Tucked away in Takadanobaba is the one and only POLAR BEAR’S CAFE — also known as the SHIROKUMA CAFE.
Based on the anime of the same name, this is an anime cafe that has resided in Takadanobaba for many years. Although the anime series aired back in 2012-2013, it was surprising to see how popular the cafe is. This is evident by the amount of people that goes in and out of the cafe, and the way people fawn over the merchandise and props in the cafe.
For those who don’t know, Shirokuma Cafe revolves around a group of animals who visits the cafe run by Polar Bear. Although we personally never got round to watching the anime, we’ve heard many positive things about the show.
Funnily enough, the Polar Bear’s Cafe looks like your everyday cafe that blends in seamlessly with its surroundings. With ordinary posters and menu boards at the shopfront, you wouldn’t have guessed that it was an anime cafe unless you know the anime.
As you step inside the cafe, the cafe welcomes you with warmth and serenity. In the background, you can hear music playing — we’re not talking about any music — the cafe actually plays the opening and closing theme songs from the anime itself.
As expected of an anime cafe, you definitely cannot miss the props. To your left, you will see some cute props, sticker decorations, and cardboard cutouts of Polar Bear, Panda, and Penguin.
As you continue walking into the cafe, you can see Penguin and Panda sitting at the bar — just like in the anime. Unfortunately, there was no life-size figure of Polar Bear behind the counter, or someone dressed as Polar Bear and serving customers.
The interior of the cafe is cosy and quaint. While you’re having lunch or coffee, you can distract yourself by checking out the artworks; cardboard cutouts; framed pictures; anime episodes on the TV screen; and murals and t-shirts signed by the anime cast.
As it was our first visit, we couldn’t help ordering coffee with Polar Bear’s face. We also ordered some yummy hot dogs and wedges as we were quite famished. If you’re curious, the rest of the menu consists of more lunch options, cold drinks, and desserts — you won’t be disappointed at all.
As you exit the cafe, there is also a small gift shop on your left. From cute plushies to mugs to notebooks, it was very hard to say no to these merchandise!
Overall, the Polar Bear’s Cafe was a pleasant visit. With only 10 minutes from the local JR Takadanobaba station, this is a lovely cafe that will leave anime fans satisfied.
If you ever want to visit the cafe, check out their website www.shirokumacafe.net/.en
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