Heat up your heart as you cool your body.
Last year, lovers of frozen desserts and rippling muscles were delighted by a two-day event in Tokyo in which an extremely ripped gentleman made kakigori, or shaved ice, for customers. This summer, “muscle entertainment group” Macho 29 is taking that idea and pumping up the scale, as this week marks the opening of the Machogori pop-up cafe in Tokyo’s Kinshicho neighborhood.
While the most literal translation of Machogori would be “Macho Ice,” in Japanese the word “macho” is usually used to describe musculature rather than personality. The cafe, understandably committed to making good on the promise implied by its name, is staffed by muscular men whose work uniform consists of tight-fitting shorts and footwear, but no upper-body garments whatsoever.
In making the cafe’s signature dish, the 650-yen (US$5.90) Machogori shaved ice, the staff, of course, doesn’t rely on an electric machine to cut blocks of ice into crunchy shavings. Instead, they do things the old-fashioned way with a hand-cranked ice shaver.
▼ All that manual labor must make them hot, which explains the shirtlessness
Also on offer is the mysterious 2,900-yen 8-Pack Parfait, the math for which is puzzling considering that Machogori seems to have a strict six-pack-per-employee requirement. The menu also lists “protein,” perhaps in the form of protein powder to be sprinkled over your dessert, for 500 yen.
But the cafe knows that more so than its sweets, the eye candy is the real draw. To that end, customers can take photos with the macho man of their choice for a fee of 1,000 yen. Commemorative items such as T-shirts and CDs will also be available for purchase, although we’re not sure what sort of listening experience to expect from the CDs (clanging weights and power-lifting grunts, maybe?).
However, be advised that this degree of muscle density is apparently too great for one point on our planet to sustain indefinitely, and so the Machogori cafe will only be in operation from August 10 to 20. After that, you’ll have to settle for other kinds of hot shaved ice.
Machogori / マチョ氷
Venue: Marui Kinshicho / 丸井錦糸町
Address: Tokyo-to, Sumida-ku, Kotobashi 3-9-10
Open 10:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m. (Monday-Saturday), 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m. (Sunday, holidays), 4:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. (August 11, 19), 10:30 a.m.-7 p.m. (August 20)
Website (Marui Kinshicho)