Ah, the amazing Japanese culture of invention. It’s everywhere, from technology to dining. If you’ve spent any time drinking coffee in the land of the rising sun, you may have noticed a few weird and wonderful cafes around. We thought we’d give you a rundown of the best of the lot. Just so you know where to get the best slice of oriental awesome. Enjoy!
MOOMIN CAFÉ (TOKYO)
The Scandinavian kids’ TV stars have somehow managed to gain a foothold in the East, mesmerising young and old alike. If you feel like having a sit down and a chat with one of your childhood favourites, the Moomin Café is pretty much the only place on earth you can do it without hallucinogenic drugs.
GUNDAM CAFÉ (TOKYO)
This is one for all the lovers of big stompy robots out there. If you’ve ever wanted to ogle a Gundam girl while you drink your Gundam shake through a laser-sword straw, you may have just found your Mecca.
PICO PICO CAFÉ (TOKYO)
So any hardcore video game fans out there can get to grips with what Japanese gaming is all about in the comfort of one of the most famous of all Japanese cafes, Pico Pico. With activities ranging from talks to get-togethers of graphic artists and designers, Pico Pico is a real hub of video gaming.
BUNDAN COFFEE AND BEER (TOKYO)
A wonderfully literary restaurant and café, you can enjoy reading any of the over 20,000 publications on offer, as you enjoy a delicious cup of coffee. Exuding peace and tranquillity, this is a reader’s paradise. As long as your Japanese is good enough, that is.
HELLO KITTY CAFE (YOKOHAMA)
Probably the most famous of the weird and wacky Japanese cafes, Hello Kitty Cafe Restaurant, or HKCR will feed any desire you have to get up close and personal with Miss Kitty. If you ever wanted to live, breathe and drink Hello Kitty, this is the place for you.
While this is a famous evening venue, you can enjoy some of the best coffee on offer at this restaurant. Serving their cups in mysterious boxes filled with dry ice and showing off some amazing ninja tricks throughout your visit, this sneaky ninja-themed eatery is a great place to hang out. As long as you get out alive, of course.
CAT CAFÉ CALICO (TOKYO)
Probably the best of the over 50 cat bars in Japan, the idea is spectacularly cute. You walk into a café full of the sweetest little kittys ever, and can sit and enjoy your coffee while spending time petting, stroking and otherwise adoring your new feline friends. Expect to see many tears from overexcited cat lovers as they leave.
CURE MAID CAFÉ (TOKYO)
Maid cafes are truly a sight to behold. You’ll be surrounded by the maids here, as they call you ‘master’ and cry when you leave. For anyone into cosplay, this café will undoubtedly hit the spot.
THUNDERBIRDS CAFÉ (TOKYO)
Another Western kid’s show being idolised in Japan. Here at the Thunderbirds Café you can view a constant loop of the show, along with loads of memorabilia and servers dressed up as the cast.
What’s the craziest restaurant you’ve ever been to? Would you like to sit down in a cat, dog or rabbit café? Let us know in the comments below.