Going on a trip to Tokyo, or basically, to any place in Japan, wouldn’t be complete without trying out some of the best, exquisite dishes the area has to offer.
From the widely popular sushi (寿司) and ramen (ラーメン) to Japan’s unique variation in tea, coffee, and chocolates, having a taste of them once in a while will make your trip more memorable.
For anime fans, there’s no better treat than to find a place that reflects some of the dishes or themes presented in their favorite anime shows! And this is what THE GUEST cafe&diner offers.
Following the worldwide and record-breaking success of Makoto Shinkai’s (新海誠) Your Name (君の名は。) franchise, it was only a matter of time before someone picked up the hype and turned it into something more tangible, accessible, and fit for every viewer across ages – food.
And this is what THE GUEST cafe&diner is offering at its Ikebukuro (池袋) and Nagoya (名古屋) branches from January 7 to February 7, 2017, and January 27 to April 3, 2017, respectively.
If you’ve finished watching the film and still can’t totally get over the feels, dropping a visit to this cafe might just help you move on, or perhaps make you want to rewatch it all over again.
The original location was in Shibuya (渋谷), but after its closure, the cafe reopened in Ikebukuro.
If you’re around the Tokyo (東京) area, the cafe is on the 7th floor of Ikebukuro PARCO (池袋パルコ). Those around central Japan, on the other hand, can visit the Nagoya PARCO (名古屋パルコ) to give it a try.
Seeing various pop-up cafes is nothing new in Japan, especially in its capital city known to be the hub for pop culture and anime. The common trend surrounding this type of attraction is for a popular anime or show to rent one cafe for a certain period of time and redesign it to feature themes that reflect the series and/or movie.
Aside from the change of appearance in the location, visitors will also be treated to a unique menu, specifically prepared to feature faces of prominent characters, notable cuisines showcased in the actual series, and even a symbolism of a memorable landscape!
The secret is to bring out enough creativity to attract fans and customers while, at the same time, staying close to the theme.
THE GUEST cafe&diner is known to be a regular host for these limited-edition cafes and has in fact hosted some of the most memorable ones including:
- Mamoru Hosoda’s anime films
- Pokemon (ポケモン)
- Funassyi (ふなっしー)
When its Shibuya branch closed, many have speculated that perhaps the trend of showcasing unique pop-up cafes will end. This didn’t seem to be the case, though.
From September 1 to October 11, 2016, its new Ikebukuro location hosted a new, limited pop-up cafe featuring the popular sports anime and manga, Yowamushi Pedal (弱虫ペダル). Unique and customized sweet bean buns became one of the highlights. Other pastries featuring chibi prints of the series’ characters were also available.
A lot. Whether you’re looking for some real, decent dessert or just trying out some bizarre-looking dishes, the menu of this cafe promises the best dining experience to fans!
Here’s a sneak peek of the must-try dishes and beverages from this cafe:
Mouth-watering, strawberry-topped pancakes (瀧と入れ替わった三葉も思わず写真を撮りたくなったパンケーキ – 1,480 yen)
— 君の名は。カフェ-池袋パルコ- (@THEGUESTcafe) February 3, 2017
Allow us a few spoilers here. Mitsuha (三葉), the female lead of the film, happened to snap a pancake photo while residing on Taki’s (瀧), the male lead, body. This dish is inspired by that scene and might just be the perfect treat for those who love sweets and strawberries!
Croquet sandwich for rooftop lunches! (司と高木からもらったタマゴサンドとコロッケで作るコロッケパン – 1,080 yen)
— 君の名は。カフェ-池袋パルコ- (@THEGUESTcafe) January 16, 2017
Eating lunch on rooftops is a common scene in anime which was also shown in Your Name. Take, together with his friends, are seen munching on croquet sandwiches which you can now enjoy by visiting the cafe!
Matcha green tea parfait (抹茶パフェ ～ご神体の祀られた山頂～ – 1,080 yen)
— 君の名は。カフェ-池袋パルコ- (@THEGUESTcafe) February 3, 2017
As picturesque as the sacred mountain featured in the film, this dessert is also a meticulous work of art in itself.
‘Who are you?’ Latte (「お前は誰だ？」HOTラテ – 680 yen)
— 君の名は。カフェ-池袋パルコ- (@THEGUESTcafe) January 14, 2017
Of course, a cafe wouldn’t be complete in the absence of our favorite caffeine-rich beverage topped with a minimalist microfoam, with a “Who are you?” Japanese text.
‘The comet we saw together on that day’ ice cream plate (2人が見たあの日の彗星プレート – 1,280 yen)
The comet seen by the two lead characters in the film was both a symbolic and a crucial part of the story. So it goes without saying that there has to be a dish specifically made to honor its significance not just to the characters but also to avid fans. If you love ice cream, then this one right here is a must-try!
‘You are also changing?’ breakfast meal (あなたも入れ替わってる!? 立花家と宮水家の朝食 – 1,280 yen)
— 君の名は。カフェ-池袋パルコ- (@THEGUESTcafe) January 9, 2017
For those who would want to set aside coffee and desserts and is craving for a full meal, the cafe has got you covered with their Mitsuha or Take’s breakfast meal special!
You must have seen it in the past – that notable promotional film poster featuring the two main characters standing on an outdoor staircase, complete with the cherry blossom petals falling down to the ground.
THE GUEST cafe&diner at Ikebukuro gives its guests the opportunity to take their pictures on a similar spot along with their loved ones.
If you’re a non-local and have a friend back home who loves the film, giving him/her a souvenir straight from authentic providers may be the best way to make him/her smile. (And perhaps tear up as well if the feels become too much to handle.)
Featured souvenirs include printed mugs, keychains, cookies, and more.
If you’re not in Tokyo nor in Nagoya but still want some of the mementos, you can get them from other PARCO locations:
- Osaka Daimaru Shinsaibashi, North Annex, basement level Antenna Plus U (大丸心斎橋店 北館Ｂ１Ｆ・アンテナプラスu)
- Sendai PARCO Honkan, 4th Floor Exhibit Area (仙台パルコ 本館４Ｆ・特設会場)
- Hiroshima PARCO, 9th Floor Passageway Exhibit Area (広島パルコ ９Ｆ・連絡通路特設会場)
- Fukuoka PARCO Honkan, 5th Floor Exhibit Area (福岡パルコ 本館５Ｆ・特設会場)
Enjoying the roller coaster ride of emotion while watching the film is one thing, but having a taste of it for real is another. You still have time to prepare and perhaps change your initial travel plans around Japan to accommodate a quick visit to THE GUEST cafe&diner!
Remember, it’s only for a limited time! Don’t miss this wonderful pop-up cafe and relive the best Your Name feels!