Capture Tokyo: Kawaii Monster Cafe

Kawaii Monster Cafe, Harajuku

The colorful and crazy Kawaii Monster Cafe really embodies that special “kawaii” street fashion uniqueness only found in Harajuku. Based on the Harajuku cute boom that exploded in the 2000s, the cafe is filled with bright colors and wacky designs. The Monster Cafe is split into four main areas from which diners can choose to be seated at: Mel-Tea Room, Mushroom Disco, Milk Stand, and Bar Expert. We chose the Mushroom Disco, which features huge rainbow mushroom shaped umbrellas. One of the cafe’s unique features is that their “Monster Girls” that walk around the room as customers eat. These “Monster Girls” are decked out in colorful over the top clothes and wigs! They wave at customers and are generally very friendly and polite, posing for pictures with the guests. There are 5 monster girls in total. The one you see pictured above is called “Candy”. I believe the other four are Baby, Nasty, Dolly, and Crazy. They even have a dance performance you can watch.

The cafe’s food and drinks are all also rainbow themed. Their most notable dish is the signature rainbow pasta and rainbow cake (I personally didn’t have the guts to order any, and went with a rather plain order of chicken and waffles instead, haha)! I did have a glass of their “Nondrug Cocktail” though, which came with a vile of blue and red liquid to pour into drink. The fruity drink was quite tasty and fun to mix! I would recommend checking this cafe out, if you are looking for a taste of the wonderfully weird and wacky side of Harajuku. It’s certainly a once in a lifetime experience!

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Capture Tokyo: Rainbow Bridge

Rainbow Bridge, Odaiba Beach

Odaiba is by far my favorite place to relax in Tokyo. The man-made island is known as somewhat of a date spot among locals, so you can often find young families or couples strolling around the area. The island is filled with many tourist attractions, including Joypolis (an indoor amusement park), the Fuji Television Building, Palette Town, Venus Fort, Aqua City, and Diver City (mostly shopping malls).

There’s so much to do in Odaiba, but my main reason for frequenting the area is because of its gorgeous night views! It also has the closest “beach” to where I live, Odaiba beach. I say “beach” lightly because we can’t actually swim in the water due to all the pollution. In my opinion, this beach offers one of the best scenic views of the Rainbow Bridge over Tokyo Bay (it’s also a beautiful place to watch the sunset… quite romantic)! The suspension bridge connects the Shibaura Pier to Odaiba, and you can actually bike or walk over the bridge (about 1.7 km). The Yurikamome train line also passes over the bridge, starting from Shimbashi Station and ending Toyosu Station. It’s illuminated from dusk till midnight, so I would definitely recommend viewing the Rainbow Bridge from Odaiba beach as it looks absolutely stunning at night!

Taste Tokyo: Rainbow Bagels

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New New York Club, Jiyugaoka

I know this trend is a little outdated, but I thought I would post about my rainbow bagel experience in Tokyo last summer, so please bear with me. When the craze first broke out last year, I was dying to try these fun-colored bagels myself (I was a huge bagel fan in college… Till this day jalapeño cheese bagels are my favorite ♥︎). Anyway, it took a few months, but Japan finally got its own rainbow bagels store, New New York Club! This little trendy boutique restaurant is located in Jiyugaoka, and it’s about a 7 minute walk from the station. They only serve a limited amount of rainbow bagels on Saturdays and a few chosen holidays . In order to ensure they didn’t sell out, I made sure we were there at 11:05 (the store opened at 11:30). There was a line of about 3-5 people in front of us, so it wasn’t too bad. This was also back in July, so the bagel craze was already dying out.

We ended up ordering two bagels. One strawberry bagel and one of their signature rainbow bagels; plus their mac & cheese dish. They had a couple other flavors, but it would’ve been way too much food for us! I would say the bagels were normal. Quite tasty, but nothing super extraordinary. I preferred the strawberry flavor over the rainbow one (mainly due to the strawberry cream cheese). The rainbow bagel itself had a really sweet light cream cheese filling that I wasn’t a big fan of. The mac & cheese was delicious though and overall the restaurant had a cozy ambience. It had a vintage old American diner feel to it, and the counter was lined with boxes of American candies (Nerds, Reeses, etc.) for decoration.

I would recommend trying out the New New York Club for anyone in Japan looking to get a taste of the rainbow bagel. I’m really curious though as to how the Tokyo rainbow bagels compare to the original New York ones!