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GPod 23: Finding Non Smoking Cafes In Tokyo

Dear Japan, just removing the ashtray does not make suddenly make it non-smoking.

By 1 min read 12

One annoying aspect that I find with living in Japan is the widespread social acceptance of smoking. Despite statistics showing that the smoking rate in Japan is less than 20%, walk into any izakaya and that number will feel more like 80%.

Many restaurants in Japan will have non-smoking sections but no attempt is made to properly separate the smoking and non-smoking sections. For non-smokers, this makes finding a nice restaurant to eat at a challenge.

On this episode of the GPod, I talk to Brad Stephenson from 25Cafes which is a website dedicated to reviewing the best 100% smoke free cafes in Tokyo.

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  • Jaimee Silva says:

    I had to start taking OTC meds because of the cigarette smoke when I lived in Mizunokuchki 10 years ago. Wish this list had been around then!

  • Zach says:

    Still waiting for that Hostess episode…. 🙂

  • Greg says:

    +1 for the hostess club episode. Please post it for the many listeners who find it significant or intriguing. Those who don’t are free to skip it, or even listen to something else that interests them. Isn’t that how it works with all media?

  • Zach says:

    Yes, please post the episode with the hostess club interviews. It is such a mysterious part of Japanese culture and one that us gaijin don’t really have access to so I’ve always been curious about them.

  • Zao Zhu says:

    Anthony, you HAVE to let us hear the host club interview now that you’ve tantalized us by calling it “The Mystery Podcast”!

    And I’m sure the majority of people would agree that if we could choose only 1 Japanese-themed blog to read, it’d be GaijinPot.

    Keep up the good work!

  • Ricardo Cantu says:

    The hostess interview sounds awesome! Please post!!

  • Gaijinn says:

    Yeah, you should post that podcast. Screw those idiots, who thinks that you are promoting hostess as a job. Its still their god damn choice. And with the info you give us it will be more clear what kind of job that is.
    I use hotspot for wifi.

  • V Hale says:

    Thank you for this just being an article about how to find no-smoking cafes rather than a giant bitch about the fact people smoke inside there, like so many articles like this are. It’s hilarious that while totally anti-imperialist in other ways and against Westerners pushing their culture on other countries, so many Westerners feel totally fine to bitch about Japanese people smoking outside. *sigh*. So this article has restored my faith somewhat.

  • Amy O'Neill says:

    AHHHHHHHHHHH, this just made my life!! Thanks Anthony Joh!!
    The 25cafes website will come in super helpful when I move to Japan as neither my boyfriend or I smoke and also dislike being around it. It’s kind of crazy to think about how the social view of smoking has changed (in Canada at least) from being widespread and considered almost “sexy” to now being illegal to do in and around all public buildings.

    • V Hale says:

      Ideally there would be lots of smoking cafes and lots of non smoking cafes, so everyone is catered for.

    • Anthony Joh says:

      Yeah, here in Japan they are firmly stuck in the widespread stage. 🙁

      It’s almost strange for me now when I go back to Vancouver that no one is smoking inside.

  • Clayton Plater says:

    I totally agree about the venues that have “no smoking” areas that the smoke wafts into regardless.
    In November I am opening my restaurant that has a smoked food concept, but a no smoking venue. Check us out, we are in Aoto, 13 minutes express train from Ueno, and 6 minutes express train from Oshiage Sky Tree.



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