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From the whimsical Alice in Wonderland Cafe to the beloved Pokemon Cafe, an experience one should not miss out on when you’re in Japan is visiting themed cafes in Tokyo. But when there are a lot of options to escape the mundane and embrace the unconventional through themed cafes, you might find yourself confused: which one should you go to? Some are based on Japanese anime, some on video games, and anything goes. All of them are popular spots for the local fanbase and international tourists alike.

In this article, we will explore some of the most famous and popular themed cafes you can find in Tokyo. 

Jump to: 

  • What is a Themed Cafe in Japan? 
  • Themed Cafes as Japanese Pop Culture
  • Famous Themed Cafes in Tokyo 

What is a Themed Cafe in Japan? 

Themed cafes are a unique dining experience where the decor, menu, and overall atmosphere of the establishment are designed around a specific theme. These themes can vary widely and can be inspired by popular cultures, such as anime, movies, and video games, or by animals, fantasy, and other creative concepts.

The decor of a themed cafe is often the most striking aspect. The design is aimed to make visitors feel like they have been transported to another world. One word usually pops into the mind: kawaii (cute). The menu at themed cafes is also designed to fit the theme of the establishment. Drinks inspired by characters, dishes, and desserts made to look like characters or scenes are common. 

In addition to the decor and menu, themed cafes may also offer special events, workshops, and activities. These can include meet-and-greets with popular characters, lotteries to win special merchandise, and games. 

There are always limited-time collaboration cafes for anime, manga, video games, idols, and more. A good source of information for current and upcoming collaboration cafes is collabo-cafe.com.

Themed Cafes as Japanese Pop Culture

Themed cafes have gained immense popularity in recent years. These cafes offer a way for people to indulge in their interests and connect with their favorite anime characters, movies, and other cultural icons. It is a great way for anime, manga, games, and idols to promote themselves to a wider audience. Additionally, themed cafes have also become a platform for local artists and creators to showcase their work. Many themed cafes feature unique artwork, merchandise, and menus created by local artists and designers, supporting local businesses and creativity.

Overall, themed cafes in Japan have become an important part of Japanese culture, promoting creativity, self-expression, and tourism. They offer a unique and immersive experience that showcases the best of what Japan has to offer.

Why are themed cafes so popular in Japan? 

Themed cafes are fun and a way for fans to indulge in their interests. For limited-time collaboration cafes, it is also common to have originally designed merchandise and character designs. For absolute fans of a series or character, this makes for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

Additionally, if you have friends that share the same liking, it makes the experience even better as all of you can rave and share what you like about it, take commemorative photos, and buy souvenirs for your personal collection. 

Famous Themed Cafes in Tokyo

Without further ado, let’s have a look at some famous and popular themed cafes to visit in Tokyo. It will make for a great experience whether you are visiting Tokyo for a trip or out for a weekend excursion.

1. Pokemon Cafe (Nihonbashi)

The Pokemon Cafe in Tokyo is a must-visit destination for Pokemon fans. The cafe is located in the bustling neighborhood of Nihonbashi and within walking distance from Tokyo and Nihonbashi stations. Their menu is regularly updated to follow the latest Pokemon games so checking in every once in a while to see what’s new is a good idea. With the release of Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, new additions to their menu include food and drinks based on the new starter Pokemon Sprigatito, Fuecoco, and Quaxly. The cafe also features a gift shop selling exclusive Pokemon merchandise, including plush toys and keychains. Reservations are required. 

Website: https://www.pokemoncenter-online.com/cafe/en/

2. Pikachu Sweets by Pokemon Cafe (Ikebukuro)

Located in Ikebukuro’s Sunshine City, Pikachu Sweets is an establishment that serves Pokemon-themed sweets and drinks. Unlike Pokemon Cafe which serves proper meals in a restaurant-like establishment, Pikachu Sweets has a limited seating area and only offers snacks and sweets. Still, Pikachu Sweets is very popular during the weekend with long queues. Right nearby is Pokémon Center Mega Tokyo where you can shop for all sorts of Pokemon merchandise. Additionally, right in front of Pikachu Sweets is a seating area decorated to look like the Pokemon world with statues of Pokemon.

Website: https://www.pokemoncenter-online.com/cafe/pikachu_sweets/

3. Kirby Cafe (Tokyo Skytree) 

The Kirby Cafe is dedicated to the lovable pink video game character, Kirby. Naturally, the cafe is Kirby-themed with many wood elements to represent Kirby’s forest and the Kirby tree as the centerpiece. The menu consists of delicious dishes, desserts, and drinks created in the image of Kirby and his friends or simply served on a Kirby dish. They also do take-out if you don’t have time to stay. In addition to the delicious food and drinks, the Kirby Cafe features a gift shop selling exclusive Kirby merchandise, making it the perfect spot to pick up a unique souvenir. Reservations are required. 

Website: https://kirbycafe.jp/tokyo/

4. Sanrio Cafes (Ikebukuro, Harajuku & Shinjuku)

There are several Sanrio cafes in Tokyo. There’s Sanrio Cafe in Ikebukuro that covers Sanrio’s popular characters, but also individual character cafes like Pompompurin Cafe in Harajuku and Cinnamoroll Cafe in Shinjuku. 

5. Sanrio Cafe (Ikebukuro)

The Sanrio Cafe in Ikebukuro serves hamburgers, pancakes, drinks, etc. made to look like Sanrio characters. If you are fond of several Sanrio characters, then it is the place to go. They are located at the entrance to Sunshine City, so maybe have a meal here, then head to Pikachu Sweets further in for dessert. 

Website: https://www.sanrio.co.jp/special/sanriocafe/index.html

6. Pompompurin Cafe (Harajuku)

Pompompurin is one of the most popular Sanrio characters in Japan and in many parts of the world. The beloved golden retriever usually ranks in the Top 3 of Sanrio’s characters and is always neck-to-neck for No.1 with Cinnamoroll in Japan. 

The Pompompurin Cafe is decorated in the character’s pastel yellow theme color with pudding motifs around it. The waiters and waitresses also have themed uniforms in pudding colors. The menu is of course Pompompurin themed and includes dishes like omurice, parfait, and more. 

The cafe is located along Harajuku’s hottest destination Takeshita Street, so take a chance to explore the area as well.

Website: https://pompompurincafe.com/

6. Cinnamoroll Cafe (Shinjuku)

Opened in 2017, Cinnamoroll Cafe in Shinjuku is one of the most popular themed cafes in Tokyo and the most popular Sanrio cafe. It features Cinnamoroll, Japan’s most popular Sanrio character of a white fluffy puppy with a curled tail that resembles a cinnamon roll. Cinnamoroll’s theme color is light blue so expect some of the dishes served to be bright in color. The menu is ever-changing so frequent visits are not a problem as there will always be something new to surprise you. 

Collaboration events with other companies and characters are also common at Cinnamoroll Cafe which is a testament to how popular Cinnamaroll is. For example, past collaborations included Paul & Joe fashion brand, the famous Vocaloid Hatsune Miku, and Evangelion anime chibified characters. At one point, the cafe even had a traveling Cinamaroll Cafe kitchen car event where they opened a “shop” in several areas around Tokyo. 

Website: https://www.cinnamorollcafe.com/shinjuku/

7. Final Fantasy Eorzea Cafe (Akihabara)

Located in otaku central Akihabara, the Final Fantasy Eorzea Cafe in Tokyo is a popular destination for fans of the Final Fantasy franchise, but a must-visit for players of MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV. The cafe offers a fully immersive experience with this decor that recreates the atmosphere of the game. Dishes are inspired by the game, such as the Mogul Hamburg Plate, Fat Cat Steamed Bun, and Giant Beaver Croquettes. 

Reservations made in advance are a must, especially if you are visiting on a weekend as they are quickly fully booked. 

Website: https://www.pasela.co.jp/paselabo_shop/ff_eorzea/

8. Harry Potter Cafe (Akasaka)

The Harry Potter Cafe in Akasaka is quite a new addition to the list of themed cafes in Tokyo having been established just last year in 2022. It’s a limited-time event but there has been no news about when the cafe The menu features a variety of delectable and sometimes magical dishes inspired by the series like the Expecto Patronum mocktail is topped with a bubble that when popped releases a cloud of wispy smoke. And yes, the mocktails are inspired by charm spells, there’s also Wingardium Leviosa, Stupefy, and Herbivicus. Reservations are required, and due to the cafe’s popularity it is open in batches, so check in regularly for when you can guarantee a spot in this enchanting cafe.

Website: https://hpcafe.jp/

9. Gundam Cafe Yokohama Satellite (Yokohama)

Japan’s chain of Gundam Cafes including at Akihabara were all closed down in 2021, but fortunately for fans of the Gundam series, there is still Gundam Cafe Yokohama Satellite at the Gundam Factory in Yokohama. The menu consists of Gundam-themed foods, including an adorable Haro Pancake. 

Website: https://gundam-factory.net/en/

10. Peter Rabbit Garden Cafe (Jiyugaoka, Yokohama)

The beloved rabbit wearing a blue jacket from Beatrix Potter’s children’s storybooks is well-loved in Japan. The Peter Rabbit Garden Cafe based on it is one of the most popular attractions in Jiyugaoka. With a garden terrace and cozy atmosphere, the cafe truly brings you to the world of Peter Rabbit. The British-inspired menu includes afternoon tea sets, french toast, beef stew, cottage pie, scones, and other homey, hearty dishes. In true British fashion, there is also an assortment of teas to pair your meal with. They also have a store in Yokohama.

Website: https://www.peterrabbit-japan.com/cafe/

11. Peanuts Snoopy Cafe (Nakameguro, Harajuku & Machida) 

There are 3 Peanuts Snoopy Cafes in Tokyo at Nakameguro, Harajuku and Machida. There are also other establishments around Japan. These cafes feature a range of menu items and decor inspired by the whimsical and playful world of Snoopy and his friends. The menu features a variety of Snoopy-themed drinks, snacks, and meals, including adorable Snoopy-shaped lattes and pancakes. The cafes are decorated with intricate replicas of Snoopy and his friends, providing a charming and cozy atmosphere for visitors to enjoy. The gift shop offers a wide range of Peanuts merchandise, including plush toys, mugs, and stationery.

Website: https://www.peanutscafe.jp/

Conclusion

Themed cafes are a huge trend and an essential part of Japanese pop culture these days. There are numerous themed cafes you can find in Tokyo, and visiting at least one of them is highly recommended for a great experience. The intriguing design, atmosphere, and food at a themed cafe are incomparable to any other experience. Visit a themed cafe the next time you visit Japan. 

Whatever themed cafes or anime you’re a fan of, there’s sure to be something in Japan for you! For more information about awesome Japanese culture, keep following our Coto School Finder blog, or subscribe to our weekly newsletter!

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With so many things to explore, are you considering living in Japan — perhaps to go to university or work? Enrolling at a Japanese language school might be the perfect option for you, as it will prepare you to get to your next goal.

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