The Best Themed Cafes and Restaurants in Japan

Table of Contents

1. Dogyan Noodles and Shaved Ice / Osaka

Live Out Your Ghibli Food Dreams

If you’ve ever salivated from seeing the food in any Studio Ghibili movie and wished you could try some then you’re in luck. Dogyan Noodles and Shaved Ice serves multiple dishes from the iconic films that’ll make you feel as if you’re in the movie.

I started with the Califer breakfast that my husband Howl (yes, he’s one of my husbands) cooked for the family shortly after Sophie joined the team in Howl’s Moving Castle. He ordered Califer to get the fire going and from there a delicious meal of eggs, bacon and toast were served right up.

As a Calcifer plushie looked fondly looked up to me from the table, I devoured the entire set including a delicious bowl of miso to my hearts content. In addition to all the movie paraphernalia that’ll surrounding, you’ll also be able to watch the movie as well!

Lastly for dessert, you can choose a shaved ice bowl in the likes of No Face from Spirted Away or Califer. To keep the Spirit of Howl souring, I chose the Califer bowl topped with orange sweet cream. If you want your taste buds to be sent to anime heaven then DO NOT miss out on Dogyan.

📍 Noodles & Shaved Ice Dogyan, 4 Chome-9-11 Tanimachi, Chuo Ward, Osaka, 540-0012, Japan

Average Cost $30 – 40 per person / Check them out on Instagram

2. Pearls / Osaka

Osaka’s Coziest Cafe

This quaint cafe is easy to navigate to and was the very first coffee shop I visited while in Osaka.

The Shar Pei shaped panna cotta is the star of the show at Pearls with it being promintely showcased in the front display cases as well as spotlighted on their menu. I ordered one along with a cafe art latte and people watched as I waited for my order. There were all ages inside the cafe but one stylish older man caught my eye as he sat with his coffee and newspaper.

Japanese cafes are quite unique and differ from Korean ones in certain aspects. Korea has a cafe culture that’s more youth centered while in Japan you’ll see one of two older singles sitting at a table enjoying the morning. You;ll even spot businessmen or the elderly at kawaii and themed cafes as well. I love how the culture embraces cuteness at any age because that’s what it’s truly all about.

Overall the panna cotta was the perfect sweetness that didn’t overpower the latte I had. If you’re not a major sweets kind of person I’d recommend checking this place out as the sweetness won’t overtake your taste buds.

The cute brunch will only cost around $15~ USD

📍 Pearls, 岸本ビル 1F 1 Chome-3-21 Abenosuji, Abeno Ward, Osaka, 545-0052, Japan

Average Cost $10-15 per person

3. Rokujuan / Kyoto

One with Nature and Food

If you’re looking for tranquility and food so beautiful it’s almost too nice eat then Rokujuan is where you need to visit.

Rokujuan in Kyoto is nestled in a quiet Kyoto neighborhood in a house that’s over 100 years old! Entering this peaceful establishment is like stepping back in time. As you make your way to the table the waiter takes you on a tour of the house and around the gorgeous garden. You then are ushered into a room with ceiling to floor windows situated in front of the sprawling Japanese garden.

You then get to enjoy your beautifully made meal in quietness while the sunrays beam down on you. Somehow the whole experience was healing and rejuvenating.

As for the food, the perfectly shaped drop lets are handed to you on a clear round bowl with a side of molasses and rice flour. It can be a bit difficult to pick this delicate and slippery bites up with chopsticks but you’ll eventually get the hang of it.

📍 Rokujuan, 101 Nishirokkakucho, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto, 604-8217, Japan

Average Cost: $25~ per person

4. Vampire Cafe / Ginza, Tokyo

Dracula’s Calling You

This vampire themed restaurant is “to die” for with goth decor and 12th century dressed waiters. Upon entering your greeted by a crushed red velvet covered room with bell instructing to ring to for service. You’re then directed to your table sometimes behind a curtain but always in sight of a candle lit decorated casket. From there you’re served themed dish after dish with some even having their own incantations.

📍 Vampire Café, ラペビル 7F 6 Chome-7-6 Ginza, Chuo City, Tokyo 104-0061, Japan

Average Cost: $50 per person

If you’d like to check out this and other themed restaurants in Japan, save my Cool Girl City Travel Themed Cafe Google Maps for your next trip!

5. Harry Potter Cafe / Akasaka, Tokyo

A Wingardium Leviosa on the rocks please

The Harry Potter Cafe in Akasaka Tokyo is not for the muggles! No seriously it isn’t, it’s reservations only so instead of getting turned away at the door for just popping up, go ahead and reserve. They also leave the front doors closed to you can’t even see inside without a RSVP. Also note you can only reserve up to a week in advance.

Once you show your RSVP number at the front they’ll allow you and your party to enter Hogwarts! Choose from a plethora of HP themed dinner and desserts. You can order merchandise as well that’s given to you when you get up to pay. I enjoyed the system of ordering on a pad as it allowed your to take your time looking at the menu and had a timer to help you keep track of your scheduled slot.

I had a difficult time trying to figure out exactly where because it’s not an outside storefront. Once you emerge train walk past the Harry Potter gift shop and enter the building catty corner to the right. Once inside you’ll be greeted by the café!

📍 Harry Potter Cafe, BIZタワ 1F 5 Chome-3-1 Akasaka, Minato City, Tokyo 107-0052, Japan

Average Cost: $40 per person

6. Kumachan / Shibuya, Tokyo

Hot Pot Bear Onsen

Kumachan in Shibuya is one of the funniest restaurants you’ll go to. After checking in for your reservation on the first floor café, you’ll make your way upstairs to the restaurant portion to choose your meal. Your bear will arrive in it’s own onsen bowl with cute mini towel included.

From there you’ll grab some sauces and watch as your bear melts his troubles away in it’s sauna. The shabu broth is rich in flavor with an assortment of veggies you can throw in to complete the meal.

📍 Kumachan Onsen, 2階 1 Chome-8-10 Shibuya, Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-0002, Japan

Average Cost: $30 per person

Bonus!

Kawaii Cafe / Osaka

A World of Kawaii in Osaka

Osaka has a bit of Kawaii culture that you might have never known! Kawaii Café is a colorful shop filled with myriad kawaii décor literally from the ceiling to the floor. The staff was super nice and it’s such a cool contrast from the neon lights of the Shinsekai area it over looks. It’s right on the water too so you get an amazing view from the back of the restaurant.

Unfortunately due to my tight schedule in Osaka aka “me not allotting enough time in Osaka because I didn’t know how cool is actually was” I could only spend about 10 minutes inside.

Though the ladies didn’t speak English we were able to communicate and they accommodated my time restraints by allowing me to take my rainbow pizza to go! One of the girls grabbed a to go box from next door and they packed up my pizza so nice! I really looked forward to eating it.

Now the next question is, was I able to ACTUALLY eat the pizza? Unfortunately after a wild night of bar hopping, the pizza did not make it back in edible condition when I got back to my hotel. *insert crying emoji here* But it looked like it tasted great!

Now I know to allot WAY more time in Osaka. I truly had no idea how amazing of a city it was. Hopefully sometime soon I can go back to Kawaii Café and FINALLY get to try their amazing food.

📍 Japan, 〒542-0084 Osaka, Chuo Ward, Souemoncho, 7−8, Musou Building, 1F PINK KAWAII

What are your favorite cafes in Japan?

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