Hikari means “light” in Japanese. And when you step off Swanston Street into this coffee and homewares shop across from the State Library, it lives up to its name. What used to be strictly a retail store is now a bright, minimalist space – fitted with Victorian ash timber, Japanese mosaic tiles, white textured paint and rattan.
Inspired by the cafes in Japan he visited while on business trips from China, Derek Yang joined co-owners Damien Xiao and Steven Yan to open Hikari. The trio partnered with a handful of cafes in Japan to import a selection of single-origin coffee beans, which rotate every two to three weeks.
A La Marzocco coffee machine makes espresso with a house blend from Code Black, while the Japanese beans are used for filter and pour-over brews. There are also matcha and hojicha (roasted green tea) lattes – powders are sourced from Japan, then hand-whisked into a picture-perfect cup.
Hikari also sells bespoke Japanese homewares, which sit on illuminated shelves that runs the length of the cafe. Think cute ceramic teapots, retro Kinto Cast Amber cups and glassware from Hirota Glass, one of Japan’s oldest glassmakers. Browse the full selection on the Hikari website.