Vegetarian's Japan Guide

Maruyama Coffee: The Must-Visit Cafe in Karuizawa

Opposite Bon Okawa Karuizawa Chocolate Factory, on the other side of the bullet train track, there is a cafe you must visit if you are a coffee person. In fact, you might have already visited one of the coffee chain’s stores in Tokyo! Opened in 1991, Maruyama Coffee (丸山珈琲) is infamous for its high-quality coffee, but that isn’t the only charm at their first and main store in Karuizawa.

The bean’s quality isn’t the only thing that the coffee chain values. The bean-purchasing process at Maruyama Coffee starts with relationship building with the local farmers. Instead of just purchasing the beans, the owner and the coffee bean purchasing team spent nearly half a year in coffee-producing countries to ensure the farmers enjoy a good standard of living which became the motivation for producing good-quality coffee beans.

The beans are then roasted in-house before they are ground for coffee brewing. This is why some say it is hard to find another cup of equally delicious coffee elsewhere, and the main store in Karuizawa is definitely one of the best cafés in the town!

When You Are at Maruyama Coffee Karuizawa Main Store (丸山珈琲・軽井沢本店)

Maruyama Coffee in Karuizawa has a relaxing and homey atmosphere. Locating away from the town center in a quiet villa area, you might walk past it without realizing its existence. After all, the café looks like a guesthouse because it was renovated from one! While not obvious, look for its black signboard on the side of the driveway.

Especially in winter, the interior decoration together with the fireplace not only warms you up physically but emotionally as well. Like other Maruyama Coffee, the coffee at Karuizawa main store is well-brewed. You can choose from a large variety of beans, both blends and single origin. If you dine in, your hot coffee is served with a French press, so you get 2 cups worth of coffee with an order. If you eat eggs, order one of their delicious cakes. They go really well with the coffee, which is smooth and rich in flavor.

Service here is professional, with kind and helpful staff. If the weather isn’t too cold or rainy, how about sitting at one of the table sets in the garden? These are the best seats to enjoy a relaxing morning or afternoon (´ω`*).

☛ Maruyama’s Blend Classic 1991 (丸山珈琲のブレンド・クラシック) can only be found at Maruyama Coffee Karuizawa Main Store. The coffee blend was available when the café first opened in 1991. It was reintroduced to celebrate the café’s 20th anniversary.
☛ Free tastings are available at Maruyama Coffee Karuizawa Main Store.
☛ While the vegan Maruyama Coffee Original Curry (丸山珈琲オリジナルカレー) was temporarily removed from the menu at the end of July 2022, check with the staff to see if it is available when you visit Maruyama Coffee. The curry made with various vegetables and 11 different spices is just delicious!

Maruyama Coffee Karuizawa Main Store’s Business Hours and Access Information

  • Maruyama Coffee is open daily from 10 am to 6 pm except for Tuesdays.
  • The café is around a 25-minute walk from Karuizawa Station.
  • From Bon Okawa Karuizawa Chocolate Factory, it is a 7-minute walk.
  • You can also get to Maruyama Coffee Karuizawa Main Store by bicycle from Karuizawa Station, which takes around 10 minutes.

Tip: To get to Maruyama Coffee from Karuizawa Station, stay on the national highway’s right-hand side. The bridge crossing the train track is shortly after Bon Okawa Karuizawa Chocolate Factory.

Discover Other Fascinating Attractions Karuizawa

Click the photo for all the amazing attractions in Karuizawa!

After resting at Maruyama Cafe, it is time to explore only must-visit spots in Japan’s best highland resort, Karuizawa. The town has a couple of amazing natural spots. In addition, the traditional township has several Western-style villas, amazingly designed churches, and unique cafes and restaurants awaiting your visit.

So refer to our Guide to Karuizawa article for more attractions to include in your itinerary!