If you’re a Pokémon fan who’s feeling blue over missing your chance to eat at the limited-time restaurants based on the series that previously appeared in Yokohama and Tokyo’s Roppongi neighborhood, cheer up. Until the end of February, the Pokémon Cafe is back again, this time in the trendy part of Tokyo called Shibuya, and looks to be cuter than ever.
Unfortunately, when you combine food and cuteness in one of the busiest cities on earth, you also get long lines. Helping to make the wait worth it, though, is the possibility of having a meal while sharing your table with a very special dining companion, Pikachu.
The newest iteration of the Pokémon Cafe opened on January 9 inside the Parco department store’s Shibuya branch, one of the most popular shopping destinations in the country. Given that the store draws crowds even when there’s not a special event going on, more than two weeks after the restaurant opened its doors, the crowds still haven’t thinned out.
なかやま ちえこ (@chiekonakayama) January 18, 2015
The above photo was taken at approximately nine in the morning on a Saturday, some two hours before the cafe opened, and people just arriving at the back of the line were told they’d be able to get a seat sometime around two in the afternoon. The next day, waits were even longer.
As such, whether they’re Pokémon players or not, you might have a hard time talking one of your friends into going to the cafe with you. After all, even if you’re planning to kill time by playing the latest title in the Pokémon franchise while you wait, your 3DS’ battery is likely to die before you get a seat.
▼ At least Pikachu, dolled up Shibuya-style, sometimes comes by to say hi.
増田順一@GAME FREAK inc. (@Junichi_Masuda) January 09, 2015
The reward for putting up with that daunting wait, though, is being able to bask in the atmosphere of the cutest Pokémon dining space yet.
Atsumi (@aa52yy59kk51) January 19, 2015
▼ The employees even sport Pikachu tails, like at the Pikachu Tairyou Hassei-chu event held last spring in Yokohama.
ピカチュー大好きな友達と ポケモンカフェに行ってきた！ 店員さんのシッポに癒された。 #ポケモンカフェ http://t.co/Czw9e7F4Wp—
Shu-ole シュオレ (@shu_ole) January 13, 2015
▼ DJ Pikachu, spinning the soundtracks to Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire
THE GUEST cafe&diner (@THEGUESTcafe) January 23, 2015
Not all the Pikachus at the cafe are there to handle the establishment’s music selection, though. Most of them seem to have just stopped by for a bit to eat, poring over the menu of Pokémon-themed food and drinks.
みずたま@AS＆MH4Gプレイ中 (@mizu_8686) January 12, 2015
▼ We’re curious about how they communicate their order when their vocabulary is limited to just “Pika!”
テツキレ (@tetsukire) January 25, 2015
But while some people enjoy a moment of quiet reflection as they sip a coffee alone, Pikachus seem to get lonely in such situations, as shown by this one scanning the room for some companionship.
O月@C87/2日目東キ37b (@y0w0kv) January 13, 2015
Thankfully, the little guys aren’t shy, and are more than willing to sit with you as you eat.
# ポケモンカフェにてピカチュウと相席チュウ http://t.co/BvZ0Ut9axm—
Miku (@future39_miku) January 15, 2015
Solo diners are most likely to snag a chair along the counter, but even if you end up at a table, the staff will be happy to seat the franchise’s most famous icon right in front of you.
ポケモンカフェに一人で行ったらピカチュウが相席してくれることがあるらしく この写真のピカチュウにすごい癒された( ´ ▽ ` ) http://t.co/nteGB0L6MC—
みそ (@okjk0915) January 11, 2015
▼ You might want to let Pikachu use your bag or jacket as a booster seat, though.
莉央@1/18LIVE THEATER (@802yr) January 19, 2015
By the way, certain special menu items include Pokémon merchandise, like that cool Poké Ball mug above. There’s also a variety of coasters with artwork of the series’ characters, similar to the Final Fantasy cafe in Akihabara. And even when your order doesn’t come with any cool freebies, the food itself is adorable.
まろん＠気力が欲しい (@maron_wf) January 23, 2015
▼ Sweet Pikachu potato
ねことら (@1_nekotora) January 11, 2015
ユウコ (@yuko_melt) January 19, 2015
Of course, the presentation isn’t always cute. Sometimes it’s awesome, like when the waiter pulls the Poké Ball-style tray cover off a chilled desert, and this happens.
Now, if we could just borrow that tray to catch one of the cafe’s Pikachus to take home with us, we’d be all set.
Pokémon Cafe / ポケモンカフェ
Address: Tokyo-to, Shibuya-ku, Udagawa-cho 15-1, Shibuya Parco Part 1, 7th floor
Open 11 a.m.-10 p.m. (drinks until 10:30 p.m.)