the shisha bar?
Most restaurants also have a wide selection of non-alcoholic drinks.
Besides alcohol, choose something that goes well with shisha.