If you are visiting Tokyo soon and if you like cute, keep this list handy. Because here are some, certainly not all, of the most kawaii places to eat at.
In Japanese, the word “kawaii” (可愛い) is typically translated as meaning “cute.” It’s important to note that the Japanese word “kawaii” literally means “capable of affection” or even “possible to love.” In its original parlance, this is why the word is readily used with babies, puppies and kitties as well as clothing one would hardly call outrageous. But there’s also the KAWAII that most Westerners think about when they hear the word. That is the hyper cute imagery that comes out of Japan.
Sure, cat cafes are cute, but the cafes we are looking at today are mostly character based. As pointed out on Naver, some of these are temporary, and if so, I’ve noted the dates that they’ll be open.
Cafe de Miki
A British themed cafe for London native Kitty White, who is a cat. A personification of a cat. Whatever. [Official site]
Less gooey cute than other establishments, but still offers its share of cuteness. Fun fact: During the 1970s, Snoopy bags were incredibly popular with Japanese youth, helping to lay the groundwork for the Hello Kitty craze. [Official site]
Lazy bear Rilakkuma has a relaxing (and adorable) cafe space that runs until April 10. [Official site]
Sanrio’s pudding dog character has one of the cutest cafes in Japan, if not the entire world. [Official site]
The Dutch rabbit is beloved in Japan and has been influential on the country’s own character culture. This cafe runs until May 8. [Official site]
The Shirokuma Cafe is a cafe based on, well, the manga and anime Shirokuma Cafe. Clever, huh? [Official site]
Moomin House Cafe
Like Snoopy and Miffy, Moomin is hugely popular in Japan. This cafe was one of the first to have enormous plush toys sitting at the tables so solo diners don’t feel lonely. [Official site]
Cafe Mugiwara Boushi
If you are going to the Ghibli Museum, you must get some snacks at the cafe. You must. [Official site]
Kawaii Monster Cafe
Perhaps the most eye-meltingly cute of them all. And that’s saying something. Artist Sebastian Masuda, best known for his Harajuku fashions, created this cafe. This is kawaii on steroids. [Official site]
If there are any cute cafes I’ve missed, feel free to put them in the comments section.
Top GIF via s3ky9, enagamelon, omotesando_info, and TIPSY_Girls.
Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.