Character cafes are popular in Japan for many reasons. They appeal not only to your taste buds, but to your sense of imagination and love of all things kawaii. The only trouble with character cafes is they are often only open temporarily. So in this list, we’ve put together some of the most popular and cutest character cafes in Tokyo that are here to stay.
Shirohige’s Cream Puff Shop is the stuff of legend. While most character cafes ride on the success of their character logos, Shirohige’s wins hearts with its presentation and taste. The shop is located in a small cottage-like building near Setagaya-Daita Station. On the first floor, guests are greeted by an array of cream puffs in different flavors, each one shaped like the famous Totoro character from Studio Ghibli’s My Neighbor Totoro. On the second floor is Toro Café, which allows people to sit and enjoy their cream puffs purchased from downstairs.
Café de Miki is a Hello Kitty themed cafe on the island of Odaiba and on the fourth floor of the Diver City Mall. A better name for the cafe could have been ‘Hello Kitty Does London’. The explanation for the cafe’s British influence is that Hello Kitty is actually British, and was born in a suburb outside of London. The cafe specializes in cute English snacks and drinks, like scones and pancakes. Everything on the menu is sweet, so it’s not the place to go if you’re looking for a meal. A few cute Hello Kitty treats can be ordered from a small takeout counter.
The Peter Rabbit Garden is a country-kitsch cafe with an outdoor garden, located in the stylish neighborhood of Jiyugaoka. The Peter Rabbit theme is tastefully expressed in the food and decor. Patrons enjoy themed plates and meals that aren’t over-the-top, Peter Rabbit artwork on the walls, and can even dine with a plush Peter at the table. Their cheese buns are highly recommended, and many items are available for takeaway.
The Shirokuma Cafe is a great option if you’re visiting Tokyo with kids. They provide a cute area just for taking souvenir photos, and a room for kids to play in while the adults eat. In case you’re wondering, Shirokuma is a manga and anime series which follow the adventures of a polar bear, Shirokuma (literally ‘white bear’) who happens to own a cafe.Like most character cafes, Shirokuma Cafe has character goods for sale. They also adjust their menus according to the season.
The Guest Cafe and Diner at Shibuya PARCO is known for its character cafes, which change regularly. In the past, there have been popup cafes for Little Twin Stars, Cinnamorroll and more. Check their website for the latest information on character cafes hosted by The Guest at Shibuya PARCO.
The Peanuts Cafe at Naka-Meguro (Nakame) sets itself apart from the others by avoiding gaudy decoration or tacky plastic figures. Instead, the cafe is set up in a pristine white space next to the Meguro River. If it weren’t for the subtle character touches — a Snoopy pressed into the bun or the quote from Peanuts’ creator Charles M. Schultz on the wall — you might never suspect it was a character cafe at all. The Peanuts Cafe also carries tasteful character goods for sale as a souvenir for your visit.