We hope you are staying safe during these testing times. Travel to Japan is not possible for the time being as Japan has shut its borders in order to prevent more infections of COVID19.
This article was written by Jenny, our own content creator and Kobe local!
If you’re into all things cute and geeky in the Land of the Rising Sun, I’m sure you’ve come across videos and pictures of all the cute restaurants and cafes of your favourite characters. The cute Pikachu plate at the Pokemon cafe, the egg omelette that shapes like Gudetama at the Gudetama cafe… to name a few.
Good news is, you can very easily find those cafes not just in Tokyo, but also in the Kansai area too (mostly in Osaka)!
Bad news is, some of the cafes don’t feature your favourite characters full-time.
Today, let’s break down the permanent themed cafes and permanent character cafes in the area.
Kansai Permanent Themed Character Cafes
*The Final Fantasy cafe was not supposed to be a permanent cafe, but due to its popularity, it’s still ongoing with no finite end date - thus why it’s on this list.
Some themed cafes allow you to simply walk in, or queue outside if full. Some allow for reservation but allow queuing if full - like the Alice in Wonderland restaurant.
However, other cafes are strictly reservation-based. Even if you wanted to queue and there are empty tables, they will not allow queuing. Cafes like the Pokemon cafe has a very easy online reservation system. Others like the Final Fantasy cafe requires you to purchase tickets from the convenience store. Please make sure you check at least one month before your trip to secure your reservation.
This shop is located at the heart of Arashiyama, the main shopping street area where the Rilakkuma cafe is also located a few stores down. My 3rd place vote goes to this shop due to the convenience and the items they sell are not only cute, but quite delicious too!
This is where the Miffy Bakery comes in. Since bread is the main and only food item they sell (and desserts), you can easily walk in, grab a few delicious Japanese bakery goods that will leave you satisfied but not bloated, then continue on your way to try other street foods!
There is a small counter seating area if you do want to sit down, but don’t count on it being empty on a busy Saturday afternoon.
The only downside is that the bread is on the pricey side, but something like the delicious Miffy Daruma Bread with matcha cream filling is too cute to pass up!
This new addition to the themed character cafe scene in Kansai is a welcoming sight and highly anticipated in West Japan. Popular in Tokyo for its theming and entertainment, this one in Osaka does not disappoint either.
The style of the cafe is very similar to the one in Tokyo, with only some minor details in the decor and the overall space it has to accommodate its customers.
All the menu items are the same as the Tokyo counterpart, so you don’t have to miss out even if you’re not going to Tokyo! Make sure to order some drinks so you bring back some souvenir coasters and a souvenir mug (for an extra charge).
The best part about the Pokemon Cafe is that there is always a Pokemon (similar to the ones seen in the Pikachu parade in Yokohama) that will come out and greet each and every guest dining there that day. This is great for both the kids and adults who grew up with the franchise!
If you don’t want to miss out, make sure you reserve a table! You must make a reservation to enter. You can make a reservation as early as 30 days before your desired date. Ask your hotel or hostel concierge to book - 06-6346-6002
Located in Umeda, this cafe is tucked behind the main shopping strip and malls. But you cannot miss it. Theming of this restaurant starts from the exterior, with huge glass panels depicting Wonderland.
What’s so great about this restaurant is the theming. Every square inch of the restaurant: the walls, the menu, the servers, and even down to the way they speak you (the guests of “Wonderland”) are extremely well thought out and executed.
The thing that makes this cafe number one for me is the food. Most themed character cafes are all about the presentation, and less about the taste and ingredients used. However, the food here is not only extremely presentable but also very delicious. Everything is fresh and you can tell there’s some thought put into making the food.
Queuing is possible, but making a reservation will guarantee you a spot on busy days. Since this restaurant only opens for dinner (starting at 5 pm), space may be limited!