Earlier this month we posted an announcement about a special limited-time Kiki & Lala Cafe in Tokyo’s trendy Shibuya district. The photos from the preview were just so adorable that we almost had little hearts spilling out of our eyes, and had to send a writer from our Japanese sister site Pouch over to get the inside scoop. After four failed attempts, she finally managed to make her way inside and discover the magical secrets within for herself. The reason it took so long for her to get in? It’s because the place is just too darn popular!
If you’re a fan of Sanrio’s cute characters and are anxious to go for yourself but are a bit hesitant about the long wait, you’ll definitely want to check out our writer’s comments and eight practical tips for planning a visit.
Time flies for Sanrio, as this year marks the 40th anniversary of Hello Kitty (who doesn’t look a day older than when she first appeared on the scene!). Hello Kitty was joined the following year by a pair of angel-like twins called the Little Twin Stars, otherwise known as Kiki & Lala. Kiki is the younger brother with blue hair, and Lala is the older sister with pink hair. Kiki & Lala have remained hit characters for Sanrio since their debut in 1975 up until today.
Perhaps their enduring legacy is the reason why this limited-time cafe has proven to be so popular. Women now in their 30s and 40s who fell in love with the twins decades ago are just as likely as current elementary and junior high school girls to be heard bursting into a chorus of kawaiiii ♥ (“cuuute!”) outside of the shop. There’s a constant line winding out of the place, with wait times up to approximately three hours. In the words of our writer:
“I can only find one fault with the cafe – despite having been open for over a month now, it’s still super crowded!”
Yikes! It’s no wonder that she had to give up four times while waiting in line. But we’re sure glad she persevered through that fifth attempt, or else we wouldn’t have gotten our hands on her wonderful insider photos.
Let’s take a look at what she ordered:
▼The “Magical Roll Cake Conjured from a Star Wand” is über-cute!
We bet you’ve never eaten a star-shaped hamburger before! Unfortunately Kiki’s face got a little messed up on this one…
▼”Little Twin Stars Hamburger Plate”
Kiki’s blue burger is a regular hamburger, while Lala’s pink one is actually a salmon burger. The portion size may not look like much, but it’s enough to fill you up. The crispy fries are also delicious.
There are many other Kiki & Lala themed food items, including omuraisu (rice omelet) made with pink rice. For a list with official photos of each dish and the prices, check out our article from earlier in the month here.
Here’s the menu displayed outside of the shop (Note: there appear to be slight variations between this menu and the menu released earlier in the month):
Now, onto the drinks. Our writer ordered a “Lala☆Latte.” The Lala face created with pink powdered sugar turned out to be so adorable you won’t want to drink it! To top it off, the stirrer came in the form of a star-shaped candy wand. Other drinks on the menu include “Kiki’s Dreamy Soda” and “Honey Milk Chai.”
▼You’ve gotta admit, this latte art is too cute for words!
When you order a drink, you will also receive this lovely coaster, which you’re free to take home with you. You receive one randomly out of five different versions. Go with a friend and try to collect them all!
You can also take home the original paper place mat to have a dreamy meal at home. Just take care not to spill anything on it at the cafe!
The interior of the shop is bursting with just as much cuteness as the food. Animated clips of the twins play on the TV monitor, and all kinds of illustrations line the walls. You’ll definitely fall in love with the decor.
Within the shop there is also a space to take a picture with Kiki & Lala themselves! One of the servers will be happy to take the photo for you.
Perhaps even more exciting is the corner selling limited-edition goods, including the popular roll cake served in the cafe!
▼You can even make custom Kiki & Lala stickers with your name on them.
Now that you’ve gotten a glimpse of the cafe, our Japanese writer would like to give you some practical tips for visiting.
1) According to one staff member, the cafe is the least crowded on weekdays after 8 PM. After that, the wait time is only about 30 minutes.
2) The Kiki & Lala Cafe is on the 7th floor of Shibuya’s PARCO department store Part 1 (there’s more than one PARCO in Shibuya). Get off the escalator on the 6th floor and head towards the 7th floor (where all the restaurants are). The line for the cafe forms on the staircase leading from the 6th floor to the 7th floor. During mealtimes, when the line reaches to the platform on the stairwell between the two floors, the wait time is approximately three hours. During other times, the wait is about three hours when the line reaches the platform on the stairwell between the 5th and 6th floors.
3) If you want to get a more precise idea of how long the wait will be at any given time, leave your friend in line and head to the entrance of the store. There will be a sign posted giving the current estimated wait time.
4) Be sure to wear comfortable shoes that you don’t mind standing in for a long amount of time. That means that all of you fashionable Tokyo ladies might want to leave the heels at home…
5) Because the wait time is so long, why not go with a friend you haven’t seen in a while? You’ll have plenty of time to catch up and swap stories on the stairwell.
6) Be sure to bring a drink with you for the long wait so you don’t get dehydrated.
7) Perhaps the most important piece of advice: You actually order while still in line, about 3o minutes before sitting down. You CANNOT order additional items while you’re in the cafe, so choose carefully.
8) If you have to leave partway through the wait, take a peek upstairs before heading home. Anyone can enter the shop and buy the limited edition goods (including the roll cake), so you can go home with a souvenir at the very least.
The cafe will only be open for another month or so. Mark your calendars so you don’t forget!
Collaboration with THE GUEST cafe & diner (Shibuya PARCO Part 1 ・ 7th floor)
Open March 21 – the end of May (tentative)
Hours: 11 AM – 11 PM / Last food orders: 10 PM, last drink orders: 10:30 PM
Phone number: 03-3477-5773 (THE GUEST cafe & diner)
Facebook: THE GUEST