Kawaii is a term that many think of when they think of Japan, specifically Tokyo. It's a style that has been adopted in many other parts of the world and is quite literally translated to mean 'cute'. Obviously, this term encompasses a myriad of things depending on who we talk to, but Japan has its own special definition of the style. From adorable animals, fun squishies, and the ever-so-popular 3D latte art, all of these things can be found in one place in Japan: Cafes! In fact, there are cafes which are entirely devoted to the Kawaii style and we've got ten that must be on everyone's list.
10 Pompompurin Cafe
Not surprisingly, Pompompurin Cafe can be found in the Harajuku district but also has locations in Nagoya and Yokohama. This cafe is the definition of kawaii with its fuzzy animal theme, which adorns the walls... and the chairs... and even the ceiling! From cats and dogs to bears and frogs and everything in between, there's no way anyone could be unhappy walking into this cute little cafe. The food offered is even cuter (if you can believe it!) and it changes seasonally according to holidays.
9 Cafe de Miki (Hello Kitty!)
This list would not be kawaii-complete without the original kawaii character herself, Hello Kitty! It's not surprising that there's an entire cafe dedicated to her and all of her friends by Sanrio. The decor in this mall cafe is spectacularly nostalgic for those of us who grew up with the cute kitten but what really wows fans is the food. Each item on the menu is Hello Kitty-themed, all the way down to pancakes that have her face on them. Visitors can also order lattes with the classic Hello Kitty stamp as well as bread that has her face toasted into it.
8 Kawaii Monster Cafe
Obviously, any cafe with the word 'kawaii' in the title will not disappoint... and oh boy, does Monster Cafe do quite the opposite! This cafe, found in Harajuku, is likely the most colorful place you'll ever walk into. Harajuku is known for its color, flair, and new-age fashion, but this cafe has all that and more.
The decor is entirely kawaii but also monster-themed and the staff puts on Kawaii-themed performances daily. Additionally, all the food on the Monster Cafe's menu is rainbow so there's not a dull meal in sight... Even the pasta is multi-colored.
7 Shirokuma Cafe
This cafe has quite the story behind it as it was once a popular manga, now turned cafe. Visitors can enjoy life-sized cutouts of manga characters as well as themed foods, such as polar bear toast and panda bear rice balls. It's truly adorable for those who aren't fans of the anime as well as there's something for everyone here. Skirokuma Cafe also offers a section where fans can buy themed merch and if that wasn't enough, those who are just dropping by are in for a surprise, too: Even the lattes and coasters come with polar bear art!
6 Gudetama Cafe
Many are familiar with Gudetama but not many outside of Japan know of the Gudetama Cafe, and guess what? It's Kawaii-themed! Gudetama is one of the cutest characters to come out of Japan's art scene and it's no surprise why. Gudetama, the lazy egg that has grown into such a popular trend despite his non-sunny-side-up disposition, can be found all over this cafe, including on the menu. We're not talking about actual eggs, though; Gudetama is actually incorporated into the cafe's food art. One of the cutest things we've seen is a Gudetama cookie to go atop their ice cream sundae, but this cafe is full of grumpy egg surprises.
5 Shiro Hige’s Cream Puff Factory
You haven't had a true cream puff until you've been to Shirohige's Cream Puff Factory. The space is cute and quiet and easy to miss if you're not looking for it; found in Daita, Shiro Hige's offers cream puffs that are in the shape of none other than Studio Ghibli's Totoro. The fun doesn't just stop there, though!
Each cream puff is decorated with an individual piece of (edible) headwear, just like in the movie. These all depend on which flavor cream puff you've selected, of which there are many to try. There's also a second cafe upstairs for those who are hungry for more than just cream puffs.
4 Rilakkuma Sabo
This cafe is a bit far from Tokyo and can actually be found near Kyoto, but it's totally worth mentioning. Kyoto is beautiful and the fact that there's a Kawaii-themed cafe there just gives you more of a reason to visit. This cafe takes on the kawaii theme via their menu, which is full of all the cute forest creatures you'd expect to find in a colorful kawaii world. From buns shaped like bunnies with matching carrot loaves to tiny rabbit-shaped egg tarts, there's no shortage of cute. Even the to-go boxes from this cafe are adorably pastel pink and kawaii and our little kawaii hearts almost can't handle it.
3 Miffy Sakura Kitchen
This bakery, similar to Rilakkuma, offers kawaii in all things baked goods. All you need to know is that visitors can expect to find danishes filled with Mochi here and to be quite honest, that's more than enough to say 'sign us up'. Each bun, danish, cube, and pastry is designed in the shape of a cute little bunny or printed with some type of woodland theme on it. This cafe even has a gift section where visitors can purchase things such as utensils, aprons, bags, and even plushies! There's a surprise waiting around every corner and it all starts with something sweet and bunny-shaped.
2 Rilakkuma’s Adventures in Wonderland Cafe
This cafe is an interesting one because it was a pop-up which means that it's not a permanent structure. Pop-up cafes are very popular in Japan and many will take on temporary themes and change up their installments once their time renting a space is up. Rikakkuma is a popular character created by Aki Konda and can be found all over Japan. This cute little bear goes on plenty of adventures and recently, this Adventures in Wonderland-themed cafe was one of them. Complete with Kawaii-themed foods centered around the fun-loving bear, fans could be fully immersed in Rilakkuma's world.
1 Kirby Cafe
Of course, Kirby Cafe also had to be on this list! This pop-up has returned and is here for the next few months as fans get up close and personal with one of their favorite video game characters. The Kirby Cafe website offers a cute little story of how the cafe was created and currently, they're in the process of writing 'Chapter 2' of the cafe's second opening. The menu for this cafe is hilariously adorable, complete with a giant Kirby sandwich holder on which Kirby is, of course, appearing to be eating the sandwich he's holding.