As I was taking a walk through the city the other day, I encountered a cake shop with a fantastic exterior like something out of a fairy tale. It had a very cheerful ambiance, and on closer inspection, I noticed a remarkable figure. Could it be? Star of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, Jack Sparrow, selling pastries? Captain Jack managing a cake shop?
Even people who haven’t seen the series starring Johnny Depp somehow recognize this iconic character. And here he was, standing in a cake shop in Tokyo’s Nakano-ku called Cake and Cafe Bar Pirates of Ryouma, which just opened on December 10th.
The sight of a scruffy, bearded pirate in the middle of a pink-accented cake shop is something of a shock. I felt a little bad, standing there gawking, but actually every passerby seemed to be rooted to the spot by the sight of Captain Jack. Here was the captain of the infamous Black Pearl on dry land. Managing a cake shop, no less.
When I worked up the courage to talk to him, I found the captain to be a friendly guy. His real name, he says, is Koenji Jack Sparrow, and he speaks perfect Japanese. He didn’t mind posing for a picture or recommending his favorite cake. And if you are interested, both eat-in and take out orders are available.
The walls of the seating area are covered with paintings of various colors, giving the place a very lively feel. On the advice of the captain, er, manager, I chose a seasonal fruit tart, and wasn’t disappointed by its rich and delicious custard filling. In addition to cakes, the cafe also offers a complete menu with alcohol and light entrees.
The shop is open every day from 1pm to 5am. As the captain/manager, Jack is naturally there from open to close most days, though he does occasionally wander around the neighborhood delighting the locals. I predict this manager is headed for fame, so if you want to meet the captain, you better get here soon!
Cake and Cafe Bar Pirates of Ryouma
Tokyo, Nakano-ku, Nakano 5-54-3
Five minutes walk from JR Nakano Station
Captain/Manager Jack Sparrow
Various cakes from 400 yen a slice, or you can buy a whole one.
Seasonal fruit tart with drink, just 600 yen
The fantasy and fairy tale themed second floor
What young lady wouldn’t love this design?
Hand-drawn pictures on the wall
And the exterior is just as cool!
You’ll find Captain Jack there almost every day.
You certainly won’t be able to miss it.
[ Read in Japanese ]