Humans have long been entranced by the stars — just a glance at the starry night sky inspires us to write poetry, paint pictures or set off on exploration expeditions. And in Japan, if you want that same inspiration, Achi Village in Nagano Prefecture is definitely the place to go!
You might not have heard of this place before, but the village was named the best spot for star-gazing in Japan by the Ministry of the Environment, and they are making sure that their name will be associated with the stars all across Japan. A new themed cafe called Star Village Cafe is opening soon and it’s planning to make you star struck with its interstellar decor. Put on your spacesuits and buckle your seatbelts, because we are launching for Star Village Cafe!
You can find themed cafes and restaurants all over Japan. Most of these places lure you in with fantastical themes, promising a journey to a faraway final fantasy land or to a place where you are the master and your humble maid/butler welcomes you home. But why venture into science fiction and fantasy when you can get lost in the real science and jaw-dropping scenes of outer space?
▼ Welcome to Achi!
The Star Village Cafe in Achi Village will be opening their doors to all travelers on July 11. What this tiny town lacks in size, they make up for in galactic scope! The soon-to-open cafe hopes to tap into the real-life awe that the cosmos presents. With the help of projection mapping, the cafe will be transformed to show you images of space wherever you look.
NAKED Inc. is the team behind this out-of-the-world cafe and they are the same projection mapping team that was responsible for Tokyo Station’s Tokyo Hikari Vision, the Night Aquarium at the Shin-Enoshima Aquarium and the Attack on Titan Projection Mapping. While the cafe is not open to the public yet, NAKED Inc. has presented their plans for the Star Village Cafe.
One of the walls will offer beautiful views of the Milky Way and the sweeping motions of the stars will make it feel like you are on a ship flying through the vastness of space. The tables will also feature projections that change designs depending on the time of day. Even the menu itself will be displayed for you, making the environment as dynamic as outer space itself. And of course there will be a “Star Map” that gives you details about the constellations and galaxies around you.
The Star Village Cafe is only a small piece of Achi’s plan to cement the village as the premiere spot to view the twinkling sky in Japan. In Star Village, where the cafe is located, you can already learn all about star-gazing with a gondola ride to Sancho Station, the peak that provides the optimal view of the night sky. There are also helpful guides, special events, and a plethora of breathtaking memories to be made in this little-known area.
So, if you are looking for a unique themed cafe that is far more fantastical than any other you’ve visited, you’ll want to stop by Star Village Cafe. But it will only be open until October 17, so make sure you get there before it closes!
▼ A video presenting the view from Achi Village
And when you find yourself in front of the Star Village Cafe doors, know that your presence is another small step for projection mapping, and one giant leap for themed cafes.