One thing I was really looking forward to and loved in Japan were their themed cafes. We booked a few in advance, turned up to some and had some funny experiences at some. So I decided to write a blog post of the quirky/themed cafes we visited in Japan!
Kawaii Monster Café
Ever since I heard of this place I wanted to visit and luckily Becca and Jess wanted to as well. There’s a small fee to get in and I think you have to order one drink and one food item each. Becca managed to book us a table in advance meaning we got to skip the queue and we were given a cute booth right in the middle of the café.
The moment the doors open you’re greeted by a girl dressed in whacky clothes who takes you to your table and explains what’s available and how to order. I thought they were waitresses but they’re more entertainers because they don’t take orders or bring food.
My only downside was that the food wasn’t very tasty, I ordered chicken and waffles and the waffles were really dry and I wasn’t particularly a fan of the chicken either. Becca ordered some rainbow spaghetti which looked quite cute. We also ordered dessert, I got a rainbow slice of cake which looked really sweet but again it was let down a little bit by the taste. Jess ordered a pet bowl thing which was cereal with ice cream underneath which was quite cute. What I did like was that you didn’t have to do the awkward ‘how can we catch the waiters attention’ thing, there was a button you could press and someone would come over.
You’re only allowed your table for 90 minutes and at 1PM, when our 90 minutes was up, the entertainers put on a show which was fun and really cute. I’d go just for the cute Instagram pictures to be honest because the whole café just looks absolutely amazing. I’d definitely recommend it if in Tokyo but don’t expect much from the food.
I heard of Maid cafes through Dan and Phil who visited one while they were in Japan and I wanted to experience one myself even though I knew it would be a bit cringe. Jess wanted to as well, Becca was less keen but the two of us insisted so we dragged her to a Maidreamin café ‘cos I’d read online that this chain was quite good.
Google Maps was taking us to the main one in Akihibara when I noticed a sign for one right next to us in the area we were already visiting so we took the lift up to the café and discovered we were the only people in there. We knew the experience would be a bit embarrassing but this made it about a thousand times worse.
To be fair our maid was really lovely but the experience was completely new to us. She brought over a fake candle and we had to do cute actions to make it ‘light up’. Then she put some animal ears on our heads without asking and seeing Becca’s face as she did this was truly hilarious. She explained the menu to us and told us when we wanted to order we had to say ‘miaow miaow’ while pretending to be a cat.
I wanted savoury food preferably but I wanted the set so I went for the cheapest one which included a dessert, a souvenir and a picture with the maid. Jess went for the same one and Becca wanted some spaghetti. We made eye contact with our maid who clearly knew we wanted to order and she looked us dead in the eye and went “Miaow miaow?” so we had to do the action to get her to come over and take our order.
She kept coming back over to chat to us which of course was part of the experience. Her English was quite good and for anything she didn’t know she used her phone. We had our food, mine and Jess’ ice cream were animal themed and they were so cute then we went on the stage to take our photo. Me and Jess were allowed to come up together and the maid called to Becca to come up as well but she was like “No.” and refused to come up.
If I were in Tokyo again I’d actually want to go back, preferably to the more popular Maidreamin to get the ‘full experience’ but it was tons of fun even if it was a bit cringe. I’m not sure we could ever convince Becca to go back though.
We were worried with this one that if we didn’t book in advance we wouldn’t be able to get in – I can’t remember but I think we read somewhere that all the themed cafes are popular so it’s best to book in advance otherwise you’re not guaranteed a table. This was almost impossible to book because it required a Japanese phone number which of course I didn’t have so in the end I put in a fake number and the booking finally went through after tons of stressing. With the booking we had to book a set meal option and I selected ‘pay on arrival’.
We went on a Monday night and my advice would be to just turn up because we passed quite a few empty cells so if you want to go then that’s probably best. The woman who greeted us didn’t speak any English which like is fine ‘cos it’s a Japanese restaurant but it was made very awkward as we tried to explain we had a reservation and she didn’t understand. She also wore a mask that covered her entire face which made the misunderstandings a lot more difficult. Luckily we’d printed off our reservation so we got there in the end. She handcuffed Jess and led us all to our prison cell – quite quickly down a set of stairs, I’m glad it was Jess she handcuffed otherwise I’d have fallen to my death down those stairs trying to keep up with her!
You’re taken into a little booth designed to look like a prison cell and they shut the door leaving you in there alone – they don’t lock it obviously because that would be a massive fire hazard. There’s a screen where you can order whatever food you want and they bring it but as we had our set meal we didn’t do this. One guy came in to explain the drinks to us but his English wasn’t amazing either so it was all a bit confusing but we got there in the end. We didn’t go for the weird drinks because these cost extra so me and Jess went for an orange juice and Becca accidentally ordered a cocktail or something.
They started bringing the food out and I’ll be honest it was very hit and miss. They brought out some cooked meat which I really enjoyed but lots of other dishes were not appealing to us. They brought out some chips which we all appreciated but they’d covered these in a pink sauce – none of us were sure what the sauce was but we didn’t like it so we tried to just eat the uncovered ones. My favourite had to be when they brought us something purple in a round dish and Becca confidently said “It’s purple custard!” She took a large spoonful and went “Ooh and there’s some kind of cake sponge at the bottom.” Took the biggest mouthful I have ever seen, went still and said in a horrified voice “It’s some kind of cheese.”
Halfway through the meal all the lights go out and your iPad where you can order the food comes up with a little ‘warning’ sign which is the point where the staff go from cell to cell scaring their customers which was a lot of fun. Becca was sat closest to the door so she got picked on the most and it was just really funny. I wish we had more places like that in the UK.
I would recommend coming here but here are some tips: Don’t book in advance, turning up and just ordering what you want is certain to work out better. Be aware that this place is quite expensive, that one meal cost us a lot more than I had expected. If anyone there is celebrating a birthday they will play the birthday song on repeat for at least ten minutes at a time. It is weird but it’s also tons of fun!
I’m going to warn you in advance if you plan on visiting one day – they do not serve food here. Do not turn up feeling hungry like me and Jess did. This was Becca’s café of choice and we decided to go on my birthday since we couldn’t go to Disneyland but unfortunately Becca started to feel unwell so couldn’t come. Me and Jess turned up quite hungry and discovered the word ‘café’ is not literal.
You have to put exact change into a machine which gives you a ticket and you can choose your option. You can either stay for half-an-hour or an hour and you have the option of buying hedgehog food as well. We went for an hour and got the hedgehog food as well because Jess had read that the hedgehogs are more likely to wake up and be alert if you have the food.
You’re allowed one drink out of the vending machine so Jess went for some kind of pop that isn’t available in the UK as it was free so she could try it and I went for a hot chocolate which to be fair was really tasty. You’re taken to a little trough where the staff explain how to pick up and interact with the hedgehogs.
I think what makes this place good is that the staff are really friendly – they jumped in and offered to take photos for every guest, Jess went around to get some shots for her vlog and one guy took the biggest hedgehog out of his pen to show her and told her his name and some stuff about him (the hedgehog that is, not himself). I’m glad we went for an hour because half-an-hour would’ve been way too quick and the whole thing was super cute. I’d definitely go back. We bought Becca a little hedgehog plushie to make up for the fact that she couldn’t come but next time in Tokyo we’ll make sure she gets to go!
Alice in Magical Land
There’s a sort of chain of Alice in Wonderland cafes in Tokyo and we decided we had to go so we settled on Alice in Magical Land. It was at the bottom of a shopping centre and all the waitresses are dressed up as Alice and they all looked super cute. They served us water and told us if we wanted to get their attention we just had to yell “Alice!” None of us had the nerve to do this but luckily they came over regularly.
The foods are all themed around Alice in Wonderland so me and Jess got some Cheshire Cat spaghetti and Becca got… Some… Avocado caterpillar spaghetti I wanna say? I’m not gonna lie this wasn’t the tastiest meal I’ve ever had on the planet but it was cute and the whole café is so adorable.
The waitresses brought us over some bunny ears so we got to take some cute photos with them – we were going to take pictures with certain parts of the café which I think Becca and Jess may have done but I decided to pay the bill mostly in coins to get rid of them and as I was carrying it to the till I kept dropping them to the point where the waitresses had to come and help me. Embarrassing. It was a cute place though and I’m glad we went.
Luckily we’d read online that food was not available at this place so we were sort of prepared… Except we still felt a bit full after the Kaiwaii Monster café so we weren’t actually hungry until about 9PM, when the show was due to start. We were advised there was fair type food for example candyfloss, popcorn and we noticed a food stand when we entered only to be advised that he had sold out. We went to the other stand and ordered some chicken and chips which luckily was in stock. We got stressed that the show would start before the food was ready but we were advised to take our seats and this would be brought to us and to be fair, it did arrive really quickly.
The emphasis on the robot restaurant is the show that they put on and it’s quite steep at 8000 yen but we had heard it was unmissable and looking at just the décor outside I was excited because it looked amazing. Although the show was a lot of fun I still felt a little disappointed when we left – there was more emphasis on the actors than there was on the robots themselves and for the price I low-key felt like it hadn’t been worth it.
Also, they take you to your seat and you have to squeeze between the tables to get to them – I literally thought the person was joking when they told us to walk through as the gap was non-existent and I’m a bit on the larger side so it was a bit embarrassing having to squeeze through but not an issue once you’re in your seat I guess.
I’m glad I went just to say I’ve been but it’s not an experience I’m in a rush to repeat.
When we were planning our trip we’d get exhausted of the actual planning and then watch vlogs to hype ourselves up and that’s how we discovered this K-Pop themed café. It’s an area full of K-Pop shops and from the outside you wouldn’t guess the theme as it looks like an ordinary café and I suppose inside there isn’t a ton of emphasis on K-Pop – they do play K-Pop music videos though and have a few posters on the walls.
The best part about this café though for K-Pop fans is the drinks. You’re allowed to pick a mug with your favourite group on it and if you pick certain groups they’ll put the logo in chocolate powder on top of the drink, as you can see they did with Becca’s as she chose a Super Junior mug. I went for Girls’ Generation and Jess had Black Pink so we only got hearts. I wish I’d gone for the BTS one but as we all love BTS it felt a bit too obvious but I wish I had upon reflection. I will if I ever return!
We went there on the morning of my birthday and it was probably the best birthday breakfast I’ve ever had, we all had pancakes and they were quite possibly the tastiest pancakes I’ve ever had. If you’re a K-Pop fan I definitely recommend going, we were the only people in there and everything was amazing – the staff were nice, the food/drinks were amazing and they play K-Pop like how can you go wrong?
This place was in Osaka and was another one where there’s not actually any food but there is a drink included. I’m not the biggest fan of owls to be truthful, I once had a dream that everywhere I looked in my house there was an owl and since then it’s put me off a bit but I went with an open mind. We were the only people in there as we had been for a few other places. We each had an orange juice then went to pet the owls.
You’re not allowed to stroke them anywhere other than their beaks as otherwise they get stressed out so for most of it I reached out my hand to stroke them and then chickened out at the last second because I was worried about getting pecked. The owls were quite sweet but I felt a bit sorry for them just having to be stuck in this little café for peoples enjoyment. Overall though it was still a good time.
So yeah, those are the themed cafes we visited in Japan! I had a ton of fun at all of them, even the awkward or embarrassing moments. Leave a comment of any themed cafes you’ve visited or if you want to visit any!