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Travelblog Gone with the Wine

Travelblog and lifestyleblog. Life under the Californian sun - Gone with the Wine. Trips, food and wine from all over the world. Solo and family adventures.

Filtering by Tag: Monster Cafe

Lunch at Kawaii Monster Cafe

Paula Gaston

In my previous post; "Crazy Cafés of Japan", I promised that someday I will tell you more about the Kawaii Monster Cafe we visited. well, we didn't see any monsters, but it sure was an interesting and fun experience, and our daughter still talks about it every week. Kawaii actually means cute or sweet, so I think that is why the monsters we met were not scary at all.

Kawaii Monster Cafe is located in Harajuku, Tokyo. It was opened in 2015, and designed together with an artist called Sebastian Masuda, who is behind many other theme cafes in Japan as well. During our trip to Japan we also visited the Moomin Cafe and a Hello Kitty Cafe, but there is also a Lisa in Wonderland Cafe, Vampire Cafe and many others in Tokyo.

We arrived at the Monster Cafe right when lunch started since we figured that later we might have to stand in a line. Smart move, we were escorted right in, but when we left we did notice that there was a line. Before letting us in, we were asked which room we would like to sit in and we had to pay an entrance fee which was a couple dollars. We had no idea what the restaurant would look like, so we went for the room called Mushroom Disco. The doors were opened in a very theatrical way, and in we went...

It is very hard to describe the atmosphere in this place, but this video will show you what it was like.  

The words that come into my mind from this place are; colorful, crazy and corny. It was very dark and colorful, and the music was very loud. Well, at least it was something we had never seen before. The monster girls were dressed kind of like Harajuku girls, and they also did a show on a merry-go-round that looked like a cake. Our daughter was invited to dance with them on the carrousel which she loved. The monster girls were also happy to pose for pictures.

While we were waiting for our food we did a little tour in the restaurant. Along with the Mushroom Disco, there was the Meal-Tea Room, Bar Experiment and a space called Milk Stand. After leaving the restroom we accidentally took a wrong turn and ended up in a private room. It was a pretty pink room with a huge kitty cat on the wall. It was very cool! And I should probably also mention the restroom too. It had an interesting collection of colorful marbles in it. 

The menu at the Monster Cafe was quite limited and unfortunately many of the desserts were sold out even though the day was just starting. My husband chose the only Japanese sounding dish on the menu while I decided to try the Monster Burger. Our little girl got the french fries she had been asking for, since it took a while for her to get used to the Japanese food. They were served with colorful dipping sauces. My husband also ordered a drink, which was served in test tubes. What was in it? We have no idea, but it sure looked interesting. The food at the Monster Cafe was ok, but I would not choose this place based on the culinary experience. They were fun, but not as tasty as the food we had been enjoying during our Japan trip. 

Monster Burger

Monster Burger

Video; Non Druggy Cocktail (Experiment)

People exit the Monster Cafe American style; by walking through a souvenir shop. Overall the lunch was very interesting and fun, but maybe one time in this place will be enough for me. If you want to experience something really crazy or if you are traveling with kids, I would recommend this cafe just so you can see something different. The prices are little bit higher than the average restaurant in Japan, but here you will be paying for the experience, not just for the food. But it wasn't too expensive. I think Monster Cafe definitely takes the first spot on my "weirdest restaurants" list! 

Kawaii Monster Cafe can be found from; YM Square Building 4F, 4-31-10, Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo.

 

Rocking and shopping in Shibuya, Tokyo

Paula Gaston

After touring around Japan, we returned to Tokyo for the rest of our vacation. While we were gone there was a snow storm in Tokyo causing a traffic mess, and they felt an earthquake located near by Fukushima. But when we returned, everything looked exactly the same as before our tour. We decided to visit a ward called Shibuya and see the sights over there. 

SHIBUYA CROSSING

Shibuya crossing is known from many different movies, and easily found since it is located right in front of the Shibuya Station. It is a scramble crossing where the traffic lights stop vehicles in order to let pedestrian walk across the walkways coming from many different directions. Thousands of tourist come to experience this cross road so it is always full of people.  

YOYOGI PARK AND THE ROCKABILLY DANCERS

Yoyogi Park is one the most beautiful parks in Tokyo. It is easy to find if you just take a train to Harajuku Station and then follow the crowds to the park. The most famous sight in the park is Meiji Shrine. This park feels very peacefull since it is full of huge trees which were brought from different parts of Japan. During the spring it is also a popular place to experience cherry blossoms. Close to Meiji Shrine you will see colourful Sake barrels. Japanese Sake producers donate these barrels every year in honor of the emperor Meiji and the shrine. 

Every Sunday the rockabilly dancers gather together at Yoyogi Park. They look like they are straight from the 1950's and they dance in the park for hours. It is fun to watch them, and they don't mind if you take some pictures or videos of them. You might also see some girls dressed in 1950's clothes cheering on the side. You can find the rockabilly dancers when you arrive from Harajuku Station if you just keep walking along the park fence. They are in a little square behind a corner. 

Check out a video of Rockabilly Dancers!

MEIJI SHRINE

Meiji Shrine is actually inside Yoyogi Park, but it deserves to be mentioned separately. This shrine is dedicated to emperor Meiji and it was first built in 1920. The shrine was destroyed in World War II and the current buildings are from 1958.

If you want to follow shinto tradition, you can wash your hands and your mouth at the purification trough located behind the torii gate. To get the water you will use the little wooden ladle provided. By the shrine you can either write your prayer on a wooden plate (Ema) and then leave them at the shrine, or get a paper Omikuji (a fortune telling paper) and tie it to a tree. This way your fortune should follow you. You can also make a prayer by throwing a coin in the offering box at the shrine. After that you ring the bell a couple times, take a step back, bow twice and clap twice when the coin falls into the box. Many big shrines have detailed guides on what to do there.

On Sundays it is common to see a shinto wedding ceremony at Meiji Shrine. We saw two wedding couples on our short visit. 

Shibuya is known for it's big department stores and shopping opportunities. Right from exiting the Shibuya Station you will see all the neon lights of the stores. If you are not interested in shopping, at least you should visit Yoyogi Park in Shibuya. 

We ate our lunch at Monster Cafe in Harajuku. It was such a unique experience! I wrote more about it on Crazy Cafés of Japan -post. I wouldn't recommend it because of it's food but if you want to see something totally different and strange, you should try it out. Our 4 year old especially was fascinated about this colourful cafe.