Five of Tokyo’s Cutest Character Cafes

By Mary Zacharopoulos
March 7, 2016
Food & Drink

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!

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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

Tel: 03-3204-7818

Open: Daily, 10 a.m.–10 p.m. (last food orders at 9 p.m.)

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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

Tel: 03-5786-0780

Open: Daily, 11 a.m.–9 p.m. (last food orders 8 p.m., last drink orders 8:30 p.m.)

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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

Tel: 03-5787-6221

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)

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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

Tel: 03-5842-6300

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.)

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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

Tel: 042-339-1111

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)

Mary has always had a fascination with Japan and after visiting Tokyo for the first time in 2012, she knew she had to come back for more. Living with her husband in this bustling city, Mary loves exploring the diverse neighborhoods of Tokyo for places to photograph and write about. While traveling between her home city of Melbourne in Australia and Japan, she's glad to share the best of both cultures, which she writes about on her blog.

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