A note from El: I’ve been a bit too lazy to write a full blog-entry for the past few months, so I’m really grateful Khryss suddenly felt the urge to write something about one of her trips to Japan. Yay, Khryss! <3
When I was planning the trip I took to Japan last November, a friend of mine suggested I visit Shirokuma Cafe, which was a real-life cafe based on the manga and anime of the same name. When I heard about it, I immediately tried to learn how to get there and how I can work it into an already packed sched.
It turns out, it was easy to get to the cafe. Unless you follow the instructions on the cafe’s official website and the amiami blog I read…
The cafe is situated in Takadanobaba, Shinjuku, Tokyo. So I took the train via the JR Yamanote line from Shinjuku Station to Takadonababa Station. I at least got this step right. After this, however, I spent about 30 mins. searching for the cafe, while going in the wrong direction at least 4 times…
To get to the cafe, you’ll need to go out Waseda Exit and then out of the station. Once you’re out, you’ll see a wall mural of Tezuka Osamu’s works on the other side of the street, which you’ll need to be on the right side of. With that said, go and cross the street.
Once you’ve crossed the street, turn right. When you’ve walked for about 5 minutes, you’ll walk past TSUTAYA, YAMADA mobile and SEIJO ISHI mini mart on your left hand side. Walk for about 5-8 minutes more and you’ll see the cafe. It’s a couple of blocks away from a major intersection and has a stand sign near the sidewalk that says POLAR BEAR’S CAFE with a red arrow pointing to the cafe.
If you feel like you’ll have trouble spotting the sign, try to look at the establishments on your left hand side while walking. 🙂
Upon entering the cafe, I immediately saw Shirokuma-kun and Penguin-san welcoming guests with a Christmas tree behind them.
You’ll also see Shirokuma Cafe official merchandise for sale near the entrance.
Walking further into the cafe, you’ll see the counter where you can order and a bar beside it where Penguin-san and Panda-kun are chilling with their Christmas hats on.
There’s official anime artwork on display above the bar. It has the signatures of Kamiya Hiroshi, Sakurai Takahiro, and Fukuyama Jun (the voice actors for Penguin-san, Shirokuma-kun, and Panda-kun, respectively).
After taking pictures, I immediately fell in line to order.
I don’t know if the barista saw me trying to look at the food displayed along the counter or something, but he gave me a menu and made me sit down first.
I originally wanted to order a sandwich and some hot chocolate because I was planning to go there for breakfast. But since I ended up going there before lunch and was only planning to stop by for a snack, I ordered Shirokuma-kun’s Capuccino and Penguin-san’s Tiramisu.
I tell you, it was the best damn tiramisu I ever had. The Pablo cheesetart I had next paled in comparison to it. It had just the right blend of coffee and cocoa powder, between layers of rich and creamy, lightly whipped cream.
Every order comes with a random coaster, which you’ll sort of get to pick by shaking a container with a dice in it. The staff will pick the coaster from a box divided into 6 sections based on the number you get on the dice, and then hand it to you.
Once you’ve ordered, you’ll have to wait on the side for your order to be ready. I don’t know if this is standard for all orders, but that’s what I saw the other patrons doing, so that’s what I did. :p I suppose you can also sit near the counter and wait for your order to be called. 🙂
Once I got what I ordered, I went and sat down where I could see the TV. The TV was playing episodes of the anime, but on silent or really low volume. >.<
There’s a cardboard stand of Grizzly-kun beneath the TV. He’s voiced by Nakamura Yuichi.
You’ll also get to listen to the voice actors’ character songs while at the cafe, creating the perfect Shirokuma Cafe ambiance. 😀