When I heard that I was going to Kawaii Monster Café, I had no idea what to expect. However, stepping inside was leagues beyond what I anticipated; this place is insane. Harajuku is known for its wacky and colorful fashions, and this café embodies everything Harajuku stands for (and more). Walking through the restaurant solicited reactions like, “this is the coolest thing I’ve ever seen,” to, “this is so weird and I’m uncomfortable.”
The weirdness begins at the café entrance. The entrance is a monster’s mouth (named “Mr. Ten Thousand Chopsticks” or “Mr. Choppy’s”). The restaurant itself? Legend has it that it exists in his stomach. But wait, it gets weirder!
After you walk inside Mr. Choppy’s mouth, you see the Sweets-Go-Round. It’s a giant rainbow carousel with different objects, with animals that look like they are made out of melting candy. The whole ceiling is covered with broken mirror pieces, and flashing lights and pop music add to the wild atmosphere of the place.
There are four different seating areas of the café. The Mushroom Disco has tables under giant poisonous mushrooms and extraterrestrial plants. Hidden behind the Mushroom Disco is a secret room, decorated with red lips, called the “Secret Area for Talkative Ladies.”What do they talk about? Well, you have to go there to find out…
You can see the show right in front of this area. The next area is the Milk Stand, which is themed like a wacky baby’s room. Milk bottles hang from the ceiling, and giant animal heads drink from these bottles over the tables. This area of the restaurant really made me think, “This is either the strangest thing ever, or the most Japanese thing ever.”
The Mel-Tea Room is next. In here, the walls look like pastel chocolate and giant ice cream cones are dripping down from the ceiling. Giant macaroons stack up against the walls (along with giant ants going after these sweets). Right next to the Mel-Tea Room is the “Experiment” Bar, for adults only. A huge jellyfish hanging over the counter lights up the bar. There is also a secret VIP room with a pink cat theme.
Monster girls run around the café and put on shows. They have colorful hair and weird outfits- the monster girl I met had purple hair and a bracelet made out of baby shoes. The food in Kawaii Monster Café is just as bonkers as the rest of the place. It’s all rainbow, and you’ll get a great picture for your Instagram. They claim that the coloring for their food is healthy and natural. Some popular menu items are rainbow pasta with “paint” dip, and the “colorful poison parfait extreme,” which is a giant rainbow parfait.
The restaurant is non-smoking, but does have a smoking area for you to duck into. There is an English menu, and most of the workers and some of the monster girls can speak English. It is possible to reserve parts of the restaurant in advance for parties (which would be necessary if you have a large group, because there are 193 seats in total). Reservations can be made via Facebook Messenger or through this Voyagin link.
In short, this place looks like Tim Burton’s fantasy, if Tim Burton was a kawaii Japanese schoolgirl. I know I am definitely coming back, and bringing everyone I know with me. Kawaii Monster Café perfectly captures what Harajuku is about: the weird fashions, the bright colors, the over-the-top atmosphere, and even the slight creepiness of it all. So if you find yourself in Harajuku, definitely go to Kawaii Monster Café for the strangest and most fun meal you’ll ever have.
Kawaii Monster Cafe Location Information
Nearest Station: 5-minute walk from Harajuku Station (plan your route at the link and click on the Google Map below for walking directions)