List of Unique Japanese Cafes & History
From Community Centers for the Elderly to Vampire Cafes in Tokyo. Japan Has Anything You Can Think Of… in Cafe Form!
Chances are even if you’ve never bothered to look into Japanese culture, you most likely have heard of Japanese cafes. From cat cafes, maid cafe even to vampires and beyond the Japanese cafe have truly evolved over the last 100 years from when they were first originated in the late 1800’s.
In 1877 soon after the Meiji period started for Japan (1868), Japan begun to import coffee, and soon after cafes started to appear. At the peak of the cafe boom in Japan there was around 155,000 cafes across the nation, but during WWII supply of coffee stopped being important into Japan and it wasn’t until many years after the war that coffee begun to be imported back into Japan yet again. From that point about 88,000 cafes now exists in Japan.
From that point once coffee begun to be imported again the cafes across Japan started to evolve into something more then just a place to sit down and drink coffee. These cafes started to create places for people to watch TV, listen to the radio and to listen to record players of classical music. But from this point something happened, people got even more creative with how to setup their cafes. These business owners created sub-niches within the cafe scene.
But with all the weird and wacky cafes that are available to visit in Japan, there is one cafe that has started to appear more and more across Japan. The creation of community cafes have begun its rise in popularity, being that the Japanese in general have a long life span, there is now a large percentage of the population of Japan whom are elderly. These community centers are now appearing to give this older generation of Japan a place to go to talk with neighbors and to be of help to one another, in sense it’s like an extremely affordable elderly care program ran through cafes for as little as 300 yen a day per person. This trend will continue to climb, and being that Japan’s birth rate is declining, there will be more elderly in Japan by 2060 and because of this, there will not be enough young people in the work force to take care of the older generation, so the emergence of these community cafes are a basic social evolution at play which will hopefully take some burden off the social structure as time goes on.
But maintaining social connection and movement keep the elderly from becoming sick and then dependent on the system, so it’s a brilliant idea. But besides a very helpful movement within the Japanese cafes what kind of weird cafes are in Japan? I went out on a mission to find as many different cafes in Japan as I could, this is what I found:
List of Different Japanese Cafes:
- Manga Cafe – Tea, Manga, Games and more!
- Business Cafe – A central hotspot for the business guru. (Wifi Included!)
- Maid Cafe – Yes, be served your cha by a beautiful Japanese maid!
- Cat Cafe – Pet your feline friend while enjoying a relaxing day at the cafe!
- Community Cafe – Where the elderly gather to talk with others in their neighborhood.
- Butler Cafe – That’s right pretty boys to serve you tea, only makes sense!
- Vampire Cafe – What would the world do without this? Blood tea anyone?
- Alice in Wonderland Cafe – Do you take LSD with your tea?
- Kawaii Monster Cafe – Super crazy kawaii monster cafe! Reminds me of Kyary Pamyu Pamyu.
- Rabbit Cafe – Enjoy the company of some stinky boring rabbits while drinking coffee.
- Peter Rabbit Cafe – Do you love Peter Rabbit? Hopping Down the Bunny Trail…
- Dog Cafe – For those whose parents said no when they brought Brutis the bulldog home late one night.
- Bird Cafe – Enjoy a screeching good time next to a bunch of noisy birds in the morning.
- Owl Cafe – After getting a caffeine high you can totally mess around with an owl.
- Soineya Cafe – Literally a sleep together cafe. Also known as the cuddling cafe. Pick your almost not legal girl and sleep with her for $10/hr! (Sicko… I really mean just sleep!)
- Mom Cafe – For those who love a good… mmm… Mom, while drinking their coffee.
- Kigurumi Cafe – A cafe where employees dress up as full blown Anime characters (complete with the overly large eyes!)
- Cross-Dressing Maid Cafe – Also called the Josou Danshi Maid Cafe……it’s a…. Cross-Dressing Maid Cafe
- Granny Cafe – For those who want a more refined Mom cafe experience :\
- Reptile Cafe – Drink tea, play with reptiles, walk out with blood and scratches all over.
- Gothic Cafe – Also known as a Christon Cafe, enjoy a gothic period setting while drinking tea and eating crumpets.
- Spouse Cafe – You can literally buy a wife or a husband for the night. They’ll cook you a meal at the cafe once you get ‘home’… But sorry they don’t leave afterward!
- Gundam Cafe – For those who like ridiculously large machine battling robots and tea!
- Moomin Cafe – For those who love Moomin of course!
- Sakuragaoka Cafe – Drink your morning tea with an adorable goat on antique furniture… sounds absolutely smashing!
- Jazz Cafe – Smoke a bunch of cigarettes with coffee and jam out to some Miles Davis.
- Karaoke Cafe – These are pretty popular, they are more so just karaoke hubs, but many are cafes as well!
- Chocolate Cafe – Where everything is made of chocolate!
- Cinnamoroll Cafe –
- Forest Cafe – Cafe’s with a lot of plants. A more natural Cafe experience.
- Tree House Cafe – Cafe’s built up high on trees. For those of you who have always loved being high off the ground up in trees.
- Gudetama Cafe – A kawaii food place.
- Hammock Cafe – Sit or lay in a hammock while you drink, eat, and relax.
- Hello Kitty – For all of you kawaii shiro neko fans!
- My Little Pony – For everyone who loves colorful rainbow ponies.
- Kapibarasan – Cute place to eat.
- Mario – For the classic gamer at heart.
- Ninja Restaurant – Not exactly a cafe, but still an original of Japan.
- Ojipan Cafe – Cute little bear cafe.
- Shirokuma Cafe – Similar to the Ojipan cafe, it’s a polar bear and panda bear and sloth cafe.
- Peanuts – If you are a fan of the classic cartoon, or Snoopy, there is even a special cafe for you.
- Penguin Bar – Not a Cafe, but a cool animal themed place to eat and play with penguins.
- Pokemon Cafe – With Pikachu as the main charater!
- Pompompurin Cafe – Cute Pomppompurin cafe.
- Totoro Cafe – Similar to the Owl Cafe but without actual owls and only cute figurines
So that’s it so far, this is the list I found that I feel comfortable sharing, there are even more specific niche cafes in Japan. But, that’s another story, for another time.
About the Author
I've been interested in Japanese as a language and as a culture since I was about 15 years old. In April 2017 my wife and I moved to Fukuoka, Japan to go to school for 2 years. We've since returned to America and now are looking to expand Nihon Scope further for future visitors of Japan to get in touch with the best school they can. We're also here sharing our experiences of Japan and the culture. Get in touch with us on Facebook for the quickest response!