How do you follow a visit to an owl cafe with Japan blogger Jasmine from Zooming Japan? With a visit to another theme cafe, of course! As fans of everything kawaii, neither of us could resist having lunch in the adorably cute Ojipan Cafe in Harajuku.
Ojipan (おじぱん) is a Q-LIA character (similar to Sanrio characters such as Hello Kitty) based on a panda and a slightly overweight old man who is a ‘salaryman’ or businessman. ‘Oji-san’ is a cute way to refer to an old man in Japanese. You can watch his introduction video here on YouTube. It’s a bizarre but seriously cute character! Right next to the Ojipan Cafe is another great cafe: the PomPomPurin Cafe. PomPomPurin (ポムポムプリン) is a Sanrio character which is a golden retriever dog. At the time we visited the two cafes were running a collaboration called ‘Ojipan Pom Tree meets Omurainu’ (おじぱんポムの樹meetsオムライヌ)。I think ‘omurainu’ is a play on words – ‘omuraisu’ (a sort of omelette dish with rice inside) and ‘inu’ (dog).
Anyway, after much deliberation Jasmine and I decided to go to the Ojipan Cafe. I returned to the PomPomPurin Cafe a few days later!
The Ojipan Cafe was cute overload! There were toys and panda motifs all over the place, and it was all I could do to not just sit there and squeal. It’s amazing that in Japan you can have a cafe with toys all over it and people don’t steal them or ruin them. I can’t imagine that ever working in the UK!
The food was, naturally, super cute too.
There was even a panda in the toilet.
Not feeling like I’d had enough cute to last me until Christmas, I headed to the PomPomPurin Cafe to see what they had to offer as well. When I went there it was a lot more crowded than the Ojipan Cafe had been, but it was also bursting with cute!
I only had time for a drink here:
The two cafes are located just a short way down Takeshita Dori (the main street in Harajuku which is filled with fashionable shops and cafes), on the right as you are walking from Harajuku Station. They are on the 3rd floor of Cute Cube Harajuku, and as long as you look up you can’t miss them. If you’re looking for crazy, kawaii Tokyo – this is it! The food’s not bad, it’s not too expensive for what it is (e.g. ￥730 for the Ojipan drink with Oreo cookie ears), and it will fill your heart with joy!