Tokyo Stroll: The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone #10 – ‘Donguriya’ in Nishi-Ogikubo

10.May.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

In this edition of The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone, I visited Donguriya.

 

To get there I plodded along from the North Exit of JR Nishi-Ogikubo Station, and after about 3-minutes I saw it!

 

Various shops lined the street, but nature had almost reclaimed this single building which was wrapped in foliage. There’s no doubt that the people who pass by this way stop to take a look. Its inviting appearance elicits a peek as you’re left wondering what kind of place it is. I feel like a wonderful story is about to unfold!

A sign sits at the front of the cafe with its mascot character waiting to greet you.


He’s cute in a way that I can’t describe♬

Time to head inside.

 

Most of the interior is made of wood, a perfect accompaniment to the cafe’s name Donguriya (“Acorn Hut”).


All of the signs as well as the menu on the wall are handwritten by the owner himself. It’s heartwarming just to look at♬

 

Sipping coffee while enjoying the jazz music coming from the record player is nothing short of a luxury!

I ordered pizza toast (drink + pizza toast set is ¥800), a Donguri cookie and coffee (drink + Donguri cookie set is ¥650).

The toast is sliced thickly; the crusts are crunchy and the middle is soft. It was really tasty and had an old-fashioned taste to it.
Donguri’s cookies are made by someone who has been a fan of the cafe  since long ago. They have a simple sweetness and go perfectly with the coffee!

 

Since the cookies are made by a regular who has always loved Donguri they are the perfect cookies for Donguriya! If you pay a visit then you should definitely order one.

The blend coffee is full-bodied and has a rich aroma. There is a slightly bitter aftertaste too. The coffee beans are also roasted in-house! It was really tasty and easy to drink even for someone like me who doesn’t know a lot about coffee.

 

The owner and his older brother went to numerous cafes with their friends to try various different coffees before coming up with their own blend. It’s the real deal.

 

It really felt as if I had been sucked into the world of a story with the warm light filtering through the windows and illuminating the tableware and furniture.

Finally, a photo with the owner himself!

 

He told me wonderful stories about the coffee and food at Donguriya which made me fall in love with the cafe even more.

 

I want to bring my friends here next time♬

 

Writer: Ema Tanioku
Photographer: Haruka Yamamoto
Design: Yuko Abe (ASOBISYSTEM)

Translator: 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.

RECOMMENDED ENTRIES

  • Tokyo Stroll: The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone #9 – ‘Cafe Ace’ in Kanda

    27.February.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    In this edition of The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone, I visited Cafe Ace in Kanda.

     

    Being a cafe specialising in coffee it’s no surprise they have 40 different varieties of coffee! They even have 15 kinds of tea. Being able to pick out your favourite coffee before the morning rush every morning is really wonderful.

    Cafe Ace is one of the places I’ve wanted to cover for a long time in this series. I was excited to get inside!

     

    Its striped roof gives it quite a retro atmosphere. The warm colour scheme of the decor inside is that from old times – it’s very relaxed. It hasn’t changed since it opened way back when. It has continued to maintain its ways in spite of times changing. I think that’s wonderful.

     

    The cafe carries all kinds of magazines that have been published over the years. They range from 3 to 40 years old. The owner showed me his collection as we spoke about the cafe and conveyed his sentiment for Ace. I feel I have learnt much about its history!

    The menu plaques attached to the wall are all handwritten by the owner (he even wrote on the camel artwork above!)

     

    Simply amazing. His handwritten work spreads across the entire wall of Ace.

    I have come here on my before but I had no idea he had written all of this out so in learning more about it I have come to love Cafe Ace even more.


    His love and warmth can be felt throughout the whole room.

    And this―this is Cafe Ace’s famous seaweed toast! It’s made with seaweed, butter and soy sauce.


    The ingredients are simple but the flavour of the seaweed complements the butter perfectly. It’s super delicious, I want to eat it everyday! And it only costs ¥170.

     

    In the morning you can have it with blend coffee for ¥500 (+¥20 for iced coffee). You even get free refills on the blend coffee up until noon!

    American doughnuts, too. You can enjoy these at the small price of ¥230. They are sprinkled with cinnamon sugar and serve with a knob of butter in the ring. The heat of the doughnuts helps the butter to melt so you can lather it all over.

    Finally, a photo of the owner himself. Even in the photo I feel like his smile gives his customers strength. Seeing his lively energy gave me energy too.

     

    He holds his valuable feelings close, doing what he loves in the place he loves. I want to keep on seeing his radiating smile.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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    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

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    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!

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    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? 

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    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!

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    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

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    14.April.2022 | ANIME&GAME / FOOD

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    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)

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    Souvenir Plate

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

     

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    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.

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    Collaboration Cafe Menu

     

    Shin-chan’s Roll Cake 

    Silly Ninja! Strawberry, Vanilla & Black Currant Cake 

    Ninjas love it too?! Matcha Parfait

    Shinnosuke’s Birthday Blue Soda 

    Ninja Child Matcha Frappe

    Bonus: Sticker and Coaster



    The upcoming film is a gag-filled ninja action blockbuster featuring everyone’s favorite boisterous youth. Shinnosuke will be transformed into a ninja this time around to defeat a mysterious ninja army! Along with the collab menu, fans can also grab some new merchandise and bonuses at the cafe, so don’t miss out!

     

    ©臼井儀人/双葉社・シンエイ・テレビ朝日・ADK 2022 ※短縮:©U/F・S・A・A 2022

  • Limited Edition Easter Bunny Sweets Available at gelato pique café

    11.April.2022 | FOOD

    From March 25 until April 27, gelato pique café locations around Japan will be celebrating Easter with three special Easter Bunny-themed sweets.

     

     

    Easter Bunny Crepe

    Easter Bunny Gelato

    Easter Bunny Float

     

    Last year, gelato pique café released an Easter Bunny soft-serve ice cream dish which was incredibly popular. In 2022, the brand has decided to release three unique treats under the theme of ‘Happy Bunny Hunt.’ Those with a sweet tooth can snag a crepe, gelato, or float during the event period, all decorated with white and pink shades perfect for spring. 

  • Cherry Blossom Menu Appears at Cafe Accueil Ebisu for a Limited Time

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    Cafe Accueil Ebisu is currently offering a limited Sakura-themed menu featuring pancakes, afternoon tea, and drinks until April 10, 2022.

     

    Sakura & Strawberry Pancakes

     

    Sakura Afternoon Tea

     

    Special Latte with Cherry Blossoms

     

    The seasonal menu includes Sakura & Strawberry Pancakes with pale pink and strawberry red accents, and savory items such as a croissant with cherry cheese cream. Guests can also enjoy Sakura Afternoon Tea, a colorful 12-item menu featuring cherry and strawberry delights. Come enjoy the coming of spring at this gorgeous Tokyo cafe!

     

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    The Ryokan Tokyo Yugawara, a traditional-style Japanese inn and hot spring located in Kanagawa Prefecture, will open on March 18, 2022. The hot springs in the area have a storied history, appearing in the oldest collection of Japanese poems from the year 759 AD and loved by great writers such as Natsume Souseki and Ryunosuke Akutagawa. There is also a cafe inviting visitors to enjoy delicious meals as they relax in the springs.

     

    Onsen Dojo operates and plans hot spring facilities, including the ‘Ofuro Cafe’ brand, resort facilities, and more. The company also provides support for local business investments. 

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