The Shirokuma Cafe - The Anime Cafe in real life Tokyo!
Shirokuma Cafe (しろくまカフェ) is a Japanese manga and anime series which aired in 2012 and 2013. The anime revolves around everyday lives of a group of animals living besides humans. The main scene of this anime takes place in the Shirokuma Cafe, a cafe run by a polar bear. Most 'regulars' from the cafe are the animals working as their respective animal in the nearby Zoo! (Trust me... it is hilarious to watch!)
The anime is a popular show in Japan, however it never really got an international release. I myself love this anime and I watch it mainly because it is an easy show with a lot of Japanese wordplay, which is great for those practicing Japanese.
But here comes the best part! Japan, wouldn’t be Japan if they wouldn’t have opened a real Shirokuma Café! And yes, Shirokuma Café in Takadanobaba district (in Tokyo) has been opened!
Shirokuma Café Tokyo
The exterior of the café looks a lot like the exterior in the anime, a simple café with a large: Polar Bear’s Café on top. It looks like a normal cafe, but if you are an anime fanatic like myself, you will immediately notice the exterior being almost an exact copy of the anime version (see above). Let the fun begin!
Once inside is where the magic happens. At the entrance of the café is a small gift shop with merchandise from the series. From cute mugs to buttons and notebooks. Feel free to snoop around for a little while and try resisting yourself from buying a small plushie Panda!
The café itself, has a very calm and zen feeling and those not fan of the anime, wouldn't feel weird eating here, since the cafe looks much like a regular cafe (as in the anime). The background music plays the intro and outro music from the anime series (in a whole lot of variations from Jazz to Pop, from Classic to Rock). Also, the best thing about this café is the giant Panda and the giant Penguin, the main characters, sitting at the bar (‘Panda’ the Panda and ‘Penguin’ the Penguin) on their usual spot! There is also a big cutout of the waiter ‘Shirokuma’ (polar bear) and the waitresses wear the signature bandana and braids Sasako costume. (The human female working at Shirokuma Cafe)
Please take your time and enjoy a nice treat while engaging yourself in the wonders of the Shirokuma Café. This café has so many quirky details which will remind you of the anime, you will love finding them all! The best part about ordering, is the free gift, a glass coaster, to go with it. Once you order, you will have to roll a dice to find out what type of coaster you have won. These coasters are collectibles and change from time to time. It might be a small gesture, but it definitely makes the experience even more fun.
I love Japan and themed cafes, because their food is so affordable and it makes you feel less guilty for buying a type of food just because it looks super Kawaii and you can not resist leaving without trying it.
Same goes for the Shirokuma Café foodies… You will have a hard time choosing from all the amazing options, from cake to dessert. The drinks, which will set you back around 500 yen will give you the bonus coaster. As food optrions, there is a selection of desserts, full meals and cakes. I recommend you visiting their official website: http://www.shirokumacafe.net/.en/menu/ for all the menu options.