By now, you’ve probably heard of all those pop-up, themed cafés in Japan which (as the name suggests) are temporary and offer special, limited-time-only menu options. If not, then trust me when I say they can get awfully creative. We’ve seen everything from Hello Kitty cafés to Owl cafés, but most popular of all has got to be cat themed cafés. Now if you’re a cat-lover in Los Angeles, you may have been envious of Japan’s cat-friendly cafés. Well, we have good news for you.
Take your keys and drive yourself over to Chinatown for (you guessed it) a pop-up cat café. Yes, this is actually happening, but for a limited time.
31-year-old Carlos Wong was inspired to create his own cat café after living in Tokyo last year, where cat-culture and cat cafés have been gaining wide popularity for several years. In fact, Tokyo is said to have at least 39 cat cafés. So Wong decided that it was about time we have one of these for ourselves and cleverly named it Catfe.
So what exactly is this cat café? It’s a place where visitors can enjoy a nice brewed coffee and all sorts of desserts with the company of cats! And yes, you can pet them as much as you want.
Though this pop-up cat café is only available until Sunday, October 5, from 4 to 9 p.m., Wong is planning on opening a permanent location in Little Tokyo once it raises $250,000 in funds. For now, the Catfe is free for all visitors, unless you want to make a reservation for $30 that allows you to have priority access to Catfe on the day of your reservation. For those who want more intimate alone time with cats can pay $125.
Check out Catfe’s website for more information. Catfe is located at Far East Plaza, 727 N. Broadway, Chinatown.
Japan is clearly the go-to destination for all things cute. In the past, we brought you Little Twin Stars andMy Melody-themed cafés in Japan, where you can eat the world’s most adorably shaped foods. And of course by now, you probably already know about Sanrio’s Hello Kitty café that has now expanded its stores worldwide. But obviously, the cartoon-themed café trend isn’t complete without everyone’s favorite yellow rodent — Pikachu. Hence, a Pikachu pop-up café made its debut in downtown Tokyo, Japan on July 19, shortly after the release of Pokémon the Movie XY, a Japanese anime film. In addition to purchasing adorable Pokémon-themed food and beverages at the café, you can also purchase Pokémon postcards, T-shirts and more.
Even though the franchise is now 20 years old, die-hard fans (surprisingly, mostly adults!) still go the distance to stand in long lines, eagerly waiting for their Pikachu-shaped meals. The pop-up café ends on August 31, so Pokémon fans, get moving!
Here are some of the café’s most appetizing dishes!
Remember when you fell in love with Edward Cullen in the vampire series, Twilight? Said no one above the age of 12, ever.
Well, maybe not no one — looks like the vampire craze isn’t just for tween’s anymore.
Chinese locals have been lining up to purchase bags of “blood,” in a vampire-themed café in Liaoning, China. According to the New York Post, “blood” beverages include red wine, cherry cola and blackcurrant flavored juices that come in pouches. In order to make it look “authentic,” they’ve even labeled the pouches “Blood Type Energy Supply.”
The manager of the café, Hsin Hsia, told the Post, “The Vampire Diaries are enormously popular here now and with all the interest in everything to do with vampires, we felt this was something that would really catch on.”
Inspired by the hit TV show, as well as HBO’s True Blood,the café even designed its interiors to resemble a cellar and added coffins to make it extra authentic. There’s also a series of books about vampires you can read to get you in the mood.
Hsin remains realistic about who they’re catering to, however, and admits that most of their customers are mostly younger in age. “We don’t get many older customers; they think it’s weird when they realize everything we have to drink is only available in blood bags,” he said.
Some of Japan’s cutest characters come from the popular and beloved company, Sanrio, which was founded in 1960. In fact, Sanrio’s most popular face, Hello Kitty, has become one of the most successful marketing brands in the world. Walk into any Sanrio store and you can purchase nearly anything Hello Kitty-inspired. You can get Hello Kitty pencils, bags, toasters, bathroom appliances and even laundry baskets.
So it’s no secret that Sanrio has done incredible work to globally market their main character Hello Kitty, but in Japan itself, you can see even stronger efforts to market some of the other 400 characters in the Sanrio family.
One method is through pop-up cafes. In Japan, a number of restaurants and cafes utilize a theme for their food and products. These items are limited edition and fans rush into the pop-up cafes to purchase the items before time runs out.
Last year in October, a My Melody pop-up cafe appeared in Tokyo. The adorable and pink products were an instant success. Sanrio is taking over a pop-up cafe once again. This time, the cafe is based on Kiki and Lala who are more commonly referred to as the Little Twin Stars. Kiki and Lala were introduced in 1975 and the angel-like characters have had quite a large fan base.
Now their fans can enjoy pink and blue hamburgers, star-shaped pancakes and even the Little Twin Stars’ faces on top of a cup of coffee. Clearly, it’s all too cute to miss. If you happen to be in Tokyo, be sure to check it out! The Cafe will be themed Little Twin Stars until the end of May. Find out more information below:
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Clearly, the Ghibli fandom is no where near finished even though Miyazaki has announced his retirement. The 72-year-old confirmed that his film The Wind Rises is his last. The film, which focuses on a fictional biography of Japan’s Zero airplane creator Jiro Horikoshi, has already become a box-office hit in Japan since its release in July.
So what’s next from Miyazaki fans? How else will they show their love for the timeless films?
Through food of course.
A city in Japan named Setagaya City holds a themed cafe called White Beard Workshop. Among the various Miyazaki sweets, a certain pastry has been catching social media attention.
The cafe sells adorable Totoro cream puffs. Each puff includes a leaf or hat to represent the flavor of the cream inside. Of course, a treat itself isn’t even the fun part. Upon purchasing one of these cuties, the puff is cut open to reveal the custard creme and give Totoro a big smile.
If you’re ever in Japan, be sure to pick up some of these. Be warned, they may be too cute to eat!
There are a number of Hello Kitty cafes worldwide, but what about the other adorable Sanrio characters? Don’t they deserve some pastries in the shape of their face too?
Apparently Japan shared our sentiments. This time around, a My Melody pop up cafe is available for a limited time in Daikanyama.
My Melody is one of Sanrio’s most popular figures after Hello Kitty herself. The rabbit, who covers her ears with a pink or red hood, was released the same year as Hello Kitty. In 2005, an anime series based on My Melody was aired in Japan and My Melody also stars in a number of video games.
Now, My Melody is featured in a popular limited-time only pop-up cafe in Tokyo. The cafe was originally set to begin on October 10th and end on October 31st, but the popularity of My Melody has forced the cafe to extend this date. If you happen to be in Tokyo, you can catch this cafe until November 5th.
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