Tokyo Stroll: The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone #8 – ‘Ginza West’

05.October.2018 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

Ginza is a district in the heart of Tokyo famed for its extravagant streets lined with upmarket shops, luscious restaurants and fantastic entertainment. But it’s not only worthy of note for its flamboyance – it’s also rooted in rich culture and history.

 

Today, I visited Ginza West, a café that has been continuously loved in Ginza ever since it opened in 1947.

Before entering I saw lots of delicious confections lined up on display. You can order takeout too. Your mind will wander off as you ponder on which to take away for snack time.

The entire café is clean and tidy throughout and you can feel the decor has grace. It’s different from other cafés in that it has a dignified atmosphere to it. It has an air of tension to it, the kind that makes you straighten up your back. It’s a place that’s nice if someone wants to enjoy a luxurious experience once in a while.

I ordered cake and tea set! The tea cost ¥1,048. A cake set is the price of the drink plus ¥324.

You can actually have them bring you samples of cakes being served on that day. There’s so many cake varieties it’s hard to choose.

The most popular is this one – the Mosaic Cake!

Its appearance is cute. I ended up wanting to take a lot of photos.

The Mosaic Cake is made of cocoa sponge and butter sponge which is arranged to look like a mosaic piece. You can really taste the different flavours of each sponge. It’s only moderately sweet so it’s not too heavy. I wolfed it down!

And then, and then!

I got the white cream soda which I’d been wanting to try. It cost ¥1,188.

 

When you think of cream soda it’s generally green coloured melon soda with a dollop of vanilla ice cream on top. But this one uses no colouring. The soda is clear and also served with vanilla ice cream. Try drinking it yourself after adding a syrup of your choice.

It looks like a very elegant beverage.

In terms of taste, if you eat the vanilla ice cream after drinking some of the soda (which is subtly sweet) it makes for an exquisite balance. It’s a flavour I’ve never had before – it’s a novel sensation.

Delicious.

The chairs in the café have something about them too! They feel extremely comfortable, I felt exhausted. The staff kindly told me the secret behind them.

 

The back legs of the chairs are a little wider than the ones at the front allowing you to lean back much easier and making it feel much more comfortable. The chair legs are also cut to a certain length to allow easier sitting.

So that’s why. That’s why I felt so relaxed simply sitting on them. I felt I could be sat there no matter the hour.

 

t’s a kind of consideration you’d only find at a café. Hearing about those chairs made me think that cafes really are such wonderful places. The more you learn about them, the more you come to love their charms.

 

I wonder where I’ll visit next? Look forward to it!

TALENT PROFILE

Ema Tanioku

“Emaeri” is the nickname for models Ema and Eri Tanioku, who are Aomoji fashion model twins. Ema and Eri Tanioku specialise in twin fashion coordination. Over the years their fanbase has increased due to their cute looks. Ema Tanioku spreads Harajuku culture within Japan as well as overseas and works as a Harajuku Tourism Ambassador. Starting off as a model, Ema has broadened her talent range from fashion magazines to TV, and from playing the lead role in dramas to movies.

RECOMMENDED ENTRIES

  • Tokyo Stroll: The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone #7 – Garden Café & Bar ‘Urara’ in Daikanyama

    15.August.2018 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    The place I am showcasing today is ‘Urara,’ a garden café and bar located in Daikanyama. Their shaved ice is super popular in summer. It’s somewhere I love and often go to in my private time.

    It’s an old Japanese-style house so it has a much different atmosphere to that of stylish Daikanyama. The outside of it has a warm and welcoming feel to it that will have you wanting to see what kind of place it is.

    Upon entering through the shop sign curtain, you arrive in the courtyard which is surrounded by trees. You can hear the sounds of birds from somewhere, and when the wind blows you also hear the rustling of tree leaves. You completely forget you’re in Tokyo as you feel like you’ve come to a grandma’s house in the countryside. It’s very relaxing.

    Hm? What’s this odd looking thing?

    These unique ornaments were scattered all around the courtyard ready to greet us!

    This sign makes for a great photo spot. It says ‘Urara’ just like the name of the café. Its nostalgic design is so cute!

    When you really look, it says tissue paper on it! There’s lots to be discovered on the posters and signs that make up the interior, it’s a lot of fun!

    I ordered the Uji adzuki bean shaved ice topped with condensed milk! It cost ¥600 for the shaved ice and ¥100 for the topping. The matcha used is from Uji in Kyoto. Such a big portion of shaved ice is enough to cool you down by just looking at it.

    Let’s eat!

    Where have I tasted this before…

     

    The matcha seeped all the way to the middle of the shaved ice. The refreshing sweetness was so tasty. The adzuki beans are from Tokachi in Hokkaido. They were a perfect combination with the condensed milk. The ice used is natural ice from Nikko. It’s fluffy, tastes great, and doesn’t give you brain freeze!

     

    Natural ice is different from regular ice. It’s frozen slowly so the crystals have high density, and it takes longer for it to melt. The cool part was how it didn’t crumple instantly when I poured the syrup on it!

    This is blueberry syrup (¥600). The blueberries used are from Nagano. They make it from jam in the café. Isn’t the colour just beautiful?

    It has that sour flavour that blueberries have and a refreshing, lip-smacking sweetness.

    I normally don’t drink alcohol, but since Urara is a café and a bar I will show you a mojito (¥600). The mint is so refreshing!

    On a hot summer’s day it seems like there are people who order both shaved ice and beer together. They’re seasonal items so will satisfy and cool you down.

    I also got to meet Tama-chan, the cat who comes to play at Urara. One time when I came before Tama was out walking so I didn’t get to meet him.

    Lastly, I snapped a photo with Arai who’s in charge of promoting Urara!

    We’re roughly the same height and have a similar interest in clothes so I grew an affinity with her.

    Coffee shops and cafés in old style Japanese houses tell you something about the people associated with them.

    Urara feels natural thanks to SELIN & Co., an apparel maker who make things that feel one with nature. The staff at Urara all love living things, so the big hearted atmosphere there was really wonderful.

    If I was to set up a shop I wonder what it would be like…

    I think I’d want to put out something warm like Urara.

     

    ■Information

    Urara

    Address: 20-10 Sarugakucho, Shibuya, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: Weekdays 11:30am-7:00pm / Weekends & Holidays 11:30am-7:30pm

    *Closed during rainy weather.

    Access: 4-minutes on foot from Daikanyama Station via the Tokyu Tokoyo Line

    Website: http://www.hrm.co.jp/news/2016/04/garden-cafe-bar-urara

     

    Photographer:Haruka Yamamoto

    Editor:Ai Watanabe

    Design:Yuko Abe(ASOBISYSTEM)

    Translater:Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

    TALENT PROFILE

    Ema Tanioku

    “Emaeri” is the nickname for models Ema and Eri Tanioku, who are Aomoji fashion model twins. Ema and Eri Tanioku specialise in twin fashion coordination. Over the years their fanbase has increased due to their cute looks. Ema Tanioku spreads Harajuku culture within Japan as well as overseas and works as a Harajuku Tourism Ambassador. Starting off as a model, Ema has broadened her talent range from fashion magazines to TV, and from playing the lead role in dramas to movies.

  • Tokyo Stroll: The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone #6 – ‘Angelus’ in Asakusa Loved by Osamu Tezuka

    13.June.2018 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    In this sixth instalment to her café seriesEma Tanioku stopped by Angeles, a café in Asakusa with a history spanning over 70 years.

    Angeles is known for its history of famous frequenters including legendary manga artist Osamu Tezuka (Astro Boy). This wonderful location is always bustling with customers and is known to be full even during holidays.

    When people think of Asakusa, they imagine Sensoji Temple and the district’s old-fashioned architecture. However, Angeles breaks that mould and instead takes on the form of a European-style place of worship. It’s different from all the rest and looks warm and welcoming from the outside.

    Even if you have no plans to go into the café, the desserts on display look so invitingly delicious you’ll find yourself stopping in your tracks.

     

    They look so tasty…

     

    Time to go inside!

    You’ll be spoilt for choice because they all look so good.

    The café has three floors. It’s like an atrium where you can look down below from the top floor.

     

    People who want to kick their feet up and read in the café or relax and space out can head to the second floor which has a hiding-place-like area. There’s a different atmosphere wherever you decide to sit, so it can be fun finding which part fits for you!

    ‘Angeles’ refers to a devotion in memory of the Annunciation in Christianity signalled by the ringing of church bells. Looking around at the decor you’ll see things like crosses and doves as well as signs of peace dotted about.

    Ema ordered the Almond Purin (¥930).

     

    In the middle of the bowl is a melon that looks as if it’s been sliced. It’s also plated with various fresh fruits like banana strawberry as well as tinned pineapple and peaches and finished with a side of fresh cream. All of that hides vanilla ice cream underneath. And of course the highlight of the dessert, the purin, also tucked away!

    First thing’s first: munching down the strawberry! The fresh cream is a perfect complement to the fruits. Combine and gobble it all up.

     

    And finally, the star of the plate. The purin! It has quite a sweet flavour and is supple so it’s very tasty.

    The café’s number one recommendation on the dessert menu is the above.

     

    The flavour of the Angelus (¥330) dessert hasn’t changed for over 50 years. It comes in either black or white. The black Angeles is made with coffee flavoured butter cream and coated with sweet chocolate. The white Angeles is made with ordinary butter cream and coated in white chocolate.

     

    Neither are overly sweet and they’re at an easy-to-eat size. They were exquisite!

    Angelus‘ speciality is their Dutch Coffee (¥620). Dutch coffee is made by dripping ice water dripped over the coffee to extract the maximum flavour. It even looks refreshing, making it perfect for the summertime heat. If you’re a coffee enthusiast then you’ve got to try this.

     Ema was contemplating that although she’s sat there there in that moment, what kind of people were talking about what kinds of things 70 years ago? The thought simply excited her ♪

     

    “Though the generations will change, this place will continue remaining the same and probably continue to be loved by lots of people. As time flows so does the delicious taste of what they have to offer. More places like this will come to be one by one. I wonder what kind of cafe will I encounter next?♡”

     

    ■Information

    Angelus

    Address: 1-17-6 Asakusa, Taito, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: 11am-9pm (Last Orders 8:40pm)

    Closed: Mondays

    Access:

    3-minutes by foot from Exit 1 of Asakusa Station via the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line
    4-minutes by foot from Asakusa Staion via the Tobu Isesaki Line
    6-minutes by foot from Asakusa Staion via the Toei Asakusa Line
    5-minutes by foot from Asakusa Staion via the Tsukuba Express

    Website: http://www.asakusa-angelus.com

     

     

    Model&Writer: Ema Tanioku

    Profile:

    “Emaeri” is the nickname for models Ema and Eri Tanioku, who are Aomoji fashion model twins. Ema and Eri Tanioku specialise in twin fashion coordination. Over the years their fanbase has increased due to their cute looks. Ema Tanioku spreads Harajuku culture within Japan as well as overseas and works as a Harajuku Tourism Ambassador. Starting off as a model, Ema has broadened her talent range from fashion magazines to TV, and from playing the lead role in dramas to movies.

    Instagram: @ematanioku

     

    Photographer: Haruka Yamamoto

    Editor :Ai Watanabe

    Design: Yuko Abe(ASOBISYSTEM)

    Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

     

  • 【Tokyo Stroll】The cafe that you want to visit to see someone #5: “café Benisica” – The Birthplace of Pizza Toast

    21.February.2018 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    “A café that has continued to be loved for 60 years”

     

    In this entry to my café series, I visited the familiar Yurakucho, the center of modern Tokyo culture. This year, long-standing café Benisica turned 61-years-old. I stopped by to have my fill of their amazing pizza toast. The café is a 2-minute walk from Hibiya Station via Tokyo Metro lines, and 4-minutes on foot from Yurakucho Station via JR lines, making it an easy place to get to.

     

    DSC07369

    The café opened all those years ago in response to the large number of cinemas and theatres dotted around Yurakucho. They wanted to create place where people could relax on their way back from seeing a show.

     

    Upon arrival, you can still observe stylish older ladies strolling into the café. The scene hasn’t changed one bit which I found to be wonderful.

     

    DSC07537

    Café Benisica is famous for being the birthplace of original pizza toast. They even have a sign at the entrance telling you that! Eye-catching!!!

     

    Without further ado, let’s head on in♪

     

    DSC07515

    I take one step into the café, and… Huh? What’s this?!

     

    That’s right. At Benisica, you can enjoy vacuum brewed coffee. This was the first time I had seen a vacuum coffee maker up close, so I gazed at them with a keen interest.

     

    DSC07518

    DSC07525

    DSC07528

    Inside, I gazed at the café décor and objects scattered around of Hibiya, a town which changes with the times. You can feel the weight of the times instore – all the wonderful items look stylish simply by being placed in there! The café interior is a collection of warm colours. It’s a place where you can relax and feel comfortable.

     

    DSC07446

    This is Benisica’s famous pizza toast, costing ¥950 (tax included). They have plenty of set menus, and drink menus are ¥1,350. The story behind the pizza toast was how if you didn’t go to an Italian restaurant back then, you couldn’t eat pizza. So, they took pizza and turned it into something you can eat casually – toast. Since then, it has continued to be a much-loved menu item with customers for almost half a century.

     

     

    mmw_kissa05_02DSC07450

    After hearing the story, I took no time at all ordering my own pizza toast! To drink, I chose a strawberry shake. Just so you know, the shake doesn’t come in set orders, so be careful.

     

    DSC07470

    Thick servings of cheese and put onto chunky slices of toast. “The soul of the pizza toast is in the cheese!” is what you’ll be saying at its presence on the toast. Its generous serving makes this pizza toast suitable not just as a light meal, but even a whole lunch. As well as the standard ingredients like salami, onion and bell peppers, I was happy that there were mushrooms too.

     

    DSC07491

    The bread’s texture is fluffy! I was hungry, so I made short work of it. Thank you for the meal.

     

    DSC07590

    This is the owner of Benisica, Setsuko Murakami, who told me the story of the café. She’s a very wonderful person who loves her husband very much. Not only did she tell me about the café – I got to hear about her husband’s way of living and thoughts too. The words of people that have walked the road of life longer than me are deep and enlightening.

     

    I stored the owner’s story safely onto the shelves in my heart. The next time something happens, I’ll rely on those special words she graciously taught me and work hard.

     

    ■Information

    Café Benisica

    Address: 1-6-8 Yurakucho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: 9:30-23:45 (Open from 9:00 on Weekends & Holidays)

    No Fixed Holidays.

    Access: 2-minutes on foot from Hibiya Station via the Hibiya Line, Chiyoda Line, and Toei Mita Line / 4-minutes on foot from Yurakucho Station via JR Lines

    Webpage:https://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1301/A130102/13002146/

     

    Model : Ema Tanioku

    DSC07474

    Profile: “Emaeri” is the nickname for models Ema and Eri Tanioku, who are Aomoji fashion model twins. Ema and Eri Tanioku specialise in twin fashion coordination. Over the years their fanbase has increased due to their cute looks. Ema Tanioku spreads Harajuku culture within Japan as well as overseas and works as a Harajuku Tourism Ambassador. Starting off as a model, Ema has broadened her talent range from fashion magazines to TV, and from playing the lead role in dramas to movies.

    Instagram:@ematanioku

     

    Photographer:Haruka Yamamoto

    Editor&Writer:Ryoichi Komaba

    Design:Yuko Abe (ASOBISYSTEM)

    Translation: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

     

  • 【Tokyo Stroll】 The café that you want to visit to see someone #4 Cats working at Shinjuku-sanchome’s Café Arles

    21.December.2017 | FEATURES / FOOD

    “Good service, a jolly owner and cute cats – this café is sure to heal you!”

     

    I’m Ema Tanioku and today I’ll be introducing you to yet another café in Tokyo as the fourth edition of my series “The café that you want to visit to see someone”. Today I’ll be reporting about my visit to Café Arles which can be found at Shinjuku-sanchome. Ever since hearing that there were cats at this café, I’ve been set on going 〜♪♪

     

    The café is very easy to access. To get to there, you can take the Toei Shinjuku line to Shinjuku-sanchome. From here, you can get to the café within a five-minute walk. Walking around the Shinjuku Suehirote theatre, the café soon came into sight. Somehow, I could sense the presence of cats just from the atmosphere…

    DSC05483

    There it was! The entrance to the café was decorated with many ornaments of cats and dogs. I don’ know why but I was filled with excitement before even having entered.

    DSC05392

    As soon as I entered, I immediately spotted a cat.

    DSC05630

    I was then greeted by the cat’s master who had a sweeping grin across his face and was wearing a hat with a cat broach. I could really feel his love for cats ♪♪

    DSC05509

    I took a sweeping glance over the café – cats, cats and more cats – there were so many cat-themed goods everywhere! Apart from cats goods, the master also collects clown goods and displayed everything all huddled together to decorate the café.

    DSC05619

    Although this was my first time at Café Arles, I immediately felt right at home as a warm feeling grew within me. I asked the master what got him into the café business and I was surprised by his response. It all started when the master was working at a mahjong parlour, where a person they knew asked them to start up a café.

    mmw_kissa04_03

    The master then thought about the numerous paintings he had collected and how he was in search of a place to display them. The idea of choosing his own music, menu and decorating a café interior to his own taste really struck a chord with him.

    DSC05616

    There are many paintings displayed in the café. Amongst these are some by modern artist Tomomi Kondo, who made the paintings “please your master” and “cool your thighs”, which feature the kaban neko (café cats) Ishimatsu and Jirocho, who are “working hard” by lazing around.

    mmw_kissa04_02DSC05556

    Café Arles is fun and draws in even more fun. The atmosphere is filled with the love and enjoyment of the customers. That’s why I immediately felt so at home as soon as I entered. You can easily spend a long time here.

    DSC05546

    I asked the master what he recommends from his menu. His response? “My recommendation is what you want to eat the most!” he said wisely. I felt like eating Napolitan spaghetti and so that is what I ordered! (Price: ¥720 including tax)

    DSC05547

    It came with banana and giant corn ❤ – this excellent service made me so happy!

    DSC05596

    The gentle flavour of this homemade dish was delicious and I could really taste the Showa-retro Napolitan flavour to it. The drink, soup and salad services available gives this meal a perfect score for portion size satisfaction!

    DSC05432

    The master allowed me to take his café cat Jirocho-kun out for a walk. This was the first time I’d ever walked a cat – a new, fresh experience!

    DSC05469

    Jirocho-kun is a very calm and obedient cat, so we had a lovely stroll together. Speaking of which, Jirocho-kun loves his owner so much that he runs to meet him whenever he hears his car pull up at the shop.

    mmw_kissa04_01DSC05657

    This year marks the 40th anniversary of the café. “I enjoyed every minute of it” explained the master happily. The master created a place where everyone can be happy and in return everyone supports him. Perhaps this cycle is the motivational force that has kept and will continue to push this café to live and thrive.

     

    I’m glad I came to this café today and met such a special person.

    I want to come here again and have another chat with the master!

     

     

     

    ■Information

    Cafe Arles

    Address:1st floor, 5-10-8, Shinjuku, Tokyo

    Opening h0urs: 11:30 〜 22:00

    Regular holidays days: Sundays, New Year’s period holiday period

    Access:398 metres from Shinjuku Sanchome station (reach via Toei-Shinjuku line/ Tokyo Metro Marunouchi line

    URL:https://tabelog.com/en/tokyo/A1304/A130401/13087540/

     

     

    Model & Writer: Ema Tanioku

    DSC05571

    Profile: “Emaeri” is the nickname for models Ema and Eri Tanioku, who are Aomoji fashion model twins. Ema and Eri Tanioku specialise in twin fashion coordination. Over the years their fanbase has increased due to their cute looks. Ema Tanioku spreads Harajuku culture within Japan as well as overseas and works as a Harajuku Tourism Ambassador. Starting off as a model, Ema has broadened her talent range from fashion magazines to TV, and from playing the lead role in dramas to movies.

    Instagram:@ematanioku

     

    Photographer:Haruka Yamamoto

    Editor:Ryoichi Komaba

    Design:Yuko Abe (ASOBISYSTEM)

    Translated by: Samantha Fernandes

     

  • 【Tokyo Stroll】The cafe you that you want to visit to see someone #3 “Galant” —a retro café in Ueno

    15.November.2017 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    “It’s a mysterious café vacuum sealed with an energy that feels like it’s the time of the Japanese economic miracle”

     

    We’re at the third installment of this series where we take a stroll to old-fashioned cafes filled with a sense of nostalgia.

    I, Ema Tanioka, will be introducing to you another retro café that I am in love with. Today, we go to “Galant” in Ueno, a town where the Showa mood still lingers.

     

    Galant has continued to be loved by many people since it opened its doors back in 1977. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the popular café. “Galant” sounds a little space-y, don’t you think? It’s a little different from the norm. When I enquired to the staff about the origin of the café’s name, they told me that it comes from the Mitsubishi Galant as the owner is a fan of cars. To think that a car’s name became the name of a café! But it has a ring to it and is easy to remember, so it might actually be a huge success.

     

    Anyway, without further ado, let’s make our way there!

    DSC09347 copy

    Galant is on the 2nd floor of this building. As you head up the stairs, it no longer felt like I was in the real world. A completely different world opened before me. Because of the entrance’s chic brickwork, I was surprised by the dazzling lights floating inside.

    DSC09353 copy

    And here!

    DSC09262 copy

    Here too! There was so much sparkle.

    DSC09274 copy

    The first thing to peak my interest was the uniform the staff were wearing. So cute… You don’t see that red & yellow combination much these days. It helped amplify that retro mood of the café even more.

     

    The male staff wore red & black! Black was the base colour and had that well defined, guy-like feel to it. Together with the checkered vests, it completed that retro look. It was wonderful. The café was also playing popular Showa era songs. I really felt like I had stepped back in time.

     

    DSC09090 copy

     

     

    And then… and then! The menu arrived!

    mmw_kissa03_02

    The most popular item on the menu is the chocolate parfait (¥900 tax incl.). It was absolutely stuffed with cream all the way to the middle. For people who love sweet things this is an irresistible delight. By the way, I must ask, what do you do when it comes to the cherry on top of the parfait? The truth is, I absolutely love parfaits, but I’m really not into the cherry – I usually leave it until the end. Even though it looks so cute on the parfait…

    mmw_kissa03_01

    Another item is the cream soda (¥750 tax incl.). When going to a café, you just have to get a cream soda!! It’s because you don’t see them around much besides at cafes and family restaurants, so I’m the person that ends up ordering one unintentionally when if I see it on the menu.

    mmw_kissa03_03mmw_kissa03_04

    There’s a nice fat serving of ice cream in there. It’s a drink you can enjoy that has the aesthetic of a dessert. The melon soda is crystal clear like a precious gem. The best part about cream soda is how the ice cream slowly melts into the drink. It’s pretty fun to watch!

    DSC09334 copy

    Galant is the kind of café where the more you get to know it, the more you start to love it. Its fans have been supporting it for many years, and even when I become a grandma in the future, I reckon it’ll still be bustling all the same.

     

    ■Information

    Galant (ギャラン)

    Address: 6-14-4 Ueno, Taitō, Tokyo

    Open: 8:00-23:00

    Open all week.

    Access: 2-minutes’ walk from Ueno Station via the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line / 1-minutes’ walk from Exit 5b at Ueno Station via the Hibiya Line

    URL:https://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1311/A131101/13039759/

    Model&Writer:Ema Tanioku

    mmw_kissa03_05

    Profile:Ema and Eri Tanioku are well-known Aomoji-kei twin models that go by their duo name “EmaEri.” Their twin-like fashion co-ordination and cute looks have earned them a fast growing fan base. They are officially appointed tourism ambassadors and work both in Japan and overseas to promote Harajuku culture. They work as fashion models in a wide range of areas and have appeared in fashion magazines as well as on TV, in dramas, movies and more.  Instagram:@ematanioku

     

    Photograph:Haruka Yamamoto

    Editor:Ryoichi Komaba

    Design:Yuko Abe(ASOBISYSTEM)

    Translation:Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

     

  • 【Tokyo Stroll】The cafe that you want to visit to see someone #2 “Nanatsumori”—An Attractive Cafe in Kōenji

    26.July.2017 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    “A coffee lounge where you can step back in time and spend it in luxury.”

     

    Showa, retro-style coffee shops that are comfortable and echo a sense of nostalgia. I, Ema Tanioka, love going to these kinds of cafés. I hope to make you want to visit a place like this, the kind of place where you want to meet with someone.

     

    For today’s stroll, I went to Kōenji, a conveniently accessible location from the city just one stop from Shinjuku on the Chūō Line. When you think of Kōenji, you think of its plentiful second hand clothes shops and shops selling miscellaneous goods, among others, all with their individual traits. It’s the kind of town where you’re sure to discover something new each time you visit.

    DSC06885

    This time around, I went to “Nanatsumori,” a café that has a retro look to it from the outside. It was built in Showa 53 (the year 1978). I heard that the building was originally used as a tea house.

    DSC06893

    At the front of the café is an old-fashioned shaved ice machine. I couldn’t help turning it.

    DSC06919

    Upon entering, you can see the interior of the café has weathered. It has an atmosphere reminiscent of the Showa era, like you’ve just stepped back in time. No matter where you take a photograph in the café it will look beautiful.

    DSC06935 DSC06960

    There were lots of mysterious ornaments inside; I couldn’t help but reach my hands out to touch everything♪

    mmw_kissa02_03

    But, in the end, I didn’t know what any of the things I’m holding in the photos were. How on earth do you use this stuff…?!

     

    While pondering that, just simply gazing around the interior of the café filled me with a feeling of excitement.

    >>next page

RELATED ENTRIES

  • Matsuzaki Shoten to Hold First Collaboration Between Ginza’s Matsuzaki Senbei and Cat’s ISSUE

    01.August.2022 | FASHION / SPOT

    Matsuzaki Shoten will hold a special collaboration event between Ginza’s Matsuzaki Senbei and Cat’s ISSUE starting on August 6, 2022. The Cat’s Festival 2022 will be an incredible event for cat lovers, and guests will be able to grab some special hand towels and bowls produced exclusively for the festival. In addition, there will be an exhibition of works by Ayako Ishiguro, a picture book artist associated with Cat’s ISSUE.

     

    Ginza’s Matsuzaki Senbei x Cat’s ISSUE

    This Japanese-style hand towel features illustrations of unique cats based on the concept color of Matsuzaki Shoten, the main Matsuzaki Senbei shop in Ginza.

     

    Ginza’s Matsuzaki Senbei x Cat’s ISSUE

    Matsuzaki Senbei’s flagship product has been decorated with cat illustrations, each painted by hand. During the event, customers can choose four of their favorite pieces from a total of nine different patterns and pack them in a box wrapped with beautiful paper with a special design.  Guests can also purchase these goods separately. 

     

    Collaboration with Ayako Ishiguro, a Picture Book Artist Specializing in Monster Art

    This comical cat scroll created by Ayako Ishiguro will be on display during the exhibition. Hand towels made in collaboration with Ishiguro will also be on sale. These have previously been sold to huge fanfare.

     

    If you love cats and classic Japanese art, this is the event for you!

  • Teppanyaki and Yakiniku Restaurant Honten Yamashina Opens in Ginza

    28.July.2022 | FOOD / SPOT

    On July 18, the upscale teppanyaki and yakiniku restaurant Honten Yamashina opened a new location in Ginza! The hybrid restaurant has taken over the entire top floor of GINZA PLACE, which is directly connected to Ginza Station. Overlooking the Ginza 4-chome intersection, it’s a gorgeous place to enjoy some authentic Japanese cuisine. 

    Honten Yamashina mainly uses fully-matured Omi beef, the highest grade available among Shiga Prefecture’s top-tier beef, from Okazaki Farm. The cows are allowed to fatten for a considerable amount of time and live stress-free lives for over 40 months. Less than 1% of all Wagyu cattle are shipped after 24 months of age, and this delectable meat is characterized by its sharp taste and fattiness. 

    Luxurious Wagyu and Sea Urchin Sushi

    Early Summer Plate to Enjoy with Seasonal Flowers

    Selected Extra-thick Beef Tongue Steak Made with Refined Attention to Detail

    Grilled Spiny Lobster Made on a Charcoal Grill

    The Playful Yamashina Wagyu Slider

    Melt-in-your-mouth Sweet Amala Tomato (Vegetable of the Day)

    Hand-selected Omi Beef Steak

    Truffle Omurice

     

     

    Japanese-style Teppanyaki

    Guests can enjoy authentic Japanese teppanyaki cuisine with a modern twist. While sitting at the contour, visitors will enjoy a live performance by Taku Osada, a teppanyaki chef with over 20 years of experience.  

     

    The wide variety of meat can be enjoyed in a number of different ways, whether it be raw, grilled, stewed, or properly cooked. From tongue and rump to filet and sirloin, you won’t leave hungry. Visitors can also enjoy seafood and seasonal Japanese vegetables along with their meat, and the flowers and leaves that adorn each plate will change depending on the time of year.

     

    In addition to rare teppanyaki dishes like skirt steak and 3cm-thick beef tongue, Honten Yamashina also offers some playful dishes such as sliders. As the temperature differs on different parts of the steel cooking plate, each item can be cooked to a temperature that maximizes its specific flavor. Honten Yamashina also has a massive cellar housin over 1,000 bottles of wine and hard-to-find spirits. 

     

    Japanese-style Yakiniku

    For those looking for a more private experience, guests can enjoy yakiniku in a completely separate room. Each private room has a grill that will cook meat to the perfect temperature, and only at Honten Yamashina can you enjoy fully-matured Omi beef. The signature cutlet sandwich is made with chateaubriand cooked at a low temperature and deep-fried in a thin batter, then served on crispy bread with a soft, fluffy interior.

     

    Teppanyaki and yakiniku are typically thought of as meat-based dishes, but the restaurant can accommodate vegetarian guests if contacted in advance. 

     

    When Japan opens up to tourism, will you be visiting this incredible restaurant in the heart of Tokyo?

  • That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Exhibition 2 in Tokyo to Show Footage from Upcoming Film

    19.July.2022 | ANIME&GAME / SPOT

    The second exhibition for the popular manga, novel, and anime series That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime will open at Matsuya Ginza on July 21. With over 30 million copies in print, the series has become massively popular both in Japan and abroad, and an anime film is scheduled to release this November. 

     

    The exhibition will be open until August 9, 2022, and is then scheduled to begin a regional tour.

     

    Certain scenes from the highly-anticipated upcoming film will be shown exclusively at the exhibition. Those who are having trouble waiting until November won’t want to miss this rare chance!

     

    During the previous exhibition, guests were able to enter a lottery to win a signboard autographed by Miho Okasaki, the voice of Rimuru. Due to the large number of entries, prizes for the second lottery are even more incredible!

     

    The following autographs, which were previously displayed during the last exhibition, will be given away to some lucky fans. More details are available on the official Twitter page!

     

    Signboard autographed by That Time I Reincarnated as a Slime author Fuse / Signboard autographed by Tenchura! That Time I Reincarnated as a Slime author Fuse / Signboard autographed by That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime: Trinity in Tempest artist Tae Tono / Signboard autographed by That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime: The Ways of the Monster Nation author Sho Okagiri / Signboard autographed by That Time I Got Reincarnated (Again!) as a Workaholic Slime illustrator Shizuku Akechi / Signboard autographed by The Slime Diaries: That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime artist Shiba

    *Prizes are awarded at random. 

  • Toy Story Aliens Cafe to Open in Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya

    18.July.2022 | FOOD / MOVIE

    The Toy Story Aliens Cafe will be opening for a limited time in Tokyo starting July 23, in Osaka on July 27, and in Nagoya on August 4. Fans of the film series will remember the adorable Alien characters, originally shown as prizes in a crane game. This pop-up cafe will feature themed dishes and merchandise, and Pixar fans should be sure to attend!

     

    Menu

     

    Food

    Space Curry

    Green Pasta

    Alien Burger A (Teriyaki Soy Meat) / Burger B (Tomato Soy Meat) / Burger C (Chicken & Potato)

    Moon Landing?! Potato & Bread

    Kids Plate

    Fruit Bread

     

    Drinks

    Alien Smoothie

    Space Soda

    Melon Milk

    Space Crane Game Cider / Grape Juice

    Hot Tea / Hot Milk

     

     

    Goods

    The food menu includes a tasty black curry, a green pasta featuring broccoli, edamame, spinach, and snap peas, and three types of alien burgers featuring either teriyaki soy meat, tomato soy meat, or chicken and potato. Even the drinks stick to the Alien theme, and the menu includes an Alien Smoothie with a tasty banana yogurt flavor. 

     

    Guests will also be able to purchase event-exclusive merchandise from keychains and stickers to tote bags and letter sets. 

     

    ©Disney/Pixar

  • Retro Cafe Inspired Items Available from Thank You Mart

    28.June.2022 | FASHION / FOOD / SPOT

    THANK YOU MART will begin selling a total of 18 unique items starting in late June. These items were inspired by Japanese cafes during the Showa era, and give off the perfect amount of retro vibes. Most items at THANK YOU MART costs ¥390 (¥429 with tax). 

    The new cafe-inspired items are perfect for those longing for days long past, made with impactful yet subdued colors and classic patterns. The logo looks like something pulled out of the Showa era, so if you’re a fan of classic Japanese style, be sure to grab some of these inexpensive items when they drop later this month!

  • Unique Summer Afternoon Tea Available at Haute Couture Cafe in Tokyo

    27.June.2022 | FOOD / SPOT

    Located along the Meguro River, Haute Couture Cafe is known for serving up some of the best afternoon tea in Tokyo. The location is incredibly photogenic and often pops up on social media, covered in flowers welcoming guests to what feels like a fairy tale land. From July 1 until September 4, visitors to the cafe can enjoy a Peach and Shine Muscat Afternoon Tea set, perfect for summer and incorporating seasonal fruits. 

    The fresh peaches and shine muscat (a type of luxurious grape found in Japan) are delivered from a nearby market daily. By using peaches without heating them, such as in the compote, guests can enjoy the juiciness of the raw fruit in a new way.

    The lineup of delicately prepared and hearty savory dishes includes Peach and Prosciutto Cappellini, and guests wanting to enjoy more can order this as a lunch or dinner course as well. There are six courses in total, including the fresh-squeezed grape and muscat Mont Blanc plan and a Peach Cheesecake plan with a drink included. The cafe also offers anniversary plans, so why not bring your sweetheart?

    The theme of this summer afternoon tea is ‘an adorable purple space.’ Guests will be surrounded by light purple wisteria as they enjoy this colorful spread.

     

    Why not enjoy this summer treat as you look out over the river? 

  • SPYxFAMILY Pop-Up Store Opens at Matsuya Ginza

    20.June.2022 | ANIME&GAME / SPOT

    The SPYxFAMILY pop-up shop, first held inside Tokyo Station’s Character Street in April, will be coming to Matsuya Ginza from June 29 until July 12, 2022. 

     

    Limited edition merchandise will be making a return, each featuring exclusive illustrations that saw huge popularity at the Tokyo Station event. Guests will also be able to purchase eight new items!

     

    The lineup includes a rubber coin case (3 varieties, random), a clear multi-use pouch (3 varieties, random), an acrylic keychain featuring Anya, a Peanuts T-shirt with a new Anya illustration, and a mug. Each item is accented with Anya’s pink hair, adding to the cute factor.

    Bonus Sticker

    Bonus Cooling Towel

     

     

    Goods

    Customers spending ¥3,300 or more at the pop-up shop will receive a bonus sticker. Those spending ¥5,500 can choose between a mug or a cooling towel!

     

    ©遠藤達哉/集英社・SPY×FAMILY製作委員会  

  • Cafe ‘Junkissa Bread & Espresso’ to Start Chocolate Fair

    01.June.2022 | FOOD / SPOT

    Specialty cafe chain ‘Bread, Espresso &’ will begin selling special items as a part of its chocolate fair at the Harajuku location, ‘Junkissa Bread, Espresso &’ starting June 1!

    Many of the existing items on the shop’s menu will be available in chocolate versions. The Chocolate Mint French Toast is chilled and perfect for summer, drizzled with chocolate cream and mint sauce. Additional mint can be added to your heart’s content!

    The mint cocoa (pictured top right) features blended mint cream on top with cocoa on the bottom. The two halves blend effortlessly as the top warms and the bottom cools.

    Come enjoy these chocolate treats during the warm summer months!

  • Cat Illustration Series mofusand Inspires Themed Cafes in Tokyo and Osaka

    18.May.2022 | FOOD / SPOT

    Popular on LINE and other texting apps and illustrated by Jyuuno, mofusand is a curious collection of cute and slightly surreal cats. As with most things that go viral in Japan, these adorable characters will be featured in a themed cafe for a limited time! The Tokyo location will open on May 19 and the Osaka location will welcome visitors starting May 26, 2022.

     

    Cafe Visitor Bonus: Sticker (6 varieties)

    Drink Order Bonus: Coaster (6 varieties)

     

    Menu

    Fried Shrimp Sandwich Plate

    Grilled Vegetable Curry

    Nyanko Burger

    Salmon Mentaiko Cream Pasta

    Taiyaki

    Nyanko Parfait

    Black Cat Pancake

     

    Nyan Lime Nata de Coco

    Green Nyanko Float / Yello Nyanko Float / Blue Nyanko Float

    Nyanko Cafe Latte / Nyanko Milk Tea

     

    Merchandise

    Sticker

    Clear Folder

     

     

    All menu items draw inspiration from the many mofusand characters and are perfect for posting on social media! Special bonuses will be given to those visiting the cafe and making select purchases, and a merchandise corner will be selling limited-edition goods featuring new artwork!

     

    ©mofusand

  • Idol Group Shiritsu Ebisu Chugaku to Open One-Day ‘Ebisen Cafe’ in Omotesando

    27.April.2022 | FOOD / MUSIC / SPOT

    The popular idol group Shuritsu Ebisu Chugaku will open a one-day-only cafe in Omotesando on May 1, 2022! The location will open in conjunction with CookpadTV, which hosts the popular show ‘Shiritsu Ebisu Culinary Institute.’

     

    The members of Shiritsu Ebisu Chugaku are passionate about cooking, making this the perfect project. Since October 2021, the girls have streamed their cooking stories and ideas on CookpadLive, and now, they’re ready to put their hearts and souls into each and every item on this cafe menu. Visitors will also be able to purchase original merchandise on-site and see some of the member’s costumes! 


    Reservations for the cookpadLive Ebisen cafe are required, and the lottery for reservations is open now. Some of the menu items and original goods offered at the cafe are also available for purchase on cookpadLive’s official E-commerce site, so don’t worry if you aren’t able to attend in person on May 1!

     

    The cookpadLive Ebisen Cafe will feature a special lunch time, dinner time, and cafe time. The nine members of Shiritsu Ebisu Chugaku will appear in three teams for each session.

     

  • BTS Characters ‘TinyTAN’ to Appear at Cafes in Tokyo, Yokohama, Osaka, Nagoya, and Miyagi

    25.April.2022 | FOOD / MUSIC / SPOT

    The popular BTS chibi characters TinyTAN will be featured at TinyTAN Cafe locations in five cities for a limited time! Nine locations will be open across Tokyo, Yokohama, Osaka, Nagoya, and Miyagi starting April 21, 2022.

     

    The TinyTAN characters were designed by the seven members of BTS to embody their “second selves.”

    Select Cakes: ¥990

    Fruits Deco Style: Strawberry, Fruits Deco Style: Mango, Fruits Deco Style: White Grape: ¥1,760

     

    The menu is packed with desserts, including seven different types of cakes each inspired by a member of TinyTAN.

    American Sundae Style Chocolate Cookie, American Sundae Style Caramel Nuts, American Sundae Style Pistachio Honey: ¥1,870

    Afternoon Style Tea: ¥3,190

     

    The Afternoon Style Tea includes a base plate that can be customized with guest’s favorite fruits and chocolates. Two types of TinyTAN Select Cakes will also be included to share!

    Ham (2 types) & Scrambled Egg Peanut Butter Sandwich: ¥1,760

    Cafe Style Drink & Cake Set *Prices vary based on drink selection.

     

    Guests can choose from colorful bagel sandwiches, pancakes, and open sandwiches, along with a selection of sweet drinks to match each meal.

     

    Bonuses

    Acrylic Stand (7 varieties, random): ¥1,320

    Sticky Note Roll: ¥880, Acrylic Nameplate (7 varieties): ¥990 each

     

    Original cafe merchandise and special offers will make visiting the TinyTAN Cafe even more exciting!

     

     

    © BIGHIT MUSIC. All Rights Reserved

  • Kirby Cafe Introduces Karby Cake from Kirby and the Forgotten Land to Menu

    14.April.2022 | ANIME&GAME / FOOD

    Starting April 1, 2022, fans of the new Kirby game ‘Kirby and the Forgotten Land’ can enjoy a tasty cake inspired by Karby at the Kirby Cafe in Tokyo and Hakata! Two limited-time menu items commemorating the 30th anniversary of Kirby will also be available. 

     

    The newest Kirby game sees everyone’s favorite pink puffball with a brand-new ability, allowing him to transform into various objects by sucking them up. The trailer for the game shocked Kirby fans around the world after Kirby transformed into an entire car!

    Transform! Karby Cake

     

    The Karby Cake replicates a special dish that appears in Kirby and the Forgotten Land‘s Waddle Dee Café. It’s a strawberry-flavored blancmange (a French gelatin-based dessert) laid over a sponge cake with fruit layers.

     

    Kirby Burger and Meat & Veggie Pasta (Standard Version)

    Kirby Burger and Meat & Veggie Pasta (30th Anniversary Version)

    Souvenir Plate

    Happy Birthday☆Kirby
    Available: April 1 – May 31, 2022

     

    The popular Kirby Burger and Meat & Veggie Pasta menu item will be available in a special 30th-anniversary version for a limited time only. This includes a souvenir plate, and fans won’t want to miss it!

     

    The Kirby Cafe is also selling a Happy Birthday☆Kirby cake, a simple dome-shaped sponge cake filled with fruit covered in icing and cherries.

     

    Come celebrate Kirby’s 30th anniversary while you can!

     

    ©Nintendo / HAL Laboratory, Inc.

RANKING

  • DAILY
  • MONTHLY

FOLLOW US