Five of Tokyo’s Cutest Character Cafes
Cute characters can be found pretty much anywhere around Japan and there's definitely no shortage of them making their way onto our plates in dishes too cute to devour! Tokyo is home to many lovely cafes dedicated to all things "kawaii," so be sure to check these places out when you need your next cute fix!
Shirokuma Cafe, Takadanobaba
In the popular downtown area of Takadanobaba is where you will find the Shirokuma Cafe. Named after a manga and anime series with the same name, Shirokuma Cafe is about three animal friends who have all sorts of adventures together, while the cafe is run by Shirokuma-kun, the polar bear owner of the cafe. It’s an endearing establishment to visit, even if you are unfamiliar with the series. The cute illustrations of the many animal characters adorning the wallsand the colored lights over the countertops are subtle yet atmospheric. At the front counter, you can view sweets from behind the glass casing and really admire the thought that goes into making these dishes unique to the series. The Shirokuma Cafe is worth visiting throughout the year, as staff members make specialty dishes according to the seasons.
Address: 2-1-2 Takadanobaba, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Open: Daily, 10 a.m.–10 p.m. (last food orders at 9 p.m.)
Pom Pom Purin Cafe, Harajuku
One of the cutest creations by Sanrio, the team behind Hello Kitty, Pom Pom Purin is a sweet golden retriever dog. With his cuddly shape resembling a custard pudding, topped with his trademark brown beret, Pom Pom Purin is as adorable as they come. With a strong fan-base, the Pom Pom Purin cafe is located in Harajuku, by far one of the most trendy neighborhoods in Tokyo. On the third floor of the building Cute Cube, which is in the heart of Takashita Street, is where you can dine on sweet and savory dishes, all dedicated to one of Sanrio’s most popular characters.
Address: 3F Cute Cube Harajuku, 1-7-1 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Open: Daily, 11 a.m.–9 p.m. (last food orders 8 p.m., last drink orders 8:30 p.m.)
Shirohige Cream Puff Factory, Setagaya Daita
Fans of Studio Ghibli will certainly appreciate visiting this endearing patisserie in the quiet suburb of Daita in Setagaya ward. Known especially for its adorable (and delicious!) cream puffs of the highly popular character Totoro, the Shirohige Cream Puff Factory also gives visitors the pleasure of enjoying scrumptious Totoro puffs with specialty seasonal fillings throughout the year. Each Totoro cream puff comes with an endearing icing decoration upon its head, such as a small green leaf, a Sakura flower, or straw hats with different colored ribbons. Other tempting treats such as cookies can be purchased, which are perfect gifts for those who would love a Totoro cookie to accompany an afternoon cup of tea.
Address: 5-3-1 Daita, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
Open: Wed–Mon, 10 a.m.–7 p.m. (closed Tue except when a national holiday falls on Tue; then it will close the following day)
Moomin Bakery & Cafe, Tokyo Dome City, Suidobashi
Like many internationally-created characters, the Japanese have taken The Moomins close to their hearts and made them one of the most popular families of characters you’ll see around shops in Japan. These fairytale creatures are round, white and resemble hippopotamuses. They also have their own cafes and stores dedicated to all the themed foods and goods you could ask for.
The main bakery and cafe in Tokyo Dome City is where you can feel at home with the characters, as they accompany you while you have your meal! With a homely wooden interior resembling that of a European cottage, the cafe staff are happy to rotate large, soft plush toys of the Moomin characters for diners.
Address: 1F Tokyo Dome City LaQua, 1-1-1 Kasuga, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo
Open: Mon–Fri, 8 a.m.–10:30 p.m. (last orders 10 p.m.); Sat, Sun and hols, 8 a.m.–10 p.m. (last orders 9 p.m.)
Sanrio Puroland, Tama Center
If you have a strong appreciation for the characters in the Sanrio family, visiting Sanrio Puroland is an absolute must! Located in an area west of Tokyo called Tama Center, Sanrio Puroland is an easily accessible five-minute walk from the station. A visit here will provide entertainment for everyone, and when it comes to refreshment, the variety of eateries will not disappoint. Expect to see the Sanrio stars in many delicious forms, including curries, hamburgers and sweet cakes and pastries.
Address: 1-31 Ochiai, Tama-shi, Tokyo
Open: Hours vary by day and the center closes irregularly; click here for more details (note that a ticket to the center is required in order to eat at any of the cafes)