Fika Time in Tokyo

If you have ever been to Sweden, chances are that you have heard of the concept of 'fika' and learned to love it.

Fika basically means ”having a nice relaxing time with a cup of coffee or tea”, and this often also involves some sort of sweet treat or sandwich as well. Swedish people love their cafés and even have daily fika-breaks planned into their schedules at work. You meet friends and family for fika, have birthday-fika, afternoon-fika and even alone-fika just to enjoy being in your own company and relax for a little bit. Fika is a huge part of life in Sweden, and even if there are many great places for coffee in Japan, there are not that many places that are well suited for a proper fika-time.

Hidden close to the Jingu Gaien Ginko Avenue is a small Swedish crafts store called ”Yamanashi Hemsjöjd” or in Japanese; ヤマナシヘムスロイド, and on the second floor is a small café called Café Ylva that serves a traditional style Swedish fika. It is nothing fancy or extravagant, just simple and delicious and just like it should be. The star of the menu is the classic "tosca kaka"; a soft and moist vanilla sponge cake with a crispy almond caramel topping that would make any Swedish expat's heart sing. Paired with simple but delightfully strong drip coffee it is just sweet enough to cut through the bitterness, but not in any way heavy or too sweet to enjoy just on its own.  

The decor of the cafe is very classically countryside Sweden; light and homey, inviting you to sit down and relax as if you were in someone's kitchen just visiting for a fika. They have events and exhibitions for Swedish crafts and culture, sometimes in collaboration with the Swedish embassy, from time to time, as well as offering courses in traditional Scandinavian hand crafts in both English and Japanese. 

For more information about opening hours and upcoming events, lessons and the history of Yamanashi Hemslöjd, https://www.yhi1971.tokyo/blank-mpvle 

Thehere is a webpage in Japanese for the cafe as well, http://www.galleri-yamanashi.se/ylva