cafe

Tea for trash – “Methane Cafe” offering free drinks in exchange for patrons’ kitchen waste

Tea for trash – “Methane Cafe” offering free drinks in exchange for patrons’ kitchen waste

It’s often said that, rather than splashing out on expensive new appliances and fitting solar panels to our roofs, it’s the smaller changes we can make in our daily lives that will have an enormous positive effect on the environment. The act boiling a kettle, for example, may seem like a relatively harmless one, but – often because we boil more water than we actually use – we waste thousands of tons of carbon every single day simply by making cups of tea or coffee.

With that in mind, a new members-only cafe has recently opened its doors in the town of Osaki, Miyagi Prefecture, which uses energy from patrons’ kitchen waste to boil the water needed for a relaxing brew, making the green tea they serve some of the greenest in the world by far.

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Limited-time Pokémon shop and Pikachu Cafe to open in Roppongi Hills!

Limited-time Pokémon shop and Pikachu Cafe to open in Roppongi Hills!

In celebration of the release of this year’s Pokémon movie Diancie and the Cocoon of Destruction on Saturday, a special “Pokémon the Movie XY Shop” will be open in Tokyo’s Roppongi Hills between July 19 and August 31. Pokémon fans will definitely want to stock up on the limited-edition goods being sold there, as well as sample the adorable Pikachu-themed food at the “Pikachu Cafe.” Plus, the shop will be located on the observation deck of one of Tokyo’s highest buildings, so you can fit in some essential sightseeing, too!

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【TBT】Tokyo’s Pico Pico Cafe: Where video games meet coffee

【TBT】Tokyo’s Pico Pico Cafe: Where video games meet coffee

Despite having visited the town of Kichijoji in Tokyo on a near daily basis for over a year, it wasn’t until I sat down with video game developer James Kay and started chatting about our mutual love of pixels and coffee that I learned about Pico Pico Cafe, a cosy corner perched at the top of a eight-storey building just minutes from Kichijoji station.

After dropping the staff a line, RocketNews24 headed over for a coffee and a chat. We hadn’t gone two steps inside, however, before we found ourselves completely enamoured with the unique cafe’s warm, homely interior and – perhaps most of all for this life-long gamer – the subtle dashes of video game culture in every other nook and cranny.

Tons of cool photos after the jump.

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“The beer is my friend”: Watch the World Cup in style at this Captain Tsubasa Cafe

“The beer is my friend”: Watch the World Cup in style at this Captain Tsubasa Cafe

The World Cup is underway and Japan’s city streets are full of excitable-looking young people wearing blue soccer jerseys (sorry Dad, I mean “football shirts”). If you’re looking for somewhere in Tokyo to watch the game that’s a bit different – somewhere, for example, that’s got soccer-manga merchandise, weird themed food, and blue drinks that aren’t just beer with blue food-colouring in them – we’ve got just the place for you! When the staff at our Japanese sister site heard that a pop-up Captain Tsubasa Cafe was opening in Tokyo’s Ueno district, they couldn’t resist heading down there to take a look!

Captain Tsubasa, for the uninitiated, is a soccer manga (sometimes called Flash Kicker in English) created by Yōichi Takahashi in 1981. As is typical with popular Japanese manga series, Tsubasa and his team have since spread their wings into anime, video games, spin-off merch… and now this sports bar!

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Awesome castle-like café in Shikoku lacks dragons, does have crepes and coffee

Awesome castle-like café in Shikoku lacks dragons, does have crepes and coffee

Despite its well-deserved reputation as an extremely hard-working nation, Japan is also a country that knows how to relax. Every city has a number of cafes where you can stop, sip a drink, and soak in the soothing ambiance.

Some of these establishments style themselves after a comfy living room, while others feel more like a stylish library or lounge. Or, if you happen to be in Tokushima Prefecture, there’s the café built into what appears to be a crumbling castle.

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Food and decor at Kiki & Lala Cafe in Shibuya is sure to melt your heart, despite long wait time

Food and decor at Kiki & Lala Cafe in Shibuya is sure to melt your heart, despite long wait time

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.

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We visit the limited-time IKEA café in Tokyo

We visit the limited-time IKEA café in Tokyo

IKEA is a shopper’s paradise. The colors, the designs, and the price all work together and the impeccably presented showrooms make you want to recreate them in your own home. In Japan, there is the extra bonus of that “European style” that really speaks to some shoppers. IKEA is also well-known for its restaurant, where customers can relax and daydream about the new layout of their rooms while stuffing their face full of meatballs. For a limited time in Tokyo, IKEA has made it possible for you to experience living in a space all decked out in IKEA goods and stuff your face with Swedish meatballs at the same time!

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Enjoy the ambiance of Okinawa’s aptly named Cave Cafe (plus “chest hair of the ancients”!)

Enjoy the ambiance of Okinawa’s aptly named Cave Cafe (plus “chest hair of the ancients”!)

The folks at popular Japanese travel site Another Tokyo have given us the itch to go traveling again. We’ve gotten used to drooling over their cool photos of off the beaten track places around Tokyo, but this time they’ve branched out a bit — all the way to tropical, sunny Okinawa!

Although we have to give the Tokyo area credit for its share of unconventional cafes, you’ll be blown away by the photos from this “Cave Cafe” in Okinawa, which is located inside – you guessed it – an actual cave! If you’re traveling to Okinawa soon and looking to do something a bit extraordinary, be sure to add this spot to your sightseeing list. After all, how many people can claim to have sipped coffee in a cave?

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We visit Tokyo’s rabbit café to celebrate Easter in the cutest way possible 【Photos】

We visit Tokyo’s rabbit café to celebrate Easter in the cutest way possible 【Photos】

My wife, who’s always interested in learning more about foreign culture (no doubt in an effort to better understand her insufferably baffling husband), recently asked me how Easter is celebrated in America. “We usually hunt for Easter eggs and eat chocolate rabbits,” I told her, which quickly presented us with two problems. First, our apartment isn’t nearly large enough for a proper Easter egg hunt, and while you can get special Easter donuts in Japan, bunny-shaped candies are surprisingly nonexistent.

Stumped as to how to spend the holiday, my wife offered a suggestion. “Why don’t we go to the rabbit café?”

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Sip coffee inside a giant vintage camera at family-run Dreamy Camera Cafe

Sip coffee inside a giant vintage camera at family-run Dreamy Camera Cafe

Your eye might have gone directly to the giant red building in the photo, but behind that odd architecture is a happy family living their dream. Army aviation pilot, Park Sung-Hwan and his wife (who also happens to be a recently retired army aviation pilot) took their love of photography and coffee to the extreme, creating a one-of-a-kind cafe that resembles a Rolleiflex camera. It sits right next to their modest home, a juxtaposition of tradition and whimsy, and is nothing short of a scene out of a storybook.

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Good grief! It’s a Snoopy-themed Japanese tea house!

Good grief! It’s a Snoopy-themed Japanese tea house!

Japan’s favourite cartoon dog continues his quest for country-wide domination this month with a brand new Snoopy-themed cafe scheduled to open in Oita Prefecture on April 19th. The cafe’s theme fuses Snoopy cartoons and traditional Japanese style, or wa (和). The new venture comes hot on the tails of Snoopy x Japanesque, a collaboration last year that saw the cute line-drawn character from Charles M. Schulz’s comics combined with traditional Japanese artisan works.

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Kiki & Lala Cafe in Tokyo now serving up star shaped burgers and more!【Photos】

Kiki & Lala Cafe in Tokyo now serving up star shaped burgers and more!【Photos】

Last year, Japan’s most successful creator of cute characters, Sanrio, melted our hearts with the whimsical My Melody pop-up cafe. This spring, they’re working their cute-making magic once again to bring us a limited-time Kiki & Lala (Little Twin Stars) Cafe in the newly opened Shibuya Parco Part 1 mall in Toyko! Twin power for double the cuteness!

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Kit Kat pizza!? Japanese pizza and cafe chains get creative with the new bakeable snack!

Kit Kat pizza!? Japanese pizza and cafe chains get creative with the new bakeable snack!

We were already perfectly full and happy having had a chance to try Japan’s new bakeable Kit Kats, and felt that the chocolatey snack had been taken about as far as it ever could. But apparently there’s still more to look forward to from these unique Kit Kats than just the novelty of “toasting” them at home: Kit Kat pizza!

That’s right, several pizza and cafe chains in Japan will be offering special menus for a limited time using the “Bake ‘N Tasty Mini Kit Kats Custard Pudding Flavor” (Kit Kat Mini Yaite Oishi Purin Aji), and we have to say, they look pretty darn sweet.

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Hatsune Miku themed restaurant opens in China

Hatsune Miku themed restaurant opens in China

If any Hatsune Miku fans find themselves in China’s Guangxi Province, they might want to stop by the city of Yulin for an unexpected surprise, because it’s in this city that the Vocaloid singing sensation has gotten a fast food restaurant dedicated to her, though likely not in any official capacity.

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Korea’s “MAJO&SADY” themed café is the cutest place we’ve seen in a long while!【Photos】

Korea’s “MAJO&SADY” themed café is the cutest place we’ve seen in a long while!【Photos】

We’ve seen plenty of cat cafés, maid cafés and even owl cafés here on RocketNews24, but putting living things aside, this themed café in Seoul which features the characters of a Korean online comic MAJO&SADY, could probably top our list of cute cafés!

The simple yet chic café provides a cozy and relaxing atmosphere that anyone can enjoy, even if you’re unfamiliar with the comic’s characters. Check it out!

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A guide to Tokyo’s best cat cafés

A guide to Tokyo’s best cat cafés

It’s Cat Day! The one day in Japan that celebrates our feline friends. In honor of this occasion, we’ve put together a list of a dozen cat cafés around Tokyo, so even if you don’t have a furry face waiting for you at home, you can still enjoy some time with kitties on their special day.

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The adventures of Mami in the land of picture books at Pennennenemu Green Café

The adventures of Mami in the land of picture books at Pennennenemu Green Café

Once upon a time in the magical kingdom of Japan there lived a young girl named Mami. Always she would ask her parents to read a children’s book by the name of Guri & Gura in which two field mice share good times together. Her most favorite story of all was the one in which Guri and Gura find a large egg and make a big fluffy cake out of it. However, as the years passed by and Mami grew into a woman, she gradually stopped reading the adventures of Guri and Gura and eventually went to work as a reporter for RocketNews24.

One day, her wicked step-editor called out, “Maaaaamiiii! Write me something about food! I’m hungry!” Checking the internet for something to write about, Mami learned of a famous café in Osaka. Other women wrote marvelous things about it saying, “It’s a real picture book world!” and “Everything about it is cute!” Thinking this was a nice place, Mami boarded a train for the land of Umeda not knowing what was waiting in store for her.

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Bunnies, birds of prey and ice cream: These novelty cafés in Tokyo are worth your attention

Bunnies, birds of prey and ice cream: These novelty cafés in Tokyo are worth your attention

In a city as big as Tokyo, you can visit thousands of stores for a simple coffee and a light snack. If a café or coffee shop wants to earn itself some online attention or news coverage, it has to bring something truly unique to the table. These four specially themed cafés have managed to do just that, earning themselves a spot on Naver Matome’s list of “Novelty Café’s that I’d like to Take a Peak at.” Let’s see for ourselves what the Japanese Internet found so interesting.

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My Melody and friends featured at pop-up cafe in Tokyo

My Melody and friends featured at pop-up cafe in Tokyo

Hello Kitty has always taken center stage when it comes to Sanrio characters. But now My Melody is getting her shot at an extremely popular limited-time only pop-up cafe in Tokyo. Even My Melody’s rival, Kuromi is making an appearance at this cute cafe, which features lattes, cakes, and light snacks with the faces of My Melody and friends.

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Japan’s first black cat café feels appropriate for the season 【Photos】

Japan’s first black cat café feels appropriate for the season 【Photos】

Halloween is just around the bend, and Japan has us up to our eyeballs in ghosts, skeletons, spider webs, and black cats. Especially black cats, much to our delight!

In the city of Himeji in Hyogo Prefecture, our RocketNews24 sister site Pouch has discovered what has to be Japan’s first exclusively black cat café. It’s called Cat Café Nekobayaka -black cat centimeter-, and in the spirit of Halloween, how about dropping in for coffee and a bit of playtime with their jet black beauties?

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