Photo: SocialWire Co Ltd

Coffee stand hopes to promote understanding of mental illness in Japan

By grape Japan

The Yoyogi neighborhood in Shibuya Ward, Tokyo, is home to a unique new coffee stand called Hideaway.


Hideaway serves excellent coffees and teas, a variety of other drinks like matcha lattes, and a selection of food such as croissants, baked goods, soups like clam chowder, and a variety of tasty sandwiches.

Their roast beef croissant sandwich uses homemade roast beef infused with rosemary and garlic, and a lemon and sansho Japanese peppercorn dressing:


Their grilled cheese sandwich with bacon and cheddar is also excellent.


However, what distinguishes Hideaway from the plethora of cafes and coffee stands available in Tokyo is the fact that it also has a mission to promote understanding of mental illness in Japan.

It all began with Project Semicolon. Originating in the United States, Project Semicolon is a grassroots mental health organization that encourages people to tattoo the punctuation mark semicolon (;) as a form of solidarity between people dealing with mental illness or the death of someone from suicide. The idea is that when people with mental illness feel lonely and that others don't understand them, seeing the semicolon tattoo on someone else can remind them that they're not alone.

The owner of Hideaway, 宇野辰将 Tatsumasa Uno, who suffered from a panic disorder, was inspired by Project Semicolon while studying abroad in the US and wondered if it could be promoted in Japan as well. After opening a coffee roastery in Kyoto in February 2020, he started a successful crowdfunding campaign and opened Hideaway in Yoyogi in October 2022.

Currently, Hideaway mainly uses in-store displays and Instagram to raise awareness of Project Semicolon among customers.


The coffee stand has also started a new initiative to further its mission by distributing original stickers bearing the semicolon symbol and the symbol of crossed fingers. The stickers are meant to convey the message of "good luck" and support for those dealing with mental illness.


So, the next time you're in the Yoyogi area, stop by Hideaway enjoy a cup of coffee and a light meal while supporting a good cause. Hideaway 's mission makes it a unique and meaningful experience.

Shop Information

Location: 東京都渋谷区千駄ヶ谷4-29-11 玉造ビルIIB1階 (4-29-11 Sendagaya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo)

Established: October 24, 2022

Business hours: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekends and holidays (closed on Fridays)

Standard Menu: Hand drip coffee 570 yen, Cafe latte 650 yen, Matcha latte 670 yen, Black tea 550 yen, Roast Beef Sandwich 770 yen, Grilled Cheese Sandwich 748 yen, Croissant 350 yen.

*All prices include tax.

Service: Wi-Fi and power supply available. Both eat-in and take-out are available.

Official website

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© grape Japan

©2023 GPlusMedia Inc.

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It is an interesting place but the original movement would need to be heavily adapted to Japanese culture in order to be incorporated.

Mental illness is enough of a taboo in Japan, but making an open continuous appeal of support can be seen as excessive, much more when it is done with a tatoo (even as discrete as the ; is). Maybe the stickers will be better accepted, the people that know the meaning can understand it shows support, and those who don't will not take it as negatively as a tattoo.

Best of luck to the coffee stand and its mission, the way mental illness is treated in Japan needs an urgent overhauling and maybe small efforts like this can actually mean a difference in the future if enough people support it.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

The name of the stand in it self is DEPRESSING, Sorry.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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