Harajuku is home to all things kawaii with many themed restaurants, cafés, bars and shops in the neighbourhood. The latest addition to the area’s kawaii culture is Anakuma Café. The name means ‘bear in a hole’ in Japanese, and that’s exactly what it is — a takeaway coffee shop where you receive your orders from a bear through a hole in the wall.
The unusual store is just a three-minute walk from Harajuku Station. It’s hard to miss, with its bright green facade that’s made to look like a forest. You can purchase drinks including black coffee, latte, iced tea and frappuccino, as well as snacks like canelé and doughnuts that come in six flavours each.
Drinks usually go from around ¥1,200 to ¥1,500 each, but if you visit on a weekday morning between 7.30am to 10am, there’s a discounted breakfast set with a choice of doughnut and drink for only ¥700.
From November, the café will also be adding Kindan no Mi to the menu, a special ‘forbidden fruit’ dessert.
There’s no need to speak to anyone at Anakuma Café. Just make an order through the tablet and one of its seven resident bears that live behind the wall will hand you your order when it’s ready. If you visit the website, you can check out each bear’s name and work schedule to see which one you’ll be encountering during your visit. Anakuma Café is open from 7.30am to 7pm on weekdays and 11am to 7pm on weekends.
Anakuma Café isn’t the first coffee shop of this kind in Japan. In Osaka, there’s Kuma no Te Café (meaning ‘Bear Paw Café’ in Japanese), which opened just last year. Here you’ll find a similar premise: place your order at the counter and receive your food or drink from a furry bear paw through a hole in the wall. But at Kuma no Te Café, the person wearing the bear paw is one of six students from Mental Support General School in Osaka’s Umeda area. The students are recovering from emotional disorders, and working at Kuma no Te Café is a step towards them reintegrating with society.
Looking for more things to do in Harajuku? Check out the 50 best restaurants, cafés, art, shops and attractions in Harajuku.
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