NOTE : Unfortunately, it appears that the shop is now permanently closed.
I know myself pretty well and I can certainly say that I am not the sugary cute type. Well, there may be different ways to define what cute is but let us take a more general (if not stereotypical) image: pink, fluffy, colorful, tiny, etc. I am definitely not that but that does not mean I do not appreciate something adorable and charming for the eyes.
Here in Japan, especially in big cities such as Tokyo and Osaka, cute has become the usual trend. From mobile phone straps to hairstyles, Japanese people perfectly managed to design all things “kawaii” (cute). Even cafés!
Most likely, you have heard of a cat café which became a huge trend for cat lovers. But, how about a kuma café?
In Sakae, Nagoya, there is one kuma café and it is just adorable! At first, I just wanted to check the place out to fulfill my touristic cravings. However, I soon realized that the cute ambiance does not necessarily limit the place to a certain crowd. Even a self-proclaimed non-lover of cute things like myself have found amusement.
All things cute stuffed in one place. Kuma is the Japanese word for bear. But it can also loosely refer to stuffed teddy bears.
Kuma café, from afar. It has three floors and is a great place to rest after exploring the town. Sakae is basically the heart of the city where most restaurants, shopping malls and other cool stuff are situated.
This charming fellow – oversized, white and cuddly teddy bear is comfortably sitting and waiting to welcome you. What a nice strategy to attract customers!
The cashier is ornately decorated with several kuma merchandises (eg. keychains, stuffed toys, etc.) which you can also purchase.
Every corner of the café is religiously in tune with the theme.
A teddy bear on a counter-top table. One of the good things in this café is that it has a variety of dining areas: counter-top, table for two, sofa types, etc. And of course, each area is decorated with its own kuma.It is not surprising if there are people who would feel intimidated by the “cuteness” of the shop. Male customers may even find it “too feminine and the large number of female customers may also not be encouraging for other types of audience. Certainly, the place would best cater for girlfriends looking for a place to catch up or customers who are very much fascinated in stuffed teddy bears and other cute things (who are generally females).
But personally, I think it is a good place for any tourist – local or foreign, to experience the modern Japanese cultural trend of “kawaii”. Also, the café is not limited to its stylishly designed motif but also shines in other aspects such as having quality service, cozy fixtures and a satisfying variety of food and drinks. It is certainly a good place to chill out.
Hot Matcha Latte and a slice of Pumpkin Cheesecake. You can see that even the coasters are shaped like a bear.
Soymilk shake with black sesame flavored ice cream on top and a crème brûlée in kuma-shaped container.Be sure not to miss this out and enjoy all things kawaii.
Aichi Prefecture, Nagoya, Naka Ward, Sakae, 3−25−34
Operation Hours 11:00 am – 11:30 pm