[Anime Culture Monday] Anime Hotspot: Kimi no Na wa Pop-up Café Ikebukuro

Since its release this summer, the movie Kimi no Na wa, translated to Your Name in English, has gone on to make 23.23 billion yen and break countless box-office records in Japan. It has shown an unprecedented amount of success, surpassing even popular Disney and Ghibli movie records in Japan. It is still being shown in theaters five months later, and we can expect its success to just keep going. Kimi no Na wa has invaded many aspects of life in Japan. From convenience store goods, to its theme song becoming a top hit, it’s impossible to escape the Kimi no Na wa craze.
Kimi no Na wa is currently the fourth-highest grossing movie in Japanese history, and you know what that means, merchandise! You can satisfy all of your time-traveling movie desires with mugs, key chains, and most importantly, food. The Kimi no Na wa pop-up café opened up at the beginning of January and runs for only one month. So if you are in the Tokyo area and want to get a real taste of the movie, check out this café in Ikebukuro.

Sunshine City (Ikebukuro Station East Exit)

Location: The Kimi no Na wa café is just a temporary pop-up location, so you might have visited this store before under the guise of another theme. It is located in Ikebukuro’s Parco building, which is directly connected to the east side of the station. It can be found on the seventh floor, and you can get there without ever having to step outside.
Cost of Admission: There is no cost of admission or seating charge for this café, you just pay for what you buy. Of course, that does not necessarily mean it is cheap. The Kimi no Na wa café offers a range of drinks, sweets, and main dishes. These can vary in price from 680 yen or about $6.50 USD for a latte, to 1,480 yen or about $14 USD for a couple of strawberry pancakes. And this is not even mentioning the souvenir store.
Hours of Operation The café has two locations; one in Nagoya and the other in Ikebukuro. We are focusing on the Tokyo location, which will be open from January 7, 2017 to February 7, 2017. It covers both lunch and dinner hours, being open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. If you can’t eat all of the themed treats you want to try in one visit, make a whole day of it. Stop in for lunch, come around for an afternoon coffee, and end the day with one of their many desserts.

The Experience

When you first arrive at the café you might feel woe to discover a huge line outside the store front. (That’s what happens when you make a film that is so popular it rivals Frozen). Of course this can depend on whether it is the weekend and what time of day it is. You might want to have an early dinner if you would like to skip the line. Anyways, when you arrive, you will be asked to take a numbered ticket. This ticket has a QR code on it that connects you to a service that can register your information and call you when it is your turn to be seated. This way you can explore the various shops and restaurants around Parco without having to stand in line. But don’t wander off too far, you’ll want to make it back when you are called. For more information on how to do this, you can look at the café’s website which describes the process in detail. When you do receive the call, just bring your ticket to the front of the café to be seated.

Now comes the difficult part, actually deciding what to order. With so many good choices, you won’t be disappointed; the concern is really missing out on something. We recommend either going with several people and everyone ordering a different item (do the traditional circle meal and communal Instagram pictures), or if you are going solo and only have a short time in Tokyo, make a full, multi-course meal out of it. Start with “The Night Sky on the Day the Stars Fell” soda. This drink makes a beautiful appetizer and represents Kimi no Na wa perfectly with its swirled night sky jellies and ice cream scoop comet. Pair this sweet treat with a slice of “Pizza from that Famous Store” (just don’t try to weasel your way out of the bill afterwards). The main course is definitely the most difficult choice. With five full main courses, you must choose wisely. There are a couple traditional Japanese options such as hot bowl of ramen, or be risky and try the mystery breakfast. There are two options for this breakfast, both of which are replicas of breakfasts seen in the movie. It is a surprise whether you will receive ham and eggs or a grilled fish.

We were wrong. Now comes the hard part! The Kimi no Na wa café offers four large desserts. You must pick only one of these to pair with their signature latte “Who are you?” latte, which has that written on top in Japanese. Now, are you feeling strawberry pancakes, a green tea parfait, traditional mousse with sake, or an ice cream plate that is too pretty to eat? This is why we recommend going in a big group of people. If you want a direct replica of food from the movie, go with the “Pancakes I Want to Take Pictures of and Forget about Switching Bodies”. If you are more interested in a beautiful representation of the movie, choose “The Day Two People Saw a Comet” plate. This plate recreates the comet seen by the two main characters using ice cream, mousse, and dry ice for an ethereal effect.

Additional Information

Once you are done eating don’t forget to check out the café shop. It sells a variety of Kimi no Na wa goods such as folders, key chains and phone cases. There is also a life-size poster replicating the final scene in the movie. Bring your loved one or friend and recreate this moving scene.

For more information about the café straight from the source, visit the website http://the-guest.com/kiminona_ikebukuro/. While most of it is in Japanese, you can find a description of the entrance ticket process in English. It also has a map that will guide you to the café, and a sneak peek at all of the food and merchandise available.

Final Thoughts

If you watched Kimi no Na wa and were as moved as we were, you must go check out this café. It gives you the opportunity to experience the world of Your Name just a little bit. Travel in time with the matcha parfait shaped like the Shinto shrine atop the mountain, or taste the galaxy within the replica of the comet that brought Taki and Mitsuha together. No matter what you try at this café, you will leave feeling satisfied and want to re-watch Kimi no Na wa. Luckily you can still catch it in a theater nearby!

Anime-Hotspot-Kimi-no-Na-wa-Pop-up-Café-Ikebukuro-Capture-500x417 [Anime Culture Monday] Anime Hotspot: Kimi no Na wa Pop-up Café Ikebukuro


Author: Devan Baird

I was the co-founder for the anime convention Swampcon at the University of Florida. Currently living and working in Tokyo as a writer, editor, and video editor. With my daily vlog on everyday life in Tokyo, you can see how the Japanese lifestyle can be completely different from what you expected!

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