500 Type Eva Cafe releases exclusive lineup of Evangelion-themed meals, sweets and drinks

November 7 means two things to Evangelion fans in Japan: the awesome Eva-themed bullet train makes its highly-anticipated inaugural run from Osaka to Fukuoka on the Sanyō Shinkansen line; and the eagerly awaited 500 Type Eva Café opens its doors to customers at JR Hakata Station for the very first time.

To add to all the excitement, Japan Rail West has just released the very first images of the café’s exclusive original menu. From specially marked toast to Eva sweets and an Angel curry, this themed collection of edible goods is the perfect way to celebrate the official launch of the Shinkansen Evangelion Project!

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The future is here! Celebrate Back to the Future: Part II’s historic day at theme cafes

Do you know what day October 21, 2015 is? It’s the day that Marty and Doc come to the future from 1985! But, sorry Marty, hover boards aren’t quite what they were supposed to be, and we barely made it to five Jaws movies, let alone Jaws 19. One of the only prophecies that may still come true is the Cubs winning the World Series, but even that seems doubtful.

Okay, so Marty might not be overly thrilled with this real version of 2015, but hey, at least he’ll get to go to the limited time “Back to the Future” Cafe if he stops by Hill Valley Ikebukuro in Tokyo.

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World’s first My Little Pony Café opens in…you guessed it, Japan!

Back in the early 80s, a number of toys and TV shows came out that defined a generation. They included hits like Transformers, Rainbow Brite, Ducktales and of course, My Little Pony. Now in the 21st century, the most obvious thing to do is re-hash all the old favorites with various reboots in the form of new animated series and a whole new set of toys to play with.

One of those franchises currently riding the revival train is My Little Pony and Japan is celebrating the continued success of everyone’s favorite colorful ponies with something they know how to pull off: a themed café! The recently opened My Little Pony Café is the first of its kind in the world, featuring bright colors, ponies and specialized menu items for every fan.

If you’re in Tokyo and looking for your fellow Pegasisters/Bronies, you won’t want to miss this!

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Shinkansen: Evangelion Project will also open a café and goods store at JR Hakata Station

Thanks to Japan Rail West, we will soon be able to ride a Shinkansen train modeled after Shinji Ikari’s Evangelion unit. Details have been flowing in about the train itself, but what about the stations that will be receiving this special train? The most appropriate thing would be for Hakata Station or Shin-Osaka Station to redecorate itself to look like Neo Tokyo-3, but the futuristic decor might not be for everyone. Instead, Hakata Station will be opening two Evangelion-themed stores in order to fill all our needs for special Evangelion eats and goods!

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Dine with Snoopy and pals at the new Peanuts themed cafe opening in Tokyo soon!

Did you know that Peanuts is almost 65 years old? Yup, the much-loved comic strip featuring the mini adventures of Snoopy, Charlie Brown, Lucy and Woodstock is celebrating its 65th birthday on October 2 this year! It’s the perfect opportunity to indulge in a little nostalgia over one of America’s favourite cartoon series.

In Japan, Snoopy is part of a menagerie of cute animal characters (including Elmo, Minnie Mouse, Jack Skellington, Moomins, Miffy, and Marie from the Aristocats) who were originally foreign creations yet have been seen decorating kyara-goods aimed at Japanese tween girls in recent years. Peanuts, and Snoopy in particular, are therefore pretty well-known in Japan, so the brand-new Peanuts Cafe due to open this year is bound to be a big hit!

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The cafe with a kabuki twist  — we visit Tully’s Coffee at the Kabukiza Theater

Kabuki is a traditional Japanese performing art that has been enjoyed by the masses since the 17th century  and is known for its unique make-up as well as its distinct, exaggerated poses and expressions. Kabuki is performed exclusively by male actors, and some of the more famous ones enjoy celebrity status in Japan, appearing in movies, TV dramas and commercials.

So, while it’s not nearly as big an attraction in this day of 4-D movies and theme parks as it used to be in the Edo Period, kabuki is still an established entertainment genre. And the Kabukiza Theater in Tokyo’s Ginza district, which was newly rebuilt in 2013, is still a mecca for kabuki fans. Today, one of the reporters from our Japanese sister site Pouch introduces the Tully’s Coffee shop located in the Kabukiza Theater for a look at a modern cafe that serves a menu item with a kabuki twist!

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New Tokyo cafe pairs men and women at random, provides coffee, cake & iPads to spark conversation

Remember that time you spotted that cute guy/girl at the cafe? Remember how badly you wanted to go over to them, make a witty comment, sit down and have them laugh and gaze into your eyes? And remember how they left before you actually did anything?

Well no longer! Aiseki Cafe in Ginza has the answer. When you come in you’re shown to a table with only two seats: one for a man and one for a woman. You chat, flirt, sip coffee and eat cakes, and then after 30 minutes you get rotated to the next person to repeat the process until you’ve found someone to make the sacred connection with: sharing your cell number.

Oh, and if you’re a woman, great news! You get unlimited coffee and cake for only 500 yen, one-fifth of the price for men. Cha-ching!

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We get lost in a world of steamy boy-on-boy fantasies at Ikebukuro’s BL cafe

Boys’ Love (BL) is a genre of fiction in Japan, usually taking the form of manga and anime, that depicts men in romantic relationships with one another. These homosexual stories are generally produced by and for women who want to fangirl over impossibly beautiful men getting frisky with each other.

Like with the maid cafes that cater to male otaku in Akihabara, it was only a matter of time until fictional fantasies started spilling over into the real world. My fellow reporter, Evie, and I went to visit a BL cafe near Otome Road in Ikebukuro, an area filled with stores catering to female otaku and fujoshi.

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Mr. Sato went to Ganguro Cafe and discovered his beautiful inner gyaru 【Pics】

As you probably know, our ace reporter Mr. Sato has his own special way of doing things. Rather than just going to check out a popular speedy steak-cooking restaurant, he instead cooks the steak himself and shoves it in people’s faces. Rather than just buying some butter, he straps a bottle of cream to a helmet and goes around a track in a racecar, getting the g-forces to churn it for him.

So when he heard about the ganguro dress-up and makeup cafe Black Diamond in Shibuya, he couldn’t just write a quick review of the place and be done with it; he had to become one with the cafe and its staff. This is the story of how Mr. Sato became a fashionable gyaru for a day, and we have the glorious pictures to prove it.

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We visited the new JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Café and really liked the elevators

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure fans, listen up! Or don’t because you might walk away a little disappointed. Tokyo’s Tower Records Shibuya location has collaborated with JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Stardust Crusaders to create a café dedicated to JoJo for the month of JuJune.

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Dragon Quest Super Light Cafe draws near! Command?

Beating on smiling blue slimes for single points of experience and coins of gold is taxing work. So for those famished dragon questers and/or warriors in the Tokyo area Square Enix and TBI are set to open the Dragon Question Super Light Cafe (DQSL Cafe).

The cafe is expected to be modeled after the Dragon Quest world and feature dishes based on its characters. This may be the only time that you can nibble on a metal slime (risotto) and sip on a killing machine at the same time. But there are more secrets to be had here as well! Command?



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Pay to have a cute girl squeeze your rice balls at “Galmusu”, Akihabara’s onigiri idol cafe!

Onigiri are the perfect Japanese snack food. Portable and (generally speaking) healthy, they consist of a small ball or triangle of rice containing one of a huge variety of fillings, wrapped in seaweed or coated with some kind of seasoning. While most of the onigiri you can buy at convenience stores here in Japan are probably filled and shaped by machine, it’s traditional to roll ’em yourselves by making a squeezing motion with your hands. And now you can combine your love of onigiri with your love of cute idol girls by heading down to “Galmusu”, a new cafe where, for a small fee, a cutie will squeeze your rice balls for you right in front of your eyes!

We sent one of our Japanese reporters to investigate this new form of edible performance art!

Oh, but before you read on, we should probably mention one thing: our reporter usually can’t stand anyone handling his food

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“Pink Pussy” up for sale in Hyogo Prefecture

While perusing Japanese restaurant website Tabelog recently, I came across a little cafe in Takarazuka, Hyogo Prefecture, called Pink Pussy. Quite what it was I don’t know, but something about the place really appealed to me so I hopped on a train over there. It was a bit of a journey but I’ve traveled farther to get some, and you can’t put a price on a good cup of coffee.

However, when I arrived I was shocked to find that Pink Pussy had been put up for sale.

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Blue Bottle Coffee opening [Round 2]: We wait an hour and a half, but this time we get in!!

Last month, we brought to you the story of how our very own Mr. Sato went to the opening of the very first Blue Bottle Coffee shop in Japan … only to give up on the idea of having coffee there as the huge crowd turnout meant a two-hour wait, which was just too long for our busy reporter. Well, we weren’t about to give up on trying the coffee from the popular American coffee roaster and cafe chain that easily! As it happens, Blue Bottle Coffee opened their second shop in Aoyama this past Saturday, and this time, we were determined to get a taste of their famous coffee, even if it meant waiting outside for an hour and a half in freezing weather!

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Forget cat cafes, there’s a cafe in South Korea where you can hang out with sheep!

Japan is home to hundreds of animal cafes where guests are able to hang out with catsrabbits, and even owls as they sip lattes and cups of herbal tea. These establishments give their patrons, often people who live in rented accommodation in urban areas, a chance to interact with animals that they would not be able to keep at home due to a lack of space or strict “no pets” clauses in tenancy agreements.

In Korea, however, one particular cafe has upscaled the experience with something much bigger and fluffier than the common bunny, cat or pup. Check out this unique cafe which houses a pair of beautiful, friendly sheep!

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Five surprising things about working in a cafe in Canada, as chosen by a Japanese girl

We asked a Japanese girl who has worked in cafes both in Japan and Canada to compare the two. Here are the top five things that surprised her, from the concept of “ladies first” to free drinks.

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Latest evolution of Pokémon cafe to open in Shibuya this January

To celebrate the release of Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, “THE GUEST cafe & diner,” a restaurant inside the Shibuya Parco building, will mega-evolve into a Pokémon-themed cafe for a limited time starting this January. They will offer a wide variety of meals, desserts, and drinks to fully restore the HP of all Pokémon trainers and their loyal Pokémon friends.

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First Hello Kitty cafe to open in California!

North American fans of the mouth-less Sanrio feline can now rejoice as the first ever Hello Kitty Cafe will finally land on their continent!

Announced in the form of a bright pink food truck at the Hello Kitty Convention held in Los Angeles, fans were elated to learn that Hello Kitty will finally get her own cafe in California! Judging by the extreme cuteness of the pictures released so far, it seems like this cafe will take kawaii to a whole new level!

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New cafe in Harajuku serves up Pom Pom Purin-shaped cuisine, attracts fans and pop idols alike

Despite being nowhere near as famous as his feline counterpart abroad, Sanrio’s Pom Pom Purin has a very loyal fan base in his homeland, so much so that the pastel-yellow “pudding” dog managed to clinch fourth place in this year’s Sanrio Character Ranking, at one point leading the pack.

But while Hello Kitty, My Melody and Kiki & Lala have all been given their own themed cafes, poor old’ Pom Pom has had to wait on the sidelines like the patient pup he is. But by the looks of it, the first ever Pom Pom Purin Cafe was well worth the wait, with the Harajuku location boasting a super-kawaii menu with meals, desserts and drinks featuring everyone’s favorite Sanrio canine as well as adorable merchandise available only at the cafe.

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Nicocafe dishes up a serving of surreal with manga meat, half an umaibo, and rice teishoku

Niconico is Japan’s biggest video sharing website – apart from that other one – and this week sees their unique café and creative space re-open in Ikebukuro, Tokyo.

The new nicocafe aims to bridge the gap between the online and offline worlds with its online interactive ordering system, which allows viewers watching at home to order items to be delivered to the guests at the bar!

We’re not sure how happy you’d be to actually receive some of these menu items, though…

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